Carpenterettes Hut Movement State Normal and Industrial College World War I YWCA Hut

The Carpenterettes and the YWCA Hut

“The Carpenterettes,” 1918

During World War I, the students of the State Normal and Industrial College (now UNCG) took part in numerous aspects of campus work — including many of the jobs vacated by local men. In the summer of 1918, seven students calling themselves the “Carpenterettes,” banded together and built a YWCA hut. The “hut movement” was spearheaded by the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and quickly became popular in America. Several huts were constructed in Greensboro for community use. These inexpensive and durable buildings were based on the simple army huts constructed for the war.

The Exterior of the YWCA Hut

The YWCA hut was built on the State Normal campus at the north end of College Avenue. It became a popular all-purpose recreational building at the college for the next thirty years. Greensboro contractor, John T. Hunt, supervised the project free of charge, and the students cleared the land, laid the bricks, and helped frame the structure.

The Interior of the YWCA Hut

The hut’s design included a kitchen, a small library, and a large meeting room measuring 40 by 80 feet with four fireplaces. The furniture for the hut was purchased with local donations. State Normal students even solicited and received a phonograph from Thomas Edison. After the war, the Carpenterettes disbanded. The YWCA hut was razed in the 1940s when North Drive was built.   

By Kathelene McCarty Smith

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