Greenhouses have been a pretty big part of the history of MSU. Over the years there have been a number of them built, destroyed, and rebuilt for; experiments, housing different plant and animal species, and teaching MSU students. The specific interest of my research was the chronology of a trio of Greenhouses; the first one built in 1866:

“The first greenhouse built in 1866, probably by Professor Prentiss, stood where the bath house now stands and was torn down and the plants taken to a second building in 1874, located on a projection near the botanic garden. The second building was erected by Lord& Burnham and the third building now standing (in 1913) on the same site as the second one, was erected by the same company,” (History of Michigan Agricultural College, Beal. Pg 269).

This passage tells us that a greenhouse was built in 1866 (Greenhouse 1) and that it was destroyed and all its plants moved to a second greenhouse (Greenhouse 2) in 1874. Greenhouse 2 then, for whatever reason, was replaced by a third greenhouse (Greenhouse 3) at some point before 1913. But when was it built? And also when was that greenhouse removed? Well that is why you go to the archives. The most challenging thing about this is; there have been A TON of greenhouses on campus, and on top of that…. they are all called a “greenhouse”. On historic maps if you know the location of a greenhouse it is pretty easy to find it, but while reading non-map sources a lot of the greenhouses are just mentioned of specific use or location. So while looking through some of the records it was very hard to determine which greenhouse is which. After a while, the mystery did begin to untangle itself and I am happy to quote the following:

“A greenhouse of seven rooms, containing a choice collection of the best ornamental plants, and of those used in the arts. The structure erected in 1874, having become badly decayed, has been replaced. The new house is both longer and higher than the old one, and as it has iron sills, rafters, purlins and ridge, it should last for many years. It is heated with coils of one and one quarter inch pipe, supplied with hot water. The benches are of iron with slate tops. The work in the greenhouses and forcing houses (Used for vegetables) is performed by students under the direction of the foreman, and they thus become familiar with various operations.” (Michigan Agricultural College Catalogs 1892-93).

In the additions leading up to 1892-93 of the MAC Catalogs there had been mention of the intention of building a new greenhouse because the one in 1874 was in bad shape. The first mention of the NEW greenhouse (Greenhouse 3) is in this edition and it is pretty safe to say that it is in fact the Greenhouse “located on the projection of land near the botanic garden”. After a look at the Maps, Greenhouse 3 located by itself in the location it should have been. But again there is still the question of when was it destroyed? This, my friends, was the tough part. As I mentioned above Greenhouses have been a pretty large part of the history of MSU, their physical remains as well as their use within the University. Another part of the history of MSU is that a lot of the buildings get used for things other than what they were originally built for. In addition things get renamed all the time on maps and in documents. The Beal Botanic Laboratory is now currently Old Botany, the old Physics building is currently the Psychology building. With departments moving buildings and the practice of renaming buildings over the years a Greenhouse in 1892 could have been a nursery in 1950…. And so it was:

Report of the School of Home Economics 1950 Pg 221:

“There are two major needs of the School of Home Economics. One is for a nursery school and the other is for more laboratory space for teaching and research textiles, home furnishing, merchandising, food and nutrition. The present old and inadequate nursery school building is soon to be torn down to provide space for the new college library and thus a new one is essential.” (Annual Report to the Michigan Board of Agriculture 1950)

Report of the School of Home Economics 1951 Pg 222:

“The present nursery school is located in an old house that is too small to provide place for the children and at the same time observation space for the students.” (Annual Report to the Michigan Board of Agriculture 1951)

Report of the School of Home Economics 1954 Pg 208:

“The old house used for the nursery school was torn down to make room for the new library and, therefore, the school is housed in one of the home management houses. However, all four home management houses are needed for class work this coming year which will leave the nursery school without space.” (Annual Report to the Michigan Board of Agriculture 1954)

The “old house” was actually the main building of Greenhouse 3. Checking the maps a building is plotted in the location described for Greenhouse 3 and labeled “greenhouse”. In 1951, the year that the Home Economics department tells of their occupation of the building; the maps are almost exactly the same and the building plotted earlier as “greenhouse” is now “Home Economics- Nursery”. An interesting addition is that pictures from 1951 do show that there was still the Plant Housing section attached to the main house. Proposed outlines on maps from 1953-54 show that Greenhouse 3 was actually located directly under the Southwest corner of the current day library, with perhaps a small portion of its foundations extending past that of the libraries.

