Good Ol' Bryn Mawr had a Farm
"Speaking before a packed chapel last Wednesday morning, Marion Reilly ’01, ex-Dean of the college, urged that a Bryn Mawr unit for farming be formed to work during this and other summers. Miss Reilly told of the scarcity all over the world and emphasized the need of conservation for the help of the Allies as well as for America. The many openings in this country for farm laborers, she said, could be largely filled by women."
In 1917, shortly after America declared war on Germany, talk began about starting a Bryn Mawr alumnae/student-run farm. While this was not tecnically part of the Woman's Land Army, it certainly aligned with the movement's call on women to contribute to the agricultural sector. The goal was for the college to be self-sufficient for a year so that supplies intended for students could be redirected to the war. Marion Reilly '01 gave a public talk that urged the creation of a Bryn Mawr unit for farming. A summary of her speech was printed in the May 2, 1917 issue of The College News. By May 9, 1917, Bryn Mawr secured land at the West Chester Normal School and 30 students had already signed up as prospective workers.