Military veteran and activist

Countless women supported their families in domestic roles

Enduring the endless work of homemaking in pioneer times


Laura Secord biographer and feminist

Playwright and early feminist

Historian and museum founder


Out of the Wilderness: Pioneering Women

In these tours, we celebrate the accomplishments of pioneering women from all walks of life who helped to shape Canada. The tours are located along three sections of the Laura Secord Legacy Trail (1, 2 and 3), as well as in Old Town Niagara on the Lake. They examine various aspects of the lives and contributions of important pioneering women.

Prominent among them is our group's namesake, Laura Secord. Despite her historically disadvantaged role as a 'mere woman', Secord is known as a courier of critically important information that contributed to the defence of Canada. As such, she represents a wide spectrum of ordinary people, male and female, native and immigrant, whose daily struggles and contributions to the building of Canada went largely unnoticed, but who rose to the challenges of their circumstances with exceptional courage and heroism. Her legacy of determination, strength and patriotism continue to inspire successive generations.

The women profiled in the tours also include other War of 1812 heroines such as Julia Defield, Catherine Poole, Mary Henry, and Eliza Taylor, and of course Laura Secord herself, as well as later heroines such as early feminist writer Sarah Curzon, Secord biographer Emma Currie, historian Janet Carnochan, and sculptor and painter Emma Peel.

As artists, writers, activists, mothers, and wives, but most importantly as fiercely independent pioneering spirits, these women challenged propriety and convention, changing the course of history in ways that we are just beginning to appreciate.

First Nations Poet

Anti-slavery activist and hero







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Pioneering Women

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