Researching this specific building required that I read a lot of Annual Reports by the heads of Colleges from the 1900’s and let me tell you it was pretty much an all out attempt to get more teaching space. The head of the Home Economics division must have asked for a Nursery School and a Lab space for 15 years prior to the 1954 report. Other departments had similar requests and it made me feel a connection to a lot of our past students who had to deal with crammed lecture halls and out dated equipment in some subjects. MSU today is faced with these same problems as our predecessors; whether it is a crammed 300 person lecture, or a projector not working in C106 McDonel. If you don’t believe me, the next time you are trying to find a parking spot remember this next quote from the Campus Land Architect in 1954:

“For almost 100 years the campus of MSC, with its appearance of undulating lawns, fine native trees and its spacious building arrangement, has been one of its oldest and finest traditions. National recognition of its campus came to the college this past year (1953) in the way of: Honorable Award: by the Architectural League of New York to the Campus Landscape Architect and his Assistant, Professor Baron. The award citation reads. “For excellence in handling mass and space with relation to site and function and the integration of planting as part of the over all composition.” This citation was only possible by reason of a fine tradition and heritage and by the understanding of a sympathetic college administration.

Problems: “One of the striking requirements in planning new college building sites and adjusting the old campus is the increasing land area needed for moving and parking automobiles. This, of course, is in conflict with our traditional spacious campus. We have at present 39 acres of asphalt surfaced parking space on campus for 6,230 cars. This is in size 1.6 times the area within the West Circle Drive. During the past year, there were approximately 8,000 campus driving permits issued, made up of about 3,800 staff and 4,200 students. This is almost 1.3 permits per available parking space. This ration of cars per staff and student has greatly increased since the war, and this combined with a greatly increased number of conference visitors and extra curricular activities has at times cause objectionable automobile congestion. On the whole, however, no university offers its staff and students more freedom and facility for automobiles.

There is need for more parking spaces in West Circle Drive area, particularly from the Agricultural Building north and west to Gilchrist Hall. Every new school building needs two to three times its first floor area allotted to parking space. For moving traffic, Bogue Street needs to be extended across the Red Cedar south and west to Farm Land in the vicinity of the Plan Science greenhouses, continuing on through west and north to the Power Plant Road. Shaw Lane needs to be widened and resurfaced and extended east to Hagadorn Road. Chestnut Road needs to be projected north to Demonstration Hall. Preliminary Plans for these improvements have been made.”

Have a good weekend and Go Green


Hello again to all you avid Campus Arch followers. Recently I have had to spend some time in the Archives, and let me tell you if you have never gone, you should treat yourself. It is full of old books and photographs dealing with the History of our great University. My first few visits dealt with the Beal Botanical Laboratory. The original one was built in 1880 and tragically (But as you will see, not without warning) burned down in 1890. The original building was located near the Botanical Gardens across from the Music Building. Dr. Beal wrote this in 1880 in his annual report to the Michigan Board of Agriculture. Read the last paragraph carefully, maybe one of our past Presidents was a psychic.

“The building is situated on the west bank of the ravine, near the main drive and northwest of the green-house, to which it will be connected by a foot bridge across the ravine. It is built of wood with a foundation of brick and stone; two stories high, and is modified gothic style, being provided with a rose window and two towers. The extreme height of 66 feet, extreme length north and south 66 feet and extreme width of 46 feet.” (Board of Agriculture 1880)

In his next section Beal details the interior use of all the rooms within the building. The first floor is a large work room, and had cases/drawers. There was a teacher’s desk, and three rows of tables. It must have been beautiful inside on a sunny day because it had high windows that allowed for the Sunlight to fall over all of the floor space. It was outfitted with blackboards on pulley’s a fairly important convenience. There is a study as well on the first floor. Here Beal details the second story and the following quote discusses his apprehension about the building being made entirely of wood.

“The second story is intended, with the exception of a small work-room, exclusively for a museum of vegetable products. The ceiling of this room is nine feet high, ample for good exhibition cases. In the center is an open space in the ceiling 13×30 feet. From the floor through this opening it is 31 feet to the ceiling near the roof. As will be understood, the museum has a gallery all around it. The amount of space in this new museum room is ten times as great as that occupied by the general museum.” (Board of Agriculture 1880)

“Nearly every one who sees the building regrets that it was not built of brick or veneered with brick. This can still be done, and would give the building a more substantial appearance, which is quite desirable. The amount appropriated for the building was $6,000, much to small a sum to make an ample fire proof building.” W.J. Beal. (Board of Agriculture 1880)

As you can see Beal was very aware of the dangers of using this building, but if you look at the pictures (Which I will upload as soon as we have them scanned) you can see the building was truly beautiful. Now in 1890, as the story goes it burned down. Beal again recounts the event in his address to the Michigan Board of Agriculture.

