Clarity of vision and dogged determination became the hallmark of those early days, as Mrs. Emmet overcame obstacle after obstacle to open her school. These were the War years, and a moratorium on building, prohibiting the use of metal and wood, were among the challenges she faced. Mrs. Emmet chronicles her journey while founding High Mowing School in her book, From Farm to School
When the school was complete, “We took the well stone that was under an elm in the high mowing and smoothed it. In the round hole in the center we put a copper box. In the box were a penny, a nickel and a quarter of the year 1942; a tassel of corn that grew ten feet high in the garden; and a paper on which was written:
We sink this granite stone in the earth before the doors of a new structure planned to house youth. May they find here health of the body trained to skills and techniques, wisdom of the heart open to the understanding of their fellow men, strength of mind, and freedom through richer opening vistas and high goals. To these things we who have built it, we who will teach in it, we who have come here to learn—dedicate this building.”
High Mowing opened its doors in September 1942. At the time, it was the only Waldorf high school in the U.S. It gained accreditation in1944. For many years, until 1957, the school remained the personal property of Mrs. Emmet. In 1957, at a faculty and trustee meeting, she gifted the buildings and the land to the school. In gracious gratitude, the faculty gave her the right to live on campus, in her house, as long as she wished.