72. Birthing bed

72 - birthing bed

ca. 1928-1930

Sexsmith and District Pioneer Museum

Johanna Haakstad holds a special place in the history of the Sexsmith area and in the hearts of its people. Born in 1885, Bardo, Norway, she came with her family to Minnesota in 1888. After the birth of her own daughter when she was 19, she decided to become a midwife and help other young mothers. She and her family moved to the La Glace area in 1919. It was not until 1921 that ‘Aunt Jo,’ as she became known, began her remarkable 37-year career. Jo travelled throughout the area, before Dr. Lyman Gamey, in 1928, recommended a maternity hospital be established encouraging the mothers to come to her. Thus began the Sexsmith Maternity Home also known as the Stork Hospital. Over her career she delivered over 3,100 babies and provided an invaluable service to her community and the lives of women in the Peace Country.