History, buildings, etc.

  • The Rauner blog has posts on Memorial Field, dorm room plans, fraternity meeting minutes, the WWI trenches around Leverone’s site, and class day clay pipes.

  • A Review interview with Thayer School’s Senior Associate Dean Ian Baker says:

    In addition to serving as the Associate Dean, Baker also chaired a community board overseeing and discussing the construction of a new building for the engineering school. The new building will be located next to MacLean where the parking lot is. “We have yet to figure out where the car park goes,” Baker mentioned, wryly suggesting that it was the only problem in the plan. Baker also serves on several academic boards for the school.

    The trustees approved a Thayer School parking garage on the Cummings Lot site back in February of 2002 (post).

  • An actual historic preservation campaign has sprung up at Dartmouth: Save Moosilauke.

  • The 65 Bunkhouse is finished, photos of the decication.

  • Nice black-and-white photos of Hanover architecture by Trevor Labarge are on line. The post office pediment looks quite grand, almost Londonesque.

  • The Hanover Conservancy is thinking about Kendal’s expansion onto the Chieftain property

  • The Valley News is covering the ongoing negotiations over construction of a palliative care center near DHMC and Boston Lot Lake.

  • The Williamson seems to be wrapping up (2014 press release, Turner Construction page).

  • ORW Landscape Architects and Planners of WRJ has been acquired by Greenman – Pedersen, Inc. of New York (pdf). ORW designed the recent improvements to the sidewalk and porte-cochere of the Inn (pdf).

  • The Norwich ad firm called Flannel created Dartmouth’s polished Strategic Plan website and others.

  • The story of how Glasgow football club Partick Thistle F.C. (Wiki) got its new mascot is almost as odd as the mascot itself.

  • Old Division Football (“the Usual Game”) seems a bit like the Florentine calcio storico (New York Times).


1. The Lone Pine really is taking over from the 1940s-1950s shield as an emblem of official college-related things other than the board of trustees.

The pine is everywhere. For example, the Campus Police were represented by this patch but now Safety & Security are using this one. A van from Computing Services (now called ITS?) features a pine dissolving into pixels. Each of the new shields of Thayer School and Grad Studies has a pine. The new-ish DDS logo presents the Lone Pine as a giant piece of broccoli. Peak magazine (Winter 2015) even has an article on the phenomenon.

2. If the residential colleges adopt coats of arms, the collection of all six will look neat together. Here’s a collaged image of the carved and painted arms of the city of Dresden, flanked by those of the city’s districts, created to honor the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the DDR in 1979:

Dresden, Germany arms. Meacham photo

3. This is not directly related, but it’s worth remembering that a portion of the money that Wheelock used to establish Dartmouth came from Merton College, Oxford (Wiki; arms shown on 1264 Society page). The college is listed as having donated £2.2s.- to Moor’s Charity School during Occom’s and Whitaker’s 1766-1767 fundraising tour of England and Scotland (appendix to Wheelock’s 1769 Narrative in Google Books).


Update 08.25.2015: Take a look at the Flag Project at the Florianopolis Design Biennale — a whole series of flags, each one representing the architectural features of a particular building.

Investiture and other topics

  • The report of the 210th Alumni Council meeting updates us on plans underway to create a freestanding School of Graduate Studies that will coordinate the 17 Ph.D. programs and 12 Masters’ programs that exist alongside the professional degrees of the three professional schools. Grad Studies is now holding its first investiture ceremony (Dartmouth Now). The coat of arms was just the first step…

  • The Council meeting summary states that “[t]he College has also received sufficient donations to support the initial year of the new residential model of house communities.” That’s an interesting funding method; presumably in the long term the school will seek a naming gift for each Community. The funding element is not mentioned in the full report, although the need for heraldry (again) is foreshadowed:

    House programming budgets will support a wide range of activities including “feeds,” intramurals, concerts, field trips, new annual traditions, alumni events, house swag, experiential learning, and leadership development activities.

    Happy to see the term “feed” surviving.

  • It was a surprise to find last year that the famous Concord Coach that regularly carried the football team to the railroad station more than a century ago still existed (post). Now, courtesy of Time Well Kept: Selections from the Wells Fargo Corporate Archives, we learn that the coach of famous Hanover liveryman Ira Allen survives as well! From the book:

    J.S. and E.A. Abbot and Company built coach #746 in the spring of 1864 for New Hampshire stage operator Ira B. Allen, who ordered his coach made two inches narrower and lighter than other typical nine-passenger coaches. Coach builders painted #746 dark green, a standard but seldom-chosen color requested by Allen, whose staging business in Hanover carried many students and visitors to Dartmouth College.

    The coach, which is no longer painted green, is on display in Miami.

  • The Alumni Magazine in its May-June issue featured a number of historic photos of life at the college, carefully colored by Sanna Dullaway. The photo of the Golden Corner and watering trough, the tenth or so image, looks like it gets the color right.

  • The Big Green Alert continues to cover progress at Memorial Field, with photos on May 14, 20, and 22, and June 4.

  • Really intriguing things are going on with the proposal for a natural gas pipeline from Lebanon to the Heating Plant via DHMC (Valley News).

  • Received the latest campus map through email ahead of the reunion next weekend. It looks nice. It labels all of the sports fields and, possibly for the first time, labels the Softball Park and Burnham Pavilion (I thought that one was also unnamed as the Sports Pavilion?). It depicts the Lewiston buildings. It calls attention to the fact that the parking lot behind Thayer/53 Commons is still called “DDA Lot,” even though DDA became DDS a quarter-century ago. One does wish that the mapmakers would abbreviate the “Saint” in the names of the churches. And is the official name of the cemetery really the “Town of Hanover Cemetery,” when it was built on college-owned land and run by the Dartmouth Cemetery Association? Finally, one hopes that the roadway labeled “Old Tuck Drive” is not called that in practice. There is no “new” Tuck Drive to distinguish it from, and it’s the same as it ever was: Tuck Drive.

  • The Dartmouth reports on Tri-Delt’s decision to go local.

  • The website of Gamma Delta Chi documents the changes that the organization is making to its house, including an extensive set of alterations to the Pit.