“Late on Sunday Night, March 23, 1890, the Botanical Laboratory took fire somewhere in the upper story in the north-west part of the building, near the large chimney extending from the furnace in the cellar. The night was still and pleasant, and the fire seemed to make slow progress. Many of us believed that the hose from the water works was going to throw water and extinguish the fire, but it failed to do much good, and the building burned down.” (Board of Agriculture 1890

Following the above quote Beal recounts the items saved from the fire; some equipment, books, and plant species from the lower floor. In the passage below he discusses the tragedy in losing the plant specimens in the museum:

“The greatest loss to some extent irreparable, was that of the museum specimens, which have been slowly accumulating, after repeated and urgent solicitation from many sources, a few were purchased, but most of them were hunted don and brought to the college by one who has for the past seventeen years constantly been looking for something interesting and valuable to add to the collection.” (Board of Agriculture 1890)

Beal recounts how he feels that an average person could not have understood the lost. After this he talks about the lasting affect of the Laboratory for the National and International prestige of the University. In the following quote he again discusses how they had expected the building to burn down eventually and take one last shot at Administration:

“Fire sooner or later was to be expected in such a building, and is another warning to colleges, never to trust valuable museums and libraries to a tinder box,” (Board of Agriculture 1890).Following this quote Beal discusses the different recognition the Laboratory/Museum had received.

As you can see Beal was fairly upset with what had happened, and rightfully so. As the quote above indicates the museum and its collection had been the life work of Dr. Beal. His previous statements showed that he had always feared the building could catch fire, and after it did obviously he was bitter.

The Second Botanical Laboratory was built in 1892 and the Cornerstone Ceremony was hailed by many as “The most imposing corner-stone ceremonies ever carried out at the College.” (Beal Pg 272). Beal was sure to have this one made of Brick. It has lasted so long that you would actually know it as Old Botany; you could even walk around it today!

Although the First Botanical Laboratory was a short lived addition to the MSU campus its affect was great. It gave the University more National and International recognition and affected building policy and philosophy in the future. That’s all for this one. Sorry for all quotes but since it was Beal’s Laboratory I felt he should be the one to tell the story. For those of you interested in the other things that Beal said but I cut out of the blog post visit our Wiki page here http://campusarch.wikispaces.com/First+Botanical+Laboratory+1880+-+%3F. There is a  Historic Marker located on the actual site.  Also here is a link the Archives Flickr page with a picture of the First Botanical Laboratory http://www.flickr.com/photos/msuarchives/4443949092/

  1. History of the Michigan Agricultural College, Beal. Pg 272
  2. Michigan Board of Agriculture, Annual Report by W.J. Beal 1880. Pgs 44-46
  3. Michigan Board of Agriculture, Annual Report by W.J. Beal 1890. Pgs 47-49

