The three co-founders of the Hardy Women’s Society met while attending the Tremlett College for Women on Antheia Island. Tremlett, founded in 1635, is a premiere educational institute located just off the rugged coast of Maine on a large island that encompasses the college grounds, the Tremlett estate house, extensive orchards, and dense wooded areas.
In 1898, Georgia, Bunny and Ada Gentry all attended an English literature class taught by Professor Evangeline Trevelyan. The idea for the Hardy Women’s Society developed from a study of Amelia Lanyer’s 1611 poem “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women” and a series of unusual events that occurred on the island that year. The poem became the charter for the fledgling HWS.
Ada Gentry Adair
An accomplished gardener and literature scholar, Ada Gentry came from the Midwest, growing up near the Spoon River in Illinois. She was known for her impeccably-hosted garden gatherings and timeless eye for garden design. After receiving her degree from Tremlett, she went on to become a literature teacher (after living an adventurous early life), occasionally returning to the Maine island school for guest lectures. Her tireless work in the HWS kept the membership thriving even as the original founders moved away from their beloved Tremlett Women’s College.
Raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Bunny was always a proper Southern lady, but with a burgeoning sense of adventure fed by her life away from home in attendance at Tremlett. Bunny’s favorite flowers were the irises and lilacs that had been planted by her grandmother. She displayed a knack for languages and artistic pursuits while at Tremlett. Later in life, she was responsible for the founding of the Hardy Women’s Society Buenos Aires chapter – still one of the largest chapters in the organization. This colorized photo inaccurately portrays her hair color.
Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Georgia grew up amongst dairy farms in the green wilds with her veterinarian parents. With a passion for camellias, hydrangeas, and native wildflowers, she was known for her bravery, athletic ability, and artistic eye. Always outgoing and curious, it is widely recognized that Georgia was likely the ringleader of a minor scandal that developed during the co-founders’ school days at Tremlett when a hard cider fermentation system was found in the woods some distance beyond the student dormitory cottages. It is said she could out-race any person on Antheia Island, which probably explains why she was never caught.