  • The Valley News, reporting on the AD derecognition, quotes college spokeswoman Diana Lawrence:

    “Students are free to join any organization that’s not recognized by the college,” she said, so as far as Dartmouth is concerned, “they can become Freemasons.”

    In case you were wondering in 1799, “the Board of Trust declared itself in a decree that any student becoming a mason should thereby cease to be a member of College.”1

  • The Rauner blog has an interesting post on the ownership of the Green.

  • The voters of the Town defeated the West Wheelock Gateway District proposal (Valley News).


  1. John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College, 1815-1909 (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1913 ), 520.

Moosilauke demo official; other items

  • Dartmouth Now reports in “House Professors Named to Residential Communities“:

    The house professors will each serve a four-year term beginning July 1, 2015, and will move into on-campus residences near their respective house communities the following summer.

    In fact, other than the current East Wheelock professor, who will continue, none of the professors has been publicly named to a particular residential community. See also The Dartmouth.

  • A new sport to try: the primitive biathlon (a href=”http://www.vnews.com/home/16288958-95/a-snowback-throwback-biathlons-receive-a-retro-makeover”>Valley News).

  • The Food Co-Op has posted a video of the renovation and addition project as it stood in March.

  • The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the remarkable collections of digital photos that are coming on line. Among the topical Photo Files:

    As of this post, approximately 34,000 images representing topics through “Lacrosse, Womens” are available.

  • Charles Gibson Design did print design and logo and stationery for the Lebanon landscape architecture firm of Saucier & Flynn.

  • The Dartmouth reports that the trustees have finally decided to replace both the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge and the Ledyard Canoe Club clubhouse. Although the article uses the word “rebuild” several times, the buildings are not going to be carefully dismantled and put back together like the Ise Jingu grand shrine (Smithsonian mag), and they will not be replaced with replicas as Dartmouth Hall was. Each one will be demolished and have a novel building designed by Maclay Architects put up in its place. Given the past work of that firm and collaborator TimberHomes LLC, the timber-framing company co-founded by D.O.C. historian David Hooke, the results should be excellent. Built of posts and beams instead of stacked logs, a new Ravine Lodge could really be “an unlikely cathedral,” as the film calls it.

  • Dartmouth Now reports that the William Jewett Tucker Foundation is splitting into the Dartmouth Center for Service, so named for the time being, and the William Jewett Tucker Center. The endowment funds whose donors are no longer living will be split evenly between the two new foundations.

  • The football team has unveiled its new black uniforms; Big Green Alert has photos.

  • With the 250th anniversary of the charter grant approaching on December 13, 2019, the newly-admitted Class of 2019 is being called the Anniversary Class (see The Dartmouth).

    Here’s to the Polka Dot; other topics

    • The Valley News has an article with some superb photographs on the Polka Dot Restaurant by the tracks in White River Junction. The 1925 building seems to have hosted a diner from the beginning; owner Mary Shatney started working there in 1959 and had to close the place last year. It’s up for sale — let’s hope it remains a restaurant.

    • The Dartmouth Energy Program site is very impressive. In the history section, the excellent photo of the coal assistant seems to have been taken from the east end of the hall looking west. The narrow-gauge rails lead toward the coal hopper in the end of the building, now the site of the Hood Museum’s Bernstein Study-Storage Center. A couple of quibbles: first, “the good old days” actually began in 1770, not 1769; second, the timeline could mention the major addition of a second level to the building in 1922, apparently when the plant switched from coal to oil; and third, there’s something off about the wording of this sentence on the main page, however technically correct it might be: “While Dartmouth may be the smallest Ivy League university, we’re doing big things with energy efficiency.”

    • Excellent photo documentation of the construction of the West Stands continues at the Big Green Alert: April 24, April 23, April 22, April 19, April 18 (notable photos), April 8, April 7 (seating chart), March 23, and March 16.

    • The photo in the Valley News story on spring practice makes Memorial Field look as if it occupies an industrial wasteland. The runway at which Memorial Field’s concrete risers were stored for about six years, incidentally, was known as Miller Airport (Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields).

    • Victor Mair ’65 at Language Log takes on the word “schlump,” of “schlump season,” i.e. “mud season” (“breakup” in Alaska).

    • The Rauner Library Blog has interesting posts on the petition of Ledyard and others to be allowed to learn to dance and use the sword and a mysterious photo album called Along the Connecticut 1912.

    • The Watershed Studio website features several notable projects, including the Friends of Hanover Crew boathouse, the Organic Farm greenhouse, and a design for the replacement Ledyard Canoe Club.

    • Maybe the real test for the Residential Communities (a post here) will be the Commencement ceremony. Will the Communities be represented in the procession? The graduates will still have to march in alphabetical order, but will the House Professors carry the house emblems?

    • The West Wheelock Gateway District proposal is up for a vote and has been getting some press (Valley News, The Dartmouth). The VN story has this neat tidbit:

      Around the corner from Anderson, William Smalley owns a small white house sandwiched between rental buildings mostly filled with Dartmouth students.

      In an interview Monday at his home, where he has lived since 1938, Smalley said he welcomed the creation of the district and didn’t mind the parties the students occasionally threw.

      “Somebody said to me, ‘How can you stand them?'” he said of the students, but “I’ve never had a problem with them — never.”

    • The college’s Flickr account has a neat and unusual view of Dartmouth Row, Ascutney, Richardson, and the Wilder addition. See the photo of the graffiti inside the Bartlett Tower roof. The structure does not look particularly original (1895) but there are graffiti from 1910 and 1915, so perhaps it is.

    • The Hanover Master Plan (pdf) contains a number of interesting tidbits, including this one: “The Town’s boundary stones and monuments are also historic landmarks. Most have the first letters of the adjacent towns incised in them.”

    • “In devising the plan of the library building, you have contemplated its indefinite extension to meet the growth of the collections,” said Mellen Chamberlain at the dedication of Wilson Hall as the school library (Google Books).

    • “Areas of potential historic interest include theoriginal center of Town; the well field of the old Aqueduct Company south of the Greensboro Road; the Granite Quarry south of Greensboro Road; the Tilton Quarry east of Moose Mountain Road and one of the earliest slate quarries on the old Tisdale property” (Hanover Master Plan pdf).

