When 20,000 textile workers went on strike in the 1928 New Bedford Textile Workers Strike, 18-year-old factory worker Eulalia Mendes (1910-2004) became a leader in her mill and community by promoting Portuguese industrial migrant worker participation in the strike.
A stitcher in various New Bedford shops, Dora Bastarache (1915-1988) was a true rank-and-file leader in the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in southeastern Massachusetts, where she served as president of that union’s Local 361.
A resourceful real estate investor and astute textile mill treasurer, Ada Woolley Sullivan (1888-1968) became New Bedford’s first woman textile mill treasurer and took full charge of the Sullivan Silk Mills in 1934.
Dartmouth residents learned kindness from Noelie Lemire Houle (1899-1993), the “Goat Lady of Dartmouth.” Noelie raised as many as 90 goats so that others could experience the benefits of goat’s milk. At first, neighbors complained about her farm, where goats roamed freely. Eventually, the community moved from intolerance to acceptance to celebration.