Wong Discusses Gossard Girls Book at NMU

Book cover

Phyllis Michael Wong, historian, educator and former first lady of Northern Michigan University from 2004-12, will return to NMU to give a presentation on the research and writing process for her novel titled We Kept Our Towns Going: The Gossard Girls of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in room 224 of Lydia M. Olson Library. It will be preceded by an April 13 presentation at the Marquette Regional History Center, where Wong will discuss her novel in more detail.

The H.W. Gossard Company, a maker of women's corsets, bought a warehouse in Ishpeming in 1920. According to the building's website, the factory employed more than 500 people—mostly women—at its peak. It also provided an employment option for families beyond the mines and forests. The company's last day of operation was on Dec. 31, 1976.

Wong shares the stories of the "Gossard Girls" who fueled the local economy and challenged societal expectations throughout the 20th century.  Audience members will also have the opportunity to engage with Wong in live discussions.

Copies of We Kept Our Towns Going: The Gossard Girls of Michigan's Upper Peninsula will be available for purchase at both the Lydia M. Olson Library and Marquette Regional History Center events.

Wong previously visited NMU on March 18, 2010 to discuss the influence of the H.W. Gossard factory in the Upper Peninsula. For more information on the April 14 event, contact Kim Smalley, Olson Library's interim director, at kismalle@nmu.edu.

Prepared by Faith King and Kristi Evans.  

Prepared By

Categories: Around NMU