    • Finding churches that have been put to interesting new uses is just too easy, so further examples will not be added to the post here that arguing that Rollins should be turned into a library. There is a pub in a former church in Nottingham, England, and a brewery and pub in a former church in Pittsburgh, where a Romanesque nave makes an impressive beer hall.

    • The Hanover Master Plan (pdf) also recommends National Register listing for various districts including the campus.

    • This has probably been posted here before, but Yale has construction photos and a slick video of the two new residential colleges it is building.

    • The Dartmouth has an article on near-future construction projects.

    • Not much is coming out about Thayer School’s master plan. “Because the college owns Tuck Drive, any attempt to better align it with West Street will have to wait until Dartmouth’s own building plans in the area are finalized, she said” (referring to Vicki Smith, Hanover’s senior planner) (Valley News).

    Prefab sprout space?

    Many of the six Residence Communities (a post here) need dwellings for their resident House Professors and spaces that will host social gatherings. The school has a master plan by Sasaki Associates, $11.75m to work with, and a deadline of Fall Term 2016.

    Thus it makes sense that representatives of the college and Sasaki would pay a visit to MIT to view modular buildings constructed by Triumph Modular. The handout from the visit on April 20 contains a proposed timeline: if design work ends by August 15, occupancy could begin on December 31.

    Dartmouth has a long history with modular buildings. The most notable ones were the leftover WWII shipyard workers’ housing units that became Wigwam Circle, where the River Cluster and Whittemore Green are now. (If memory serves, those buildings became the basis for Rivercrest, up past CRREL.) On a portion of the same site, Dartmouth placed the five Tree Houses in 2001. Every institution that uses “temporary” buildings becomes dependent on the space they provide and finds it hard to remove the buildings at the allotted time.

    The buildings in Triumph’s broad lineup, while modular, are not necessarily temporary.

    Names that change, or don’t change; various topics

    • The Food Co-Op is in the second phase of its renovation.

    • The Rauner Library Blog has two posts (one, two) on a big scrapbook created by Francis Gilman Blake of the Class of 1908.

    • The Mirror (of The D) is doing a series of photos and descriptions of campus buildings, with some info drawn from the book.

    • A neat database gives information on all the memorials in London.

    • Old news: DCHCDS is being folded into DIHPCP (Valley News). The number of logotypes in the row (post) is reduced by one.

    • The Valley News reported that the Town is considering the creation of an affordable housing development.

    • The Trumbull-Nelson Newsletter (pdf) has an interesting history of the company, basically the Builders to the College, by Frank Barrett.

    • Brian Schott wrote a neat essay in the DAM about a wall painting in one of the East South Street houses demolished for South Block (pdf).

    • Long-time Valley News sports editor Don Mahler wrote that the one sports-related letter to the editor that made him laugh was a 1983 letter

      from a Dartmouth alum taking “newcomers to the Dartmouth scene” to task over the use of the term “homecoming.”

      According to the writer, “some clod started using the word just a few years ago.”

      “(A) large percentage of the Dartmouth alumni body, certainly prior to 1970 or thereabouts, never heard the word and when they do they associate it with cow colleges.”

      “Cow colleges”? I guess he meant those colleges with alphabet monikers like A&T, A&M and A&I — you know, institutions of lower learning, never to be confused with the Ivy League.

      He declared Dartmouth Night to be a great tradition that was being undermined by the increasing use of the word “homecoming.” And he also lamented that “fall houseparties” were gradually slipping from usage.

      Our correspondent revealed his true blue-blood colors in the last paragraph: “I may go down swinging on this, but I’m going to keep standing at the plate. … I’d rather work hard at teaching a clod a touch of class than let a drift to a common denominator prevail.”

      Thirty-one years later, we know that the old boy did go down, not just swinging but presumably with a stiff upper lip. These days, the Dartmouth alumni relations office puts out an annual calendar of events that includes a celebration of homecoming. I can’t recall anybody objecting to the bovine vulgarity of the event in recent years.

      Of course that alum was hyper-obnoxious, especially since he was directing his complaint at the VN, which can describe Dartmouth events using any terms it wants. But buried in the pointless snobbishness is an historical observation: the event known as “Homecoming” was not always called that. The college called it Dartmouth Night Weekend until recently. (It must be acknowledged that both Alumni Relations and the Registrar now call it Homecoming.)

    • The Rauner Blog has a post on some Wheelock documents.

    • The Valley News did a story and graphic on the history of the Dartmouth football uniform.

    • Beyer Blinder Belle has posted a new, larger depiction of the firm’s master plan for the college campus. Wow.

    • The Geisel magazine has an article on the Williamson.

    • Sometimes King’s College London is pointed to as evidence in the argument that Dartmouth need not drop the word “college” from its name. Recently, however, KCL took up a rebranding plan (Inside Higher Ed, Roar News story on proposed logo). The reason to change the name to King’s London, as quoted in the Times Higher Education, echoed concerns heard at Dartmouth:

      “However, our research conducted over the last 18 months with potential students, parents, staff, students and alumni, revealed that our current name was causing considerable confusion: is King’s a residential college, is it an academic college akin to the colleges of Oxbridge, or is it an educational institution of some other type such as a further education college?

      “Internationally, there was further misunderstanding because ‘college’ is not a widely understood term in many countries,” he added.

      The article in THE doesn’t actually say which of those three types of institutions KCL is, and the institution seems not to be any of them. Although it is one of two original colleges in the University of London, making it like an Oxbridge college, it is now a research university divided among nine schools of its own.

      In any case, the plan was controversial and was scrapped not very long after it was proposed (THE).

    The inevitable demolition news

    First, the Brown game takes place today. It will be the last game played before Jens Larson’s 1923 West Stands at Memorial Field. The steel-framed concrete seating terraces will be demolished and removed from behind the brick facade, which will remain, beginning this week.

    Second, The Dartmouth reports that:

    The College also plans to rebuild the Ledyard Clubhouse. The clubhouse, which used to house a few students, was vacated last fall following water intrusion and mold buildup. Hogarty said the College will eliminate the residential component when Ledyard is rebuilt.

