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About Hilda Blake

Hilda Blake was born in 1878 to a lower-class family in Chedgrave, England. She, along with her four siblings, were orphaned when Hilda was just nine years old. After spending time in the Heckingham Workhouse in England, Hilda and her brother, Tom, were sent to live and work in the home of Alfred Perry Stewart and his wife, Letitia, at Kola, Manitoba in 1888.

While in the care of the prominent Stewart family, Hilda Blake worked as an unpaid domestic servant. Finding life as a domestic servant in the Stewart home too difficult to bear, Hilda ran away from the farm, sparking a bitter custody battle between her guardians and their neighbour, Mary Rex.

In 1898, Blake began to work as a domestic servant for the Robert and Mary Lane in Brandon, Manitoba. Robert Lane ran a growing transfer company with his partner, Alexander McIlvride, and this success allowed him to hire Hilda as the family’s first domestic servant. Living in the Lane home, Hilda cared for the four children, cleaned the house and cooked meals for the family.

Find out more... search Hilda Blake in the Keystone Archives Descriptive Database.