Elizabeth Dickerson Papers
Elizabeth Dickerson was born April 26, 1886 in Woodville (now Shoreham), New York.
A 1907 graduate of the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics, she undertook additional study in summer programs at Chicago (1909) and Columbia Universities (1911); and at Wellesley College, 1913-14.
Dickerson taught physical education at Bryn Mawr, 1907-08, and was Director of Physical Education at Milwaukee-Downer College, 1908-14. In 1914 she was appointed as the first Director of Physical Education and Hygiene at the Seattle YWCA.
Dickerson took a two-year leave of absence from that work in 1917 when the National Board of the YWCA recruited her to help organize a YWCA in Russia. Arriving in Moscow during the October Revolution, Dickerson was sent on to Petrograd, then evacuated to Vladivostok. She stayed on the eastern front until 1919. Dickerson and her colleagues helped Russian women establish a YWCA in Petrograd [Leningrad] and participated in the establishment of a Hostess House in Archangel. They also staffed a sort of traveling YWCA on a boat on the Volga River. In each place the boat docked, it sponsored lectures on modern techniques in agriculture.
Upon her return to the U.S., Dickerson resumed work at the Seattle YWCA, 1919-21. The difficult conditions in Russia compromised her health, prompting her to follow a growing interest in beekeeping. With a partner, Nell Pearce, she established the Pearce and Dickerson Bee Farm, Inc. in Woodinville, Washington in 1921. In addition to the honey-producing operation, the partners opened a retail store where they also sold home-made native berry jams and pickles. Dickerson continued in the business after Pearce's death in 1946 and served as the President of the Washington State Beekeepers Association. She was an avid "mountaineer," traveler, and gardener; and was active in her church, garden club, the Women's University Club, and the Orthopedic Association. She retired from the business in 1961 and moved to Bay View Manor in Seattle, Washington.
Elizabeth Dickerson died in 1987.