    “Rebuilt” means “replaced,” of course. This news has also been a long time coming. Students have been designing replacements for years — the original 1930 building was designed by a student, in fact — and the Milone & Macbroom Riverfront Master Plan showed a replacement building in the long term. It is worth mentioning that the Ledyard Monument is not in its original location and so probably needn’t be kept where it is.

    Ledyard Canoe Club interior photo by Meacham

    Interior of Ledyard looking north in 2005

    Third, the focus of the article in The Dartmouth is the news that the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge feasibility study recommends demolishing and replacing the Lodge. Maclay Architects, which conducted the study, includes a drawing of the main (west) facade of a possible Ravine Lodge replacement:

    detail of Maclay drawing of MRL facade

    Detail of Maclay drawing of west facade of new Ravine Lodge

    The drawing shows a building that seems both grander and more rustic, or more self-consciously rustic, than the 1938 Lodge. It lacks the extremely broad gable of the old lodge, but it has a signature form of its own. Maclay has extensive timber-framing experience, and with big logs scarce these days, this lodge appears to be a timber-framed building clad in shingles.

    The Board of Trustees could decide whether to demolish the old building in the spring.

    Graphic design, history, Friendly’s

  • Take a look at this fascinating 19th-century photograph of the rear of Dartmouth Row. It is dated to the pre-1904 period, but judging from the tents, one might guess that it was taken in 1869, at the time of the centennial celebration. Younger alumni, many of them Civil War vets, were housed here in tents borrowed from the Army. And take a look at the small building on the left — is that a Temple of Cloacina, an ephemeral outhouse? Middle Fayerweather Hall stands in that area now.

  • The push to apply the nickname “The Woods” to Memorial Field continues (see the Big Green Alert Blog). What about fashioning some of the walls of the replacement stands from board-formed concrete (ConcreteNetwork.com)? What about incorporating a couple of precast concrete columns in the shape of trees?

  • The Rauner Blog has an interesting post on John Smith, a 1773 graduate, Preceptor of Moor’s Charity School, early Tutor at Dartmouth, and Trustee.

  • Campus Planning & Facilities has a collection of articles on the Grant.

  • It turns out the football team last spring ran a uniform design contest through the same website that Graduate Studies used to design their coat of arms, 99designs. The winning football uniform design includes lots of Lone Pines, including on the shoulders and the back of the helmet; most interesting is the Pine on the palm of each glove. The design brief says “We would also like to see some designs that incorporate the ‘Lone Pine’ (pictured below) on the shoulders or in any creative way, similarly to Oregon’s ‘feathers’ on the shoulders of their jerseys.” The brief mentions the state motto but not the school motto, strangely.

  • Back in August The Dartmouth had an article on Bruce Wood, maestro of the Big Green Alert site and its blog companion Big Green Alert Daily.

  • The Rauner Blog also has posts on General Thayer’s gift of his library; the catalogs of Dartmouth College and Dartmouth University; and an 1829 letter from Joseph Dow describing the college.

  • The Valley News announces that Friendly’s in West Leb is closing. I’ll never forget the disappointment on the face of a logician friend when he learned that the “ham and turkey pot pies” that our server mentioned among the dinner specials were actually nothing more than ham pot pies and turkey pot pies.

  • Cognitive Marketing designed the Thayer School shield.

  • Check out the May 1957 issue of the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine. The issue features Harrison’s initial design for the Hopkins Center. The plan is all there, but the details are changed. The view on pages 22 and 23 shows the long north-south corridor in a different form. The Barrows Rotunda, the cylindrical exhibition space in the front facade? It looks like it was descended from an unroofed two-level glass-walled shaft that features in this 1957 design — it was meant to go right through the middle of the Top of the Hop.

  • For Larson’s prior design for the Hop, see the December 1946 Alumni Magazine, beginning on page 11.

  • Tuck’s 2008 visual identity guide is available as a pdf. It’s cute that it calls the green color “Tuck green.” The book specifies the Sabon and Frutiger typefaces.

  • The athletics Graphic Standards Manual of 2005 is also available as a pdf. Now we know whom to blame for the gigantic TM connected with the green D logo (page 3). It is interesting that in addition to Dartmouth Green (PMS 349 C), this book also defines Dartmouth Black (Pro Black C) (page 11). The primary, “athletic” typeface is not named, but the secondary typeface is specified as Gill Sans Bold.

    The authors of the manual are SME Inc., the firm that created a shield for Manhattan College and the MLS logo with the boot striking the ball. (As an aside, that MLS logo recently was replaced by a shield designed by Athletics and Berliner Benson. A post at Brand New shows the shield partitioned by an almost typographical line that hangs over the border like the tail of a letter Q.)

  • Photography at the 1904 visit of the Earl of Dartmouth

    Icon1647-0645-0000020A Icon1647-0645-0000023A

    These two photos from the Archives show the arrival of the Earl of Dartmouth in 1904:

    Combination of two photos of Earl of Dartmouth 1904

    The photos were taken from the steps of Casque & Gauntlet looking east toward the Inn. The righthand photo is the earlier of the two, and the Earl’s carriage appears in both photos. The student with the white collar striding down the walkway in the righthand photo is also visible at the edge of the left photo.

    In the left photo a professional photographer is visible, standing on a stepladder behind a large camera. He might have a cigar in his mouth.

    What kind of image did he capture? Here is a photo he took a few seconds after the two photos above; the Earl’s carriage has already rounded the corner:

    panorama of Earl of Dartmouth at Inn Corner, American Memory

    This photo is from the Library of Congress, which lists the copyright holder as E. Chickering & Co. A slightly cropped version of this photo is available in the Dartmouth Archives.

    The Old Stage Coach

    In the fabulous Alumni Magazine archives one sometimes comes across photos and descriptions of “the Old Stage Coach.”1

    The 1852 Concord Coach was used to haul people to and from train stations at Norwich (Lewiston) and White River Junction and to take fraternity groups to their banquets at inns in neighboring towns and so on.2

    coach in old viewbook

    As the coach became more old-fashioned, its use became more ceremonial, and it was used to give athletic teams a notable sendoff or arrival. The Archives has an excellent photo of the coach in front of the Wheelock Hotel (pre-Inn) in 1897, carrying the baseball team, and a faded photo of the coach carrying Casque & Gauntlet members (and dates?) in 1898, possibly at a baseball game.

    coach in postcard

    The coach appears behind a wagon in this ca. 1901-1912 view.

