Thursday, June 28, 2012
Working Women of WWII
I had the pleasure of hearing a historian's lecture recently about the women who were employed during World War II at a then-new army ammunition plant on the Sauk Prairie near Baraboo, Wisconsin. Women started out working there in the more typical clerical capacities, but were quickly trained for the more dangerous duties of making ammunition powders and propellants. They were paid well for the times for their work. And their numbers swelled to the point that there were nearly as many women as men employed there. It was a time of great patriotism and a willingness to sacrifice at home for those fighting for our freedom in another part of the world. This same ammunition plant is no longer in operation and the thousands of acres that once made up the plant are now being divided up between various parties. A large swath of the land will become the property of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and made into what the historian called a recreation park. In a transformation from forest and prairie to farms to ammunition plant to a park, as we recreate there in the future, may we always respect and remember the amazing history of that land.