Record Group 1: Martha Berry Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1884 -1941
Size: 80.66 cubic feet
Bulk Dates: 1922-1941
Provenance: Berry Schools and Berry College Office of the Director
About the Collection:
Miss Martha McChesney Berry, founder of the Berry Schools, dedicated her life to providing an education to the youth of Southern Appalachia. The schools began with The Boys' Industrial School in 1902; it's focus was to prepare the boys to deal with "...the common problems of everyday life on the farm, in the store, or at the workbench." In 1909, Miss Berry opened the Martha Berry School for Girls. Along with a commitment to academics, it aimed to "train the mountain girls for homemaking." The Schools sought to educate not only the head, but the heart and hands as well. Students had the opportunity to hold campus jobs and earn their tuition by exchanging hours of work as tuition payment.
In the beginning stages, Martha Berry was the school's only teacher, but she soon hired Elizabeth Brewster as the first full time teacher. As the years passed, Miss Berry's function as Director of the Schools became her primary work. Although as a member of the Board of Trustees she initiated and implemented school policy and curriculum, her day-to-day concern was fundraising. Miss Berry worked constantly, making speeches, writing letters, and inviting friends to visit the Schools in an attempt to secure funds for the Schools' operation. Through all of her effort, she served as a role model for her students and staff and was admired as a remarkable woman by the world around her.
Scope and Content Note
Miscellaneous: Completed August 1991 Processed by RAA