    The coach’s last use was about 1912, and in 1929, not long after being spared destruction in a student bonfire, it was placed in the college museum in Wilson Hall.3 I do not remember the coach from the early 1990s, and it does not seem like the sort of thing the museum would keep around, especially after Wilson became overcrowded or the Hood Museum was built.

    And yet the Hood did not get rid of the coach until the fall of 2012! The deaccession pdf explains that it went to a good home:

    Transferred to Abbot-Downing Historical Society, Hopkinton, NH, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the Abbot and Downing companies and the Concord Coach, which they manufactured.

    The society features the spruced-up coach on its home page.


    1. “The Old Stage Coach,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1929), 96.
    2. Frederick H. Burleigh, “Reminiscences of an Old Dartmouth Stage Coach,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1929), 110-111.
    3. Burleigh.

    The ol’ Homecoming bonfire myth

    Yes, students built a bonfire in 1888. They were celebrating a baseball victory over Manchester that April.1 The Dartmouth wrote that “[t]he convulsive joy of the underclassmen burst forth on the night of the first Manchester game in the form of a huge Campus fire. It disturbed the slumbers of a peaceful town, destroyed some property, made the boys feel like they were men and in fact did no one any good.”2

    For some reason, people keep saying that that was the bonfire that started it all.3 Bonfires were spontaneous things in the nineteenth century, and it is not clear why there has to be a “first” one. At any rate, that 1888 bonfire — lit after a springtime baseball victory — wasn’t the first bonfire built by students in Hanover by any means.

    For example, as one alumnus recalled, the baseball victory over Williams of June4 of 1887, nearly a year before the Manchester game, involved a bonfire:

    After supper the celebration is begun by songs on the campus fence, and as soon as it is really dark a bonfire is built in the campus, and every man’s unprotected woodpile is levied on for the purpose. Then a line is formed again and marches through the principal streets. A stop is made at the house of every member of the faculty, and he must make a speech and be cheered also. At length the bonfire burns low, and the cheering ceases, and it is the dead of night.5

    And before that:

    • May of 1874: “Serenade your instructors occasionally, burn somebody’s chicken coop.”6
    • During March of 1874, a student wrote of a grand bonfire on the campus fed with fence rails and dry-goods boxes and kindled with kerosene.7
    • Also ca. 1874: “‘Extra curriculum activities’ included occasional pranks like hanging somebody’s wagon in a tree, or getting a horse into chapel, or having a sort of spontaneous bonfire on the campus, for which loose material was swiped from back yards, — such as barrels, boxes, a stray ladder of, in extreme cases a part of a fence.”8
    • Ca. 1868-1872, students participated in “[t]he lawless collection of materials for a celebrating bonfire and heaping of all the gates in the middle of the Green.”9
    • (Not to mention the bonfires built by townsfolk during February of 1819 when news of the College victory in the Supreme Court reached town.10)

    After the non-milestone of the 1888 Manchester baseball bonfire, students would keep on building bonfires independently of Dartmouth Night for a good half-century. Sometimes they did not even need an intercollegiate athletic victory.

    During September of 1888, a ten-boat regatta of the Dartmouth Boating Association traveled three miles upriver and built bonfires on the “second island.”11 In November of 1893, students built “an honest bonfire”12 on the Green after the football team defeated Amherst. During the fall of 1896, the Dartmouth-only freshman-sophomore football game was followed by a bonfire.13 In September of 1901, the Webster Centennial celebration saw a parade end on the Green, where a bonfire was lit.14

    During November of 1903, the “stay-at-homes” listened to a reading of the telegraph reports of the football victory over Harvard at the first game in its new Stadium: “When the last message arrived, the students withdrew to collect material for a huge bonfire — and the work was not confined to the Freshman class!”15 After a meeting in Dartmouth Hall’s Old Chapel and a parade, “[t]he fire was lighted at 8:30 o’clock, and it was one of the biggest blazes in recent years. Around the fire the men sang songs and cheered wildly, and then indulged in a nightshirt parade, which ended one of the most memorable athletic celebrations in Dartmouth’s history.”16 During October of 1904, students built a bonfire on the Green and had a “nightshirt parade” around the fire.17

    Skipping ahead to 1919, the springtime handover of student government from one Palaeopitus class to the next involved a bonfire in which Freshmen were allowed finally to dispose of their Freshman Beanies.18

    Wait a minute, what about Dartmouth Night? Yes, President Tucker established Dartmouth Night during the fall of 1895, but it was an indoor event, in the Old Chapel in Dartmouth Hall. A bonfire simply was not a part of the original event.19 Between 1901 and 1906, the location of Dartmouth Night shifted between outdoor sites (the College Yard below Dartmouth Hall as well as Alumni Oval, the proto-Memorial Field) and indoor sites (Commons, a.k.a. Collis Commonground). Dartmouth Night would move to its long-term indoor site of Webster Hall in 1907.

    It was apparently not until the 1920s, perhaps the late 1920s, that Dartmouth Night began to include a pre-game rally and bonfire. In 1930, for example, the ceremony seems to have evolved into a Friday evening torchlight parade to the President’s House for a short talk on spirit, followed by a bonfire on the Green.20 At that 1930 bonfire, students sang (football) songs and gave (football) yells in honor of the last home game,21 which would occur the following day. In 1931, Dartmouth Night was celebrated with what were described as “all of the traditional accompaniments, including the bonfire on the campus.”22

    Even attaching a pre-game bonfire to an outdoor Dartmouth Night did not reduce the annual number of fires to one. Students were still building multiple bonfires each year, including big ones for Dartmouth Night and Houseparties Weekend,23 into the mid- or late-1960s. Eventually, possibly after the campus turmoil of the Vietnam era had subsided, students would build only one bonfire each year, in the fall, on Dartmouth Night. Even later, that weekend — today still known officially as “Dartmouth Night Weekend” — would become popularly known as “Homecoming.”