Photo Shoot

Sorry for the long time between blogs but I felt that I should have more than just lab work to write about. After a long couple of weeks I had finally been able to go through and process all of the artifacts that had not been cleaned or sorted. They were from this past summer/fall and included some pretty interesting items. The excavations were some test plots around Beal Gardens, and the Beal Phase 2, or College Hall preliminary excavations. Historic Archaeology is a very interesting subject but it is important to remember that the artifacts are probably not going to be as intriguing as finding a Prehistoric Hand Axe or an Antler of an Elk that has been turned into some type of tool, but they are interesting and important in their own right. For those of you who don’t know a lot of Preliminary Archaeological Lab work is not very glamorous. There are usually no white coat (unless you bring your own) and the tools aren’t very high tech (most of the time), but it is a very important aspect of any Archaeological Dig/Project. The tools usually include some type of brush (toothbrush, scrubbing brush) and a tub full of water, I know it sounds exciting. For me at least the one big payoff of doing cleaning and sorting is that it is relaxing. You get to sit down stairs, listen to music and basically brush whatever the object is until most traces of dirt are gone. The Beal Garden Test offered some pretty interesting artifacts. The amount of artifacts from the College Hall excavation was quite large for the short amount of time it was there. Mostly yielding brick, glass, and coal the job of cleaning and organizing into new acid free plastic bags was quite the tedious job. Documentation is a large part of any excavation and I am sure sooner or later I am going to have to set up a database for all the finds. Note Cards are inserted into each bag with the Site Name, Unit designation, Level designation, Excavators, and if you’re lucky bag numbers. All this information is important because Archaeological Site interpretation is all about Context and if you hadn’t guessed after you excavate something you know longer have its original context. Documenting all the important information is therefore very important for people who are involved later on in the excavation. Now remember that these are just some of the aspects involved in Archaeological Lab work. Cleaning and Documenting are just some of the basic things that get done. Other more sophisticated analysis such as Use/wear analysis, residue analysis and other things all fall under the title of “lab work” so don’t go judging. Like I said earlier most of the objects that were represented were either brick, glass or coal. This does not mean, however, that there were not other artifacts worth mentioning. As the title of this entry indicates we did indeed do a photo shoot of some of the more interesting items. As mentioned above the Beal Garden Test offered some pretty interesting things and you might of guessed it they had to do with flower pots. The ceramic flower pots came in all shapes, color, and sizes and it was important to document some of the more interesting remains of them. A lot of the pot sherds probably came from the same pot or pots and did indeed fit together. A nice flower patterned ceramic sherd may have come from a dish that was located on the grounds. Another interesting item seemed like siding of a house, but apparently has something to do with the watering/heating of a greenhouse and was more likely inside the structure.

College Hall/Beal Street excavations yielded some items that were the property of students not only apart of the building. A beaded necklace was found and probably was dropped/lost around the building. A Canadian dime was also found that as you guessed might indicate that Canadian money was as useless back then as it is now…. Just joking Canada, good game. An eye drop cap, a button, and even a Syringe Stopper were also found and photographed.

The crown jewel of the finds regarding personal items, however, was a rather bent Beer bottle Cap with what appears to be the label “Goebel”.Goebel Brewing Company was a brewing company in DetroitMichigan from1873 to 1964 eventually acquired late in its existence by Stroh Brewery Company. The beer was locally popular in Detroit from the company’s inception, but grew in popularity and was eventually available in many states for a brief period in the 1940s, with an ad campaign in Life magazine that featured restaurant ads from many famous eateries around the country using Goebel beer as an ingredient. The beer, billed as a “light lager”, was golden in color, and was noticeably drier than most everyday beers of the era. Their longtime mascot was a bantam, called Brewster Rooster, who wore attire with Goebel’s logo, and the beer was a long-time sponsor of Detroit Tigers baseball broadcasts on radio.” (Thanks Wikipedia). Another interesting item photographed, and something I might do a seperate blog post about, was a tile that would have gone over the brick wall/floor. It has text on the back and reads “Patent RIP back A.E. Tile Co.” and was found in Unit 2 Level 3 Feature 1 of Beal Phase 2 excavation. Preliminary research (Google) tells me that there is a lot about the company and since this blog is already quite long I will save an explanation for later. Other artifacts were of course just as interesting but we did not photograph them all so I am not going to mention them….. Yet Thanks for reading my ramblings followers.


PS: Some of the pictures came out rather small so please visit our Flickr site to view better images of them at http://www.flickr.com/photos/capmsu

Well Hello There

Hello. My name is Jamie Patrick Henry and I am this spring semesters intern with the Campus Archaeology program. What attracted me to the program was the public outreach portion of it. I liked the idea of actually being able to communicate finds and information to the public and finding new ways to do this.

A little about me. I am a senior at MSU and I am planning on graduating in May but I may push that back to do another program this Summer. I am interested in a lot of Old world topics and I am leaning toward making that my focus in Graduate school. I went to Greece this past summer on a study abroad and was blown away with the differences in the work being done there. Anyways I will try and keep the blog updated on the work we are doing.

My personal project this year is going to be tailored toward getting interaction with the public on finds we have and on trying to get information out there in different ways. I am updating the Wiki right now and trying to find other ways to make Historic Information about MSU more accessible to you all. I hope to get some video blogs up going over some day to day stuff like; lab work, excavations, and putting a face with the program.

I think that is gonna be it for this entry, and I will try to make another one soon. Can you dig it?


