(Dickinson College c.1910)
(Foreground R to L: Allison Church, Homes, South College
Background: Denny Hall, East College, Tome, West College,
Heating Plant Smoke Stack, Bosler, Conway)
By 1934 Dickinson
had expanded to include a wealth of buildings and facilities nearly unimaginable
a hundred years prior when the only facility that stood was West College.
Through the determination of students, faculty, trustee's, and alumni the
College would grow into an enormous facility that could comfortably accommodate
every aspect of the Dickinson Education. The Ivy covered walls of West
College, East College, and Tome Scientific Building would form the heart
of the campus and from the walkways that began in front of these three
buildings the campus would sprawl out to the adjoining facilities. Bosler
Hall was the library and chapel of the time, proudly displaying the Books
and Dickinsoniana of the College under the admiration of the Librarian
May Morris. The Gymnasiums were about to pass the torch from the older
ailing Old Gym behind Old West, to a newer, modern facility across West
High Street. Conway Hall, far out to edge of the Campus was the primary
Male Dormitory while nearly half a mile away in the opposite direction
sat Metzger Hall that the women on campus would call home. These would
be the final few decades for the great residential halls.
Today about half of the
campus of 1934 still exists, the rest has faded away in the light of the
demand for better facilities. Apart from the photographs and memories all
that remains are the small histories written here and there of the different
buildings. Conway Hall, one of the Faculty Houses, and three Fraternity
Homes have long since vanished for the newer more modern facilities of
the Holland Union Building and Waidner-Sphar Library. Allision Memorial
Church is no longer around either, a victim of a fire in 1954 promting
the new Church on the south side of Morgan Field to be erected. Metzger
Hall would within twenty years become unnecessary and be turned back over
to its property owner and be razed. Most of the academic buildings would
remain the same externally but internally change greatly. Through remodeling
and various projects nearly every building would be updated and modernized,
and in cases such as the Alumni Gym and Bosler Hall become entirely new
buildings when there initial use became unnecessary. Mooreland Park, once
abounding with deer would soon be turned over to development as the College
was eager for newer dormitories. Even smaller references around the Campus
would change, such as the rail line running down West High Street, a victim
of development, vanishing from sight as roads became paved and the automobile
truly took its place in society.
The memories of the campus
still can be found though. Numerous small facts and interesting stories
are still locatable. In September of 1930 for example it was suggested
that each Fraternity on Campus be assigned a mother. The purpose was to
keep them in line, and their living conditions desirable and habitable,
something still not learned 75 years later. Another report several years
later makes the important note that Old West, although in wonderful condition
is prone to fire and not fire proof. Interestingly enough, when the building
was first built in the early 1800 it was designed to be fireproof, obviously
either fire had evolved to beat the very best fireproofing or the building
just needed a modern update. Finally it is interesting to note that while
the men of Dickinson lived either in apparent garbage dumps better titles
as fraternity homes, or in the aging dorm halls of the campus, with no
common grounds or recreational facilities inside the buildings, the women
lived quite different. Metzger Hall, to say the least, was entirely self
sufficent. It housed everything from meeting rooms to a small gym, all
to the luxury of the ladies.
Indeed Dickinson had changed greatly by 1934 and
still has changed even more by today's standards. We can not possibly go
back to the era of 1934 to view the campus but we can offer insight into
what it looked liked and what was contained within the term "Dickinson
College" and so the following is what has been left us of the Campus of
Dickinson College, 1934.
Physcial Descriptions of Various Campus Property
John Dickinson Campus
(Capmus w/ Old West)
approximately 7 acres
Purchased in 1779 from Thomas and John Penn for $151.50. Fully developed
with 40% housing structures.
Benjamin Rush Campus
approximately 11 acres
Purchased in 1931 for $55,000.
1/5 west of Benjamin Rush Campus. Used for sporting events.
*all information is c.1953, however it still shows the
same statistics as in 1934
Dickinson College: A Sketch
In 1933 the College Administration put together a pamphlet
of the College for distribution to people visiting Carlisle. The purpose
of the booklet was to contain a short and yet entertaining history of the
College Campus so that one could walk around the grounds reading the text
and associating each building with a short story. The idea was to "sell"
the College to visiting prospective's much as campus tours are used 75
years later to do the same. The below image will link you this pamphlet
in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format. After you are done reading it use your Browser's
Back Button to return here. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader click
on the icon to get it.
Campus Map *Click on any of the buildings or marked areas above or use the links
Where ever possible the photographs for the above
buildings were taken roughly from c.1930. However, due to the lack of some
images and the general quality of some over others to convey the look of
a location, certain images have been replaced with earlier or later period
photographs. However, the greatest care has been taken to only select ones
that do not alter the time period and distort the image of the building.
Hence images, although not from the 1930's will always be of the buildings
and grounds as they were in 1934, not having any renovations or additions
appear in the photographs. The majority of the information on buildings
comes from College Historian Charles Coleman Sellers. His printed book
provided an appendix that contained a brief sketch of information on the
main buildings of the campus. This is not the exclusive source for information
on the facilities though. Several documents still exist from later years
giving reports and accounts of various buildings, there costs, conditions,
and uses located in the College Archives. All images are also in a shrunken
size to privide for size limitations, clicking on any image will enlarge
the photo to proper size. Use your "back" button to return to the page
after viewing the photo.
Deed for Land from Charles H. Dempwolf to Dickinson
College. June 15, 1906. Dickinson College Archives & Special
Dickinson College: A Sketch. October 1933.
Dickinson College Archives.
Dickinson College Cataloge: 1933-1934.
February 1934. Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections.
Dickinson College Chronicles. http://chronicles.dickinson.edu/.
Dickinson College: Looseleaf Notebook to the
Trustees of the Kresge Foundation. c. 1953. Dickinson College Archives
& Special Collections.
Dickinson College Photo Archives. Dickinson College
Archives & Special Collections.
Dickinson College Slide Collection. Dickinson
College Archives & Special Collections.
Dickinson College Statistics. 1973. Dickinson
College Archives & Special Collections.
Dickinson College Survey Report. September 1930.
Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections.
Dickinson School of Law. http://www.dsl.edu/index.html.
Morgan, James Henry. Dickinson College: 1783-1933.
Carlisle, PA: Dickinson College, 1933.
Sellers, Charles Coleman. Dickinson College:
A History. Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1973.
Also Online At: http://chronicles.dickinson.edu/histories/ "Theta Chi Gets New Home." The Dickinson Alumnus.
Vol. IV (November 1926). p.22.