Whatever Happened to Mary Janeway?: A Home Child Story

April 8, 2021
Whatever Happened to Mary Janeway?: A Home Child Story

Home child Mary Janeway runs away from her farm placement, growsinto adulthood, and ultimately comes to terms with life inHamilton, Ontario.Sixteen-year-old Mary Janeway, a home child, is desperate toescape from her rural home child placement and flees to London,Ontario, to find a domestic position. When conditions becomeunbearable, she moves on, vowing never to relinquish her freedomagain.After she arrives in Hamilton as a young bride, she quicklyadapts to the urban conveniences and the marvels of new inventionsthat include electric sewing machines, sulphur matches, streetstoplights, a one-horsepower Brunswick refrigerator, the advent ofthe zipper, and the beginning of radio. But even the latesttechnology can’t stop the ravages of disease and other familytragedies.Mary lives through two world wars, the Spanish Influenza, andthe Great Depression. In spite of many hardships, she remains astrong, resilient woman well into her senior years and makes manycontributions to Hamilton, the city she calls home.