Beaumont Tower is easily the most recognizable building here at Michigan State and has come to be a symbol of the university recognized the world over.  The tower was constructed in 1928 to commemorate College Hall, the first building built at MSU, and to serve as a defensive structure in order to discourage any further construction within the “Sacred Space.”  The tower is named after John W. Beaumont, who had fond memories of his time here as a student and wanted to commemorate that time with the construction of a memorial tower.  I recently went into the archives in search of information on John Beaumont, in order to find out more about the man behind the tower.

John Beaumont was born July 20, 1858 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  He moved to Michigan in 1875 and graduated from Michigan State, then the State Agricultural College, in 1882.  In fact, Beaumont was a student in the first class that Frank S. Kedzie ever taught here.  Upon graduation, Beaumont went to study law in Saginaw, where he was admitted to the bar in 1884.  He began practicing law in Detroit in 1886, where he would come to be ranked as one of Detroit’s foremost lawyers.  He and his partners founded the firm Beaumont, Smith, and Harris.  In 1898, Beaumont served as a seaman aboard the U.S.S. Yosemite in the Spanish-American War.  The majority of the 285 man crew comprised of Michigan residents.  During the war, the U.S.S. Yosemite intercepted and destroyed the Spanish supply vessel Antonio Lopez off the coast of Puerto Rico on June 28, 1898.  After his return from duty, Beaumont served as judge advocate of the Michigan National Guards from 1904 to 1906.  He served as an elected member to the State Board of Agriculture from 1912 to 1924.  He also served as director of various corporations throughout his lifetime; including the Hudson Motor Car Company, the International Ridge Company, the Michigan Fire and Marine Insurance Company, and the Thomas Berry Chemical Company.

After the collapse of College Hall in 1918, an artillery garage was built on its foundations.  Plans for further development and construction in the area were stopped by the “Save the Circle” campaign organized by M.S.C. alumni.  It was during this time that John Beaumont proposed his idea of building a monument that would commemorate College Hall and inspire future students.  The tower was constructed in 1928 and was dedicated on Alumni Day, June 22, 1929.  Due to illness, Beaumont and his wife were unable to attend the ceremony.  William L. Carpenter, class of 1875 and long time friend of the Beaumonts, spoke on their behalf.  In his address to the crowd, Carpenter spoke of Beaumont’s fondness for College Hall and the college.

“Mr. Beaumont believes, and has long believed, that what he received from his four years’ work and training, and especially what he got from his association during these years with strong and kindly members of the faculty, contributed more than any other single factor to make his life successful and useful…Several years ago Mr. and Mrs. Beaumont determined to do some thing to testify their gratitude for what the college had done for Mr. Beaumont.  This gift received long and careful consideration, and they finally decided it should be a memorial tower to be erected on this site.  The tower is given in the belief and with the hope that it will revive and preserve Old College hall memories and be a spiritual inspiration to the present generation of graduates and students, and to those who may come after them.”

John Beaumont saw his tower for the first and only time during his last visit to campus in 1937; however, he often listened to the radio programs when he knew that the tower chimes were to be played.  Mr. Beaumont contracted Parkinson’s disease and passed away July 17, 1941 at the age of 83.  His love and devotion for his alma mater lives on today through the memorial tower he and his wife graciously donated to the university.  Today, Beaumont Tower stands upon the highest point of the circle as Michigan State’s crown jewel and most iconic building.  The tower itself serves as a monument of inspiration to students of the past and future and is reflected in the sculptured ‘Sower’ over its entrance; an image in which Beaumont hoped would echo the inspiration that came to him through the lives and words of his teachers.

Early Greenhouses

Recently the Campus Archaeology team could have been found just west of the Main Library digging once again.  This time in search for Beal’s greenhouse.  The green house is thought to be located on the crest of the eastern embankment of the Beal Gardens.  As an intern who has vested interests in making a map encompassing all of the campus buildings, both past and present, this was an intriguing topic.

On the campus today if one inquires about greenhouses they will be directed either towards the Old Botany building and the Greenhouse directly behind which plays host to a wonderful gallery of different climates and the plant species found there, as well as research.  The other option would be the massive complex of greenhouses located just south of the Bio-Chemisty building.  These greenhouses on the  other hand are used solely for research.

However, before the university was as large as it is today, and before it carried the title of a university, greenhouses could be found in a more central location on campus.  This first greenhouse was built in 1866  and torn down in 1974 and all of the plants moved to the new greenhouses closer to the Botanical Gardens, started in 1873 by professor William J. Beal.