    1. Dartmouth Baseball, “All-Time Game-by-Game Results,” available at http://goo.gl/NUsk7k (viewed 26 October 2014).
    2. Editor, The Dartmouth (4 May 1888), quoted in “Who designs and builds the homecoming bonfire? What’s the history behind it?,” Ask Dartmouth (updated 20 October 2011), at http://ask.dartmouth.edu/categories/stulife/24.html (viewed 26 October 2014).
    3. See Rauner Library Blog (16 October 2011), at http://raunerlibrary.blogspot.com/2011_10_16_archive.html (viewed 26 October 2014); “Who designs and builds the homecoming bonfire? What’s the history behind it?,” Ask Dartmouth (updated 20 October 2011), at http://ask.dartmouth.edu/categories/stulife/24.html (viewed 26 October 2014).
    4. Dartmouth Baseball, “All-Time Game-by-Game Results.”
    5. William Byron Forbush, quoted in Harold Seymour, Baseball: The People’s Game (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960), 145-146.
    6. “Editorial Department,” The Dartmouth 8:5 (May 1874), 187.
    7. “The Spirit of ’76,” The Dartmouth 8:3 (March 1874), 98.
    8. Robert Fletcher, “Hanover Scenes in Word Pictures Sixty Years Ago” part 3, “Town Meetings and Travel,” The Hanover Gazette (March 22, 1934), 1.
    9. Edwin J. Bartlett, A Dartmouth Book of Remembrance: Pen and Camera Sketches of Hanover and the College before the Centennial and after (Hanover, N.H.: The Webster Press, 1922), 66-68. Bartlett also wrote of student-built fires blazing in “Mere Football,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine 19, no. 1 (November 1926), 20.
    10. Samuel Brown, “Historical Address,” Dartmouth Centennial Celebration (1870), 33. Rufus Choate also heard of the lighting of bonfires and “other unseemly demonstrations of joy” at the time. Rufus Choate to brother (25 March 1819), quoted in Clyde Edward Dankert, “Dartmouth College and Dartmouth University” typewritten MS (1979), 145, citing Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (February 1969), 24.
    11. Robert Fletcher, “Hanover Scenes in Word Pictures Sixty Years Ago” part 5, The Hanover Gazette (April 5, 1934), 1.
    12. The Dartmouth (ca. November 1893) (“It was an honest victory and appropriately celebrated with an honest bonfire.”), quoted in Will Meland, “Bonfire burns bright for more than century of change,” The Dartmouth (27 October 2000), available at http://goo.gl/Wd7nYi (viewed 1 November 2014).
    13. Leonard Wason Tuttle, “Chronicles,” Book of the Class of 1900 (ca. 1900), 40. The Aegis wrote of this event: “The Freshmen have a small fire on the Campus, and cut up $200 worth of hose with the jack-knives their papas gave them when they left home.” Dartmouth Class of 1899, Aegis 1899 (1897), 173.
    14. “After a Century,” Boston Herald (25 September 1901), 3. There were fireworks afterward.
    15. The Dartmouth (25 November 1903), in Edward Connery Lathem and David M. Shribman, eds., Miraculously Builded in Our Hearts: A Dartmouth Reader (Hanover, N.H.: Dartmouth College, distributed by University Press of New England, 1999), 28.
    16. The Dartmouth (25 November 1903), in Lathem and Shribman, 29.
    17. Royal Parkinson to father (30 October 1904), in Lathem and Shribman, 43.
    18. Clifford B. Orr to family (9 June 1919), in Lathem and Shribman, 99.
    19. Cf. Rauner Library Blog (16 October 2011), at http://raunerlibrary.blogspot.com/2011_10_16_archive.html (viewed 26 October 2014).
    20. Richard N. Campen letter (11 November 1930), in Lathem and Shribman, 136.
    21. Campen in Lathem and Shribman, 136.
    22. “News of the College,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1931), 175.
    23. See, for example, Forrester Maphis and John S. Hatfield, eds., Aegis 1950 (1950), 56.

    Go Go Panarchy; other news

    • College Supplies, on Main Street, is closing (The Dartmouth, Valley News).

    • Panarchy is finally tackling fire-safety upgrades to its Greek Revival house (Valley News, The Dartmouth). The group has set up an Indiegogo campaign to raise money.

    • Construction inside 4 Currier has ended and the Innovation Center has opened (The Dartmouth, Dartmouth Now). Construction is also ending at Kappa Delta’s new house on Occom Ridge and at the Triangle House renovation project.

    • Valley Road in Hanover now has “suggestion lanes” for bicycle and foot traffic (The Dartmouth). Other noteworthy articles in The D cover the addition to the Food Co-Op and the Wilder Dam relicensing process.

    • At the September Trustees’ meeting, according to The Dartmouth,

      Interim Dean of the College Inge-Lise Ameer and campus planning vice president Lisa Hogarty gave a presentation on residential life concepts, including the neighborhood system, which would assign students to a residential cluster from the beginning of their time at Dartmouth similar to a house system.

      This new residential system is in “active planning,” Hanlon said. “It’s bold, it’s transformational and it’s also very complex.”

    • “The Board also approved the second-phase schematic design of the Hood Museum of Art project” (Dartmouth Now).

    • The rivening of the Tucker Foundation continues (The Dartmouth).

    • Watch some super aerial footage of the Dartmouth Night Bonfire (via Big Green Alert).

    • The Rauner Library Blog has a post on the Grid-Graph, the illuminated glass display board on which students reenacted away games for football fans in the west gym of Alumni Gym.

    • The Times has an interesting article on branding/visual identity/signage at Barnard College. The third photo shows a pair of carved limestone (?) cartouches on the front facade of the school’s main building. Designed by Charles Rich, the building somewhat foreshadowed the smaller Wilder Laboratory at Dartmouth, which substitutes oval windows for the cartouches.

    • The West Wheelock Charrette Report was presented to the Planning Board (minutes pdf). There were several comments about “cleaning up” the area.

