Author to Discuss Working Lives of Textile Mill Workers - August 7, University of Maine in Augusta Bookmark and Share

July 25, 2008

William Moran, author of The Belles of New England: The Women of the Textile Mills and the Families Whose Wealth They Wove, will speak at Jewett Hall, the University of Maine at Augusta, on Thursday, August 7, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

As its flyleaf indicates, the book tells the story of the thousands of women, New England farm girls as well as immigrants from Ireland, Quebec province and elsewhere in Atlantic Canada and Europe, who hoped for personal independence and social justice but had to struggle with mill owners for fair pay and decent working conditions.

Mr. Moran brings his long experience as a journalist to bear as he relates the stories of these women and their times in rich and moving detail. A native of Portland, this former writer and editor for The Associated Press also worked at Vermont Public Television and in commercial television in Vermont before joining CBS News in l971. He was a writer and producer for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, and later for CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt. He retired in l995 and lives at Higgins Beach in Scarborough and in Sarasota, Florida.

Mr. Moran’s appearance on August 7 is jointly sponsored by Old Fort Western and the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maine at Augusta. It is part of five days of public programming associated with the installation of nine Museum in the Streets (MITS) interpretive signs along Canal Street in Augusta that summarize the history of the Kennebec Dam and the industries it powered, including the former Edwards Mill, now the site of Mill Park.

The signs were made possible by a transportation enhancement grant from the Maine Department of Transportation.

Go to for the full schedule of MITS sign activities and events.