The second greenhouse was constructed in 1874, shortly after Beal’s gardens had been created.  This greenhouse however was dubbed to small for the growing college and was torn down around 1913.  The third greenhouse was enlarged and built directly on top of it.  The location of our most recent excavation is somewhere near the location of these two greenhouses.

In 1904 a greenhouse for experimentation was built in front of the Horticultural Laboratory, known today as Old Horticulture.  This greenhouse was a gift of the Lord and Burnham company.  Also, two greenhouses built by professor Taft in 1889 were being used to test the preferable methods of greenhouse heating.  One was built to use steam as a heat source and the other hot water.  These were located Northwest of the Botanical Laboratory and were torn down before 1900.

Going back to our excavations. Near the end of our excavation an interesting artifact was found.  It was a flat corrugated piece of material.  It was gray and beige in color and was extremely fragile.  Though my analysis of the material was brief and my hypothesis is purely speculation, I believe it may be a piece of cooling ventilation.  Working in a greenhouse I have seen similar material used.  These sheets of corrugated material are stacked vertically, one next to the other and placed perpendicular in an exterior wall.  The small gaps between the sheets allow for a small amount of air-flow to enter the greenhouse and therefore air-flow can be constant but not too drastic or dynamic.  Also, nowadays these sheets will have water running through them, which allows for air to cool even more when entering the greenhouse on a hot day. I would find it to be very interesting if the artifact was, in fact, used for the similar function as in today’s greenhouses because it would show how although technology is rapidly increasing, in some cases it is better not to reinvent the wheel and use previous methods that have proven their functionality.

It seems I’m long overdue for an update on my work with Morrill Hall.   Thus far I have concluded my raid of the archives in the search of Morrill Hall’s history.  A synopsis of the history I’ve collected can be found on the Campus Archaeology Wiki page at  http://campusarch.wikispaces.com/Morrill+Hall+%281900-Present%29

I have started diggin into my presentation I am to do as part of my internship at this point but for this post I’d like to share a particularly neat thing I came across in the archives.  One of the most interesting things I found was a list of “Regulations for the Women’s Building” which gives enormous insight on the lives of the women living in Morrill Hall in the early 1900s.  The archives have the list of regulations from 1901, 1904, and 1911.  Originally I came across a copy of one of the documents in a box of information compiled by a former History professor at MSU.  There was no context to this document and I was unsure where it came from or what year it was for.  The people at the archives are really something and when I asked them if they had any ideas to its origin, they found where it came from almost immediately.  It turns out the regulations were part of a handbook that the women living in Morrill Hall would have received.  It was a separate handbook from what the men would get, which makes sense since men and women were treated very differently at the college during the early 1900s.  These documents help to illustrate those differences and get a sense of a female student’s life at MAC.  Also it’s a good way to see both the differences and even a few similarities between the lives of college students today and those in the past.  


Some of the regulations include: 

“GUESTS – No student should have a guest over night without permission from the Dean.  Permission for meals must be obtained from the Steward before taking guests to the dining room and written notice left at her office.”  

Quiet Hours: – Quiet must be preserved during day and evening study hours.  Students should be in their rooms and quiet from 10 p.m. to 6:15 a.m. every day, and from 3 to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Party Hours: – Social functions should be limited to one a week.  Four eleven o’clock parties are allowed each student during the term.  Students will register in Dean’s office before going to parties and cancel the same on return.

Hours for Callers: – On Friday and Saturday evenings until 9:45 p.m. callers may be received in the parlor and in the reception room. ” 

“LIGHT AND HEAT – Students will provide their own bulbs or electric light standards and are requested to turn out the light when leaving the room.  Neither alcohol, kerosene or gasoline lamps will be allowed under any circumstances.” 

“ILLNESS must be reported at once.” 

“WALKS – Students are not allowed to walk about the grounds after supper nor with young men outside the limits prescribed.” 

Also included in the regulations was a schedule of the hours in which bells were rang summoning women to meals and announcing study and rising times (6:15 a.m. every day except Sunday)!   There were also specifics on how women were to treat their dorm room as well as club regulations. 


It is quite clear the lives of the students at the college were much more regulated in the past than they are today.  Morrill Hall in particular was meant to be a safe haven for women and these particular regulations helped to ensure that.  Although in many ways these sorts of regulations represent a drastically different way of life from today, I think a few similarities can be found.  The dorms still play a big role in the social lives of students with mentors organizing floor activities and all the advertisement for University events.  Also, the University continues to do what it can with long lists of things one can’t have in a dorm room and the rule about showing your ID and signing in guests after midnight to make the dorms a safe place for students to live just as the Regulations for the Women’s Building did. 


