Skip to main content

Ontario Hooked Rug

Curated Submission
North Bay, Ontario, Canada
1870 - 1900
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
103 x 74
Materials & techniques
Cotton, burlap; Hooked
Gift of Madeleine Boucher Harvie
Textile Museum of Canada T04.22.3

Rug hooking is a unique North American tradition that arose in response to the need to cover the cold bare floors of pioneer homes. Rugs were made from scraps of fabrics and fibres that were pulled through a burlap base to produce warm floor coverings to decorate the home. It is rare to find a historical hooked rug whose maker is known, but this rug is an exception. Donated by the granddaughter of the maker, it speaks to her family’s history as well as to the history of Canada.

This is an extract from the letter of the maker’s great-granddaughter Susan Harvie in October 2004:

Janet McIntyre Ferguson, my great-grandmother, my mother’s maternal grandmother, made this rug. She was born at Callander in Scotland in 1842. In 1861, she married William Ferguson and in 1863, they sailed to Canada where they first settled in Renfrew County. Her brother Duncan McIntyre also came to Canada where he became the first Vice-President of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1881, her son, John Ferguson, founded the city of North Bay and, in 1882, she and her family were on the first passenger train over the newly laid Canadian Pacific Railway tracks into North Bay where they built the first residence and where she lived until she died in 1934.

Photographs provided by Harvie show Janet McIntyre Ferguson on the porch of her house in North Bay and one of the rooms with her hooked rug on the floor.

Submit a related artifact
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to Pinterest Email More...

Main sponsors

  • Logo of the Imperial Oil Foundation with accompanying characteristic oval 'Esso' symbol.

Institutional partners