    • Campus Planning & Facilities seems to have shifted its news output from its website to a newsletter called Behind the Green. From issue 1:3 (July 2014) (pdf) we learn that the old roof shingles of Webster Cottage have been replaced with shingles of Alaskan Yellow Cedar (a.k.a. Nootka Cypress), and that design is under way for landscape work carrying out elements of the Van Valkenburgh plan near Collis, Robinson, and the Gold Coast.

    School of Grok

    The office of new Provost Carolyn Dever is launching two task forces, one of which is aimed at “evaluating the prospect of giving Dartmouth’s graduate and advanced studies programs a physical plant” (The Dartmouth of September 30; see also The Graduate Forum of October 3, The Dartmouth of October 7).

    Dartmouth has operated a number of graduate programs for years. Most are attached to relevant undergraduate departments. Thus the creation of a freestanding school of graduate studies need not involve any expansion; it could be done as an administrative reorganization, and, in theory, it could even result in a streamlining of staff. Whether or not a grad studies building is a goal at the moment, however, a building seems likely. As far back as 2007 the unbuilt design (pdf page 9) for a freestanding Class of 1953 Commons included a Graduate Suite.

    Maybe some part of the old hospital site is as good as any; maybe when Dana Library moves out of its temporary location in Home 57, that building could house the School of Graduate Studies. Maybe a new building for Dana could terminate the Berry Row axis and link the Medical School with the Graduate School, as the Murdough Center links Tuck and Thayer.

    Of course all this growth became inevitable once the program/school adopted a coat of arms back in 2010.

    Coat of arms for Graduate Studies at Dartmouth
    Graduate Studies coat of arms, from Graduate Studies

    College Cleaners demo, other items

    • Athletic Director Harry Sheehy interviewed in the Valley News:

      If you talked to our previous coaching staff, we were injured because we had to practice outside, but I don’t buy it. I would love to have an indoor facility so you could practice indoors for an hour and outdoors for an hour. I’m not saying the cold doesn’t put a stress on the body; I’m just saying that somehow we’ve had some (men’s lacrosse) success before and without an indoor facility.

      I don’t need one with a thousand bells and whistles. We need a functional space with an artificial surface. The problem is, it still costs you $20 million just to do that.

    • A Memorial Field bid package document (pdf) states that “[f]or the most part, with the exception of some small changes, this is the same project that was cancelled in 2008.”

    • Demolition of the College Cleaners building on Allen Street, where the cleaning business started more than 65 years ago, is going ahead. The building first appears on maps between 1912 and 1922, when it was used as a restaurant. The site will become a parking lot and, one hopes, eventually will be a site for a new commercial building. The Valley News article distinguishes Town-owned from privately-owned public parking; the sad examples of the lots at 2 or 6 West Wheelock, where proper businesses have belonged for decades, suggest that Town-owned lots suffer a certain inertia.

    • Yes, the TM symbol associated with the big green D on the new scoreboard is distracting. But is it also crass, or is it a necessity of college athletics and trademark law? It might be the former: None of the other Ivies feels the need to put such a big TM next to its logo on the league website.

    • A proposal: In order to reduce traffic on South Main Street and at the Inn Corner, the town should make South Main a one-way street and block through traffic other than buses:

      Plan of proposed one-way Main St., half closed to traffic

      The gray zones are areas newly freed up for parking. Some of the southern parking area could become a Town Square in front of the Municipal Building:

      Plan of proposed one-way Main St., half closed to traffic with town square

    • Google Street View says that this bench (Appalachian Trail? Memorial?) appeared at Lebanon and Crosby between 2009 and 2013:

    • Steve Smith has written Top 10 Natural Places to Visit in Hanover, New Hampshire: A Walking Guide (Valley News).

    • Football’s alternate uniforms were revealed on August 12 (Big Green Alert). BGA has a photo of “Stephen Dazzo modeling Dartmouth’s alternate gray pants and a helmet designed to fit the theme ‘Granite of New Hampshire.'”

    • There are some interesting details in the very detailed Wilder Dam relicensing preliminary application document of 2012 (pdf).

    • Another proposal: In order to save money, USPS should sell off its Main Street property and lease a cheaper and more efficient space downtown, perhaps in the Galleria or Hanover Park or even on Allen Street. (This might mean moving the postal sorting operation, with its tractor-trailers, to Route 120.) The college’s Real Estate Office or another developer could then rehabilitate all or part of the historic 1931 Post Office building as a commercial space and fill the vacant land around it with commercial or mixed-use construction. It seems so wasteful to maintain that truck parking lot in the middle of town, and the Post Office isn’t making the best use of its building, either.

    • The Valley News has stories on Lebanon’s sale of school buildings, one with interior photos of Larson’s former Junior High School and one with an exterior photo of the building.


    [Update 09.03.2014: Typo corrected, wording altered for clarity.]

    In the archives of the Alumni Magazine

    Some fun things are to be found by rummaging indiscriminately in the new on-line archive:

    Harrison’s first design for the Hop appeared in a remarkable illustrated article from 1957.1 This is the boxy, pre-arcade version of the building. The Top of the Hop was to have a cylindrical glass-walled void running through its center, all the way from the roof to the theater lobby. This seems to have evolved into the modest Barrows Exhibition Rotunda at the building’s entrance.

    Ray Nash wrote on the college seal in 1941.2 Speaking of the seal, “Hanover’s best skylight… is found in Parkhurst Hall” according to a “best-of” list written in 1984.3 The skylight, which depicted the seal, was removed during a interior renovation and seemed to have been lost by May of 2006. Was it ever returned?