Hello everyone,

My name is David Lewandowski and I am one of the three interns for the Campus Archaeology Program this fall.  I am a senior here at Michigan State, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in American Indian Studies.  My plans after graduation are to attend graduate school and to ultimately recieve my Ph.D. and become a professor.  As far as grad schools are concerned, I would like to go somewhere in the Southwest.  I have participated in two field schools in the Southwest, Crow Canyon’s high school program and a field school run by Dr. Alison Rautman in central New Mexico, and would love to work there in the future.  This past summer I participated in a field school on the Mohegan Reservation in Connecticut.  This field school was a great experience for me.  I knew very little about the area, time period, and people prior to the field school.  During the Mohegan field school, I was exposed to things that an undergrad wouldn’t usually experience during a field school.  I learned a great deal about the Native communities in Connecticut, along with the varrying views Native people have with regards to archaeology.  The field school was also my first experience in dealing with historical archaeology, which helped to prepare me for my internship with CAP.

I applied to become an intern with CAP because I knew it would be a great opportunity to further my knowledge and experience within archaeology and to meet other like minded people.  I am really enjoying my internship this fall.  So far I have been exposed to so many new things regarding archaeology and the history of Michigan State.  This semester I have been working both in the lab and in the field, and conducting research for my own individual project.  I have also really enjoyed the public outreach that CAP participates in.  I love sharing my knowledge of archeaology with people I meet, which is one of the reasons why I would like to become a professor.  It is also rewarding to share the information that you have uncovered with the larger Michigan State community. 

I have entitled this post “In the Shadow of Beaumont” for a couple reasons.  One reason relates directly to the work that we have done at the College Hall site, which is located where Beaumont Tower now stands.  It was absolutely thrilling to have been a part of the excavations that uncovered the northeast corner of College Hall, the first building built here at Michigan State.  My individual project this semester focuses on College Hall and the area that is now the location of Beaumont Tower.  With our work in the field at this site, research needs to be done with regards to the construction sequences of the site and the histories of the structures that have and currently stand there.  So far, I have been researching three buildings; College Hall, the artillary garage, and Beaumont Tower.  This means that I spend a lot of time in the MSU Archives, which I have come to enjoy.  It is really exciting to uncover the history of a site that you are working at and to be able to compare the written and archaeological records.  With my project on College Hall, I feel like I am continuing the legacy of John Beaumont by further preserving the history, site, and story of College Hall.  Beaumont and his wife donated money to erect Beaumont Tower in order to commemorate College Hall, a building that John had fond memories of.  Many people walk by Beaumont Tower everyday, without knowing exactly what it represents, or even what is below the ground that they are walking on.  Through the work that we are doing at CAP, we are hoping to educate people regarding the history and archaeological resources of Michigan State and to further preserve the history and archaeology of the nation’s pioneer land grand intistution.

It is now the middle of October.  I am in disbelief.  The semester is going by so quickly.  It has now been several weeks since I have joined the Campus Archaeology program as an Intern.

My name is Jeff Gepper and I am an undergraduate senior here at MSU.  I am majoring in Anthropology, and receiving a minor in Geography.  After this year I plan on doing one of two things.  Option one attending graduate school at university x (currently undecided).  Option two refers to me putting off graduate school for a year to teach English in China.  The second option I have chosen for several reasons.  Firstly, I am currently learning mandarin.  Secondly, my hopes for my future are to conduct either archaeological or cultural work in China.

