Alumnae Bulletin February 2009
Bryn Mawr "Farmerettes"
Bryn Mawr College undergraduates work as part of the Women’s Land Army, circa 1917. Just weeks after the United States
entered World War I, President of the College M. Carey Thomas arranged for a benefactor of the College, Phillip Sharpless, to
loan 20 acres of his land in West Chester, Pennsylvania, for a College farm. Through that first spring and summer, between 20
and 25 students and several faculty worked on the farm and lived in a house in West Chester. In August, they were joined by
newly appointed Dean of the College Helen Taft ’15, a suffragist and supporter of the Land Army who had spent the first part
of the summer working on her brother’s farm in Ohio. Once accustomed to fine dining at the White House, Taft reveled in her
worker’s appetite. “After we had been in West Chester a week,” she wrote, “it seemed to me that the most important matter in
the world was whether we were to have apple pie or rice pudding for dinner.” For more information, see the Letter from the
Editor on page 2 of this issue. Photo courtesy Bryn Mawr College Collections.