    An article on the Rockefeller Center included architectural commentary by designer Lo-Yi Chan.4

    In the election of John Steel to the board of trustees, the alumni association counted its ballots on May 23, 1980. The board put off its vote of June 6, however, asking the association to investigate “any irregularities” in the campaign. On July 28 the association recommended action on the nomination, and the board elected Steel on August 16 — a delay of about ten weeks. He was seated at the board’s November meeting.5

    George Hathorn wrote a well-illustrated article on “Unbuilt Dartmouth” in 1978.6

    The master plan for Memorial Field appeared in a 1920 article.7

    Noel Perrin wrote an observant 1974 photographic study of Hanover-area sprawl.8


    1. “The Hopkins Center,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (May 1957), 17-21, 25.
    2. Ray Nash, “Rediscovering the College Seal,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1941), 17-20.
    3. “Hanover’s Bests,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (December 1984), 42.
    4. Donald McNemar, “Rockefeller Center: The Ideal of Reflection and Action,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (June 1981), 30-33.
    5. Editor, “The College. Steel Elected,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (September 1980), 26. Compare Todd Zywicki, “History of Trustee Election Rules,” Dartmouth Review (6 October 2006), 2 (“In 1980 a man named John Steel ran as a petition candidate for trustee and was elected in a landslide. Efforts were made by the College and the board at the time to refuse to seat him and after protracted litigation, he finally prevailed.”).
    6. George Hathorn, “Unbuilt Dartmouth: Castles in the Clouds,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (May 1978), 29-33.
    7. James P. Richardson, “The Plans for Memorial Field,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (February 1920), 640-643.
    8. Noel Perrin, “The College in the Suburb,” Dartmouth Alumni Magazine (May 1974), 18-23.

    A black hole telescope; other news

    • An earlier post here expressed concern about the plaque added to the Orozco Room after the National Historic Landmark listing. Dartmouth Digital Orozco depicts the plaque, a very dense text panel, on what it calls the “National Historic Landmark Pillar” near the center of the room. The other pillar is labeled “Manton Pillar” and bears the nice stone plaque created earlier.

    • CRREL site manager Larry Danyluk, paraphrased in the minutes of a Planning Board meeting:

      Expansions planned include another wing of offices, a new cold room and, in partnership with the Smithsonian, a radio telescope for black hole research. The telescope will be installed for 2-3 years, then moved to Greenland. Ten to twelve people will be added to staff the telescope project.1

    • The Dartmouth has an article on student-made graffiti, murals, and decorative painting in society buildings.

    • The renovation of Home 37 by ADD Inc. as the temporary location of Dana library gets a mention in Architect, the AIA magazine. ADD Inc. is the firm of Fred Kramer ’77 (DAM class notes).

    • Kresge Library is turning 40.

    • The Rauner Blog has a post on George Ticknor and the Ticknor Room.

    • The Times has a story on an interesting project at Brown, the recreation of part of a 19th-century natural history museum. Dartmouth also gave away much of its own collection, but a lot of it went to the Montshire Museum. One wonders whether enough dinosaur skeletons and mounted fauna remain there to supply a project in Wilson Hall like the one at Brown.

    • The Dew Construction Corp newsletter for June 2013 (pdf) mentions the Heater Road Medical Office Building and the Dana Library project.

    • The Class of 1974 Bunkhouse at Moosilauke (“the 74tress”), designed by MacLay Architects, has been completed, according to a post at TimberHomes LLC. The default construction mode at Moosilauke has shifted from log (or, in the case of the older bunkhouses, what seems to be conventional balloon framing) to substantial post-and-beam timber framing. If the Ravine Lodge ends up needing to be replaced, will its replacement even be a log building? What wonders could TimberHomes accomplish if it were given the once-in-a-lifetime project of erecting a Ravine Lodge to last 500 years?

    • A resident of the Lyme Road/Richmond School area, commenting at a recent neighborhood planning party:

      There should be a bridge between I-91 and DHMC. That would divert a lot of through traffic away from our neighborhood.2

    • Will the architects of the West Stands replacement incorporate any quotations into the new concrete terraces or pediments? Whose woods these are I think I know.


    1. Planning Board, minutes of meeting (4 June 2014), pdf, 5.
    2. Planning Board, minutes of meeting (4 June 2014), pdf, 2.

    More notes about chapels and libraries

    Back in 2012 a post here proposed (1) the construction of an excellent nondenominational chapel primarily for the use of the few student religious groups that do not have their own worship spaces, and (2) the sensitive reuse of the underused Rollins Chapel as a library.

    I.   Since then, some remarkable examples of reused churches have turned up. The Times has an article on a 1928 Dutch chapel turned into a house. The big staircase structure placed in the nave seems to work — it makes the room livable and signals its difference from the rest of the building without dominating or appearing permanent.

    Check out this astonishing church in Berlin (Bing aerial) that’s being reused as a museum (New York Times Magazine). Frankly, it seems as if it has looked like a museum or a factory all along.

    II.   Here are photos of two of the churches-into-libraries mentioned previously:

    Library of Lincoln College, Oxford. Meacham photo.

    All Saints Church, Oxford (18th century), now the library of Lincoln College.

    Library of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. Meacham photo.

    St. Peter-in-the-East, Oxford (12th century), now the library of St. Edmund Hall.

    This is a recent (2008) conversion not mentioned earlier:

    Archives of Balliol College, Oxford. Meacham photo.

    St. Cross Church, Oxford (12th century and later), converted to an archives building for Balliol College. Services apparently still take place in the chancel (Wikipedia).

    III.   Would Edward Ashton Rollins have wanted his chapel to be reused as a library? Almost certainly not. He spoke at the laying of the cornerstone (Exercises at the Laying of the Corner-Stones… in Google Books), and he sounded as if he shared the views of most other New Englanders born in the 1820s:

    Dartmouth College with no Chapel, and no religious worship or instruction, would mean ultimately the cities and villages of our state without churches, and our civilization a delusion and a mockery.

    But of course the building of a new chapel would satisfy his first condition, and the Tucker Foundation continues to support the second. Rollins Chapel will always stand at the center of Dartmouth, whatever its function, and the proposal in the post would ensure that the college will always have an active chapel on campus. Events such as the Baccalaureate Service, whose concluding procession Corinne Arndt Girouard depicted in this wonderful photograph, will always have a dignified and dedicated building in which to take place:

    Indeed the Tucker Foundation is undergoing changes of its own, being split by the college trustees into a religious group and a public-service group (The Dartmouth). In the long term, especially as smaller faith groups continue to obtain their own worship spaces, it is difficult to see how the split in the foundation would lead to more religious use for Rollins rather than less, but who knows?

    It is worth noting that the little overview of the upcoming master plan on the Beyer Blinder Belle site states that “strategies include optimizing the reuse of existing buildings through space assessments.” And that the college’s architectural staff now includes a space planner.