Anyways, that is a brief, very brief, introduction to who I am, but to move on now, I will discuss what i have been up to regarding my work as a CAP intern.  The majority of work so far have occurred in the bowels of Mcdonel hall, in the Archeology lab.  I have been cleaning artifacts found in the trash pit located next to Saints Rest.  The work can sometime be tedious, in example, cleaning hundreds of tiny shards of broken window and bottle glass.  But that does not mean I do not enjoy it.  I have made many discoveries that have been absolutely fascinating.  The first to come to mind it the white-ware ceramics with the maker’s crest printed on the back.  Now I personally have no experience in 1860’s ceramics, therefore have no factual evidence as to where it came from.  nevertheless, David (another awesome intern) have done much speculating as the origin of the artifact.  judging by the crown placed upon the top of the crest I make the assumption it comes from somewhere within the United Kingdom.  Once again i would like to reiterate that all of this is pure speculation, but that does not mean it is not fun to do.  Besides the ceramics the other exciting artifacts are mainly found in the metallic items, such as cut nails and pins.  These artifacts are specially fun to clean because at first they appear as a clump of rust and dirt.  After careful brushing and slight poking the item takes the form of a rusty nail or something similar.  The best so far was when one of the clumps of rust turned out to be a broken bolt with two nuts, possibly 3/8 “,  screwed onto it.  Quite fun to discover what that was.  other objects we clean are bricks, stones, and a good amount of butchered animal bone, specifically a cow and possible and pig.  Overall the lab has been the main area of focus, unfortunately due to computer failure and other related problems cataloging artifacts has not been happening, but hopefully will begin soon.

The lab as fun as it may be, is nothing compared to actual digging though.  Which I got the chance to participate in the very exciting excavation that uncovered the Northeast corner of College hall, the first building on MSU’s campus.  Under the time crunch placed on us we dug quickly, but carefully through the soft sand on the eastern side of the structure.  it was so nice it was digging in warm butter.  Though I found out my wall cutting abilities need a little, or a lot, of practice.  I hope I get the opportunity to practice it soon.  Due to our digging methods we found few artifacts, which included cut nails, pins, brick, and bone.  It was amazing however when Chris Valvano found a metal pin while excavating with a large shovel.  Now since there is only so much room in the excavation unit I was assigned the task along with another intern to probe the surrounding area to try and get a feel for where the rest of the structure may lie.  This was going well, until I made a fatal mistake.  In my eagerness to shove the metal shaft into the ground I became overzealous and punctured what turned out to be a major irrigation line for the entirety of the “Oak Opening” area.  Thankfully the maintenance crew was very understanding and friendly.  With tha experience under my belt I will from now on be very aware of my surroundings and constantly be checking for possible underground lines.  As the sun moved toward the West on Friday, our time became extremely strained and digging fervently Terry and Chris uncovered the actual foundation corner of the first building on the campus.  It was a great feeling to be a part of a team that will surely go down in MSU’s history books.

Now, being an intern for CAP I am required to create a research topic and present it. I am planning on using my Geographical and cartographic knowledge to put together a series of maps laying out where CAP has dug, where buildings once stood, and where exactly buildings are now in relation to old ones.  In order to get started I have been given the task to outline as the buildings in the west circle area.  This is one of the most exciting areas on campus because it is the site of the oldest campus buildings.  So far the building that has surprised me the most is the Armory.  It was built in 1885, and demolished in 1939 in order to make room for the current music building.  Now I personally doubt that many people on this campus realize that it once had an armory.  At least I thought it was pretty cool.

As for now that is where I stand, and I cannot wait to keep researching and finding out more cool things about MSU’s past.

Morrill and Me

       Hey there! I’m Jen Allen and I’m one of the Campus Archaeology interns for fall semester 2009. It’s been a couple of weeks so far and I’ve had the opportunity to spend lots of time in the MSU archives as well as do a little digging in the search for College Hall. I’m a senior here at MSU and major in history and anthropology as well as having a specialization in African Studies. I fell in love with archaeology after participating in Dr. O’Gorman’s field school in Illinois which I took part in almost on a whim. Since then I added anthropology as a major and couldn’t be happier with the decision. I feel archaeology is the perfect way to combine my love of different cultures, history, and even just getting to be outside as part of the work!

       My project this semester has to do with Morrill Hall and everything has gone well so far. Right now I’m working on finding everything I can on the building since the University seems set at this point to have it demolished in the near future. I have put lots of time in at the MSU archives in Conrad Hall searching for information and trying not to annoy the staff there too much with my requests and constantly forgetting to put my bag in the lockers like they want you to. I’ve also done some extra wandering inside Morrill Hall just to get even more acquainted with what I’ve been researching.  I have been in the building before on many occasions and have always loved its old and somewhat quirky feel. The building is not symmetrical as originally intended and it is just shy of 109 years old and because of this it definitely has its own unique character. It is also a building steeped in MSU’s history as it was the first women’s dormitory on the campus as well as it being a huge step in the acceptance of a practical women’s education at the College. I’ll have much more to come on what I’ve been doing and what I’ve found out about Morrill Hall in future blogs!