Delaware Peach Girls
”A key factor in this migrant work force (of the Delaware peach industry) was the “Peach Girls.” Usually in the 16 to 20 year old age group, they were recruited from large cities thru advertisements in the newspapers. John Harris’ Round Top Farm had over 600 peach girls working on it in 1875.
Since they were poor with few job opportunities they were easy prey for the advertisements that promised they could earn $1.50 to $2.00 per day and only pay $2.00 a week for board. On arriving at Round Tree they found the situation to be different than advertised. Instead of $1.50 per day they worked 15 hours for fifteen to twenty cents a day. Their board consisted of a bale of hay to sleep on and for food it was left over fruit. They simply did not have the money to return home nor was there much chance of earning the money to return.
Round Tree was but one example; many “peach girls” were treated better on other farms and actually paid an acceptable wage of around one dollar per day.” Read on about the Delaware peach business here.