A guide to Harvard College.
The aim of the following sketch is to present to the stranger, visiting Harvard for the first time, an intelligible and may we hope a faithful guide to its chief points of interest.
The location of the University
makes it easily accessible by all the electric routes from Boston
which pass through Harvard Square.
We have chosen to enter the beautiful grounds of the college campus at the West
gate, the gift of Mr. Samuel Johnston
This is an ornamental structure of brick with trimmings of freestone and wrought-iron.
A tablet on the left informs us that-
By the General Court of Massachusetts Bay
28 October 1636 agreed to give 400 £
Towards a schoale or colledge whereof 200 £
To bee paid the next yeare & 200 £
When the worke is finished & the next court
To appoint wheare & wt building
15 November 1637 the colledg is ordered
To bee at Newetowne
2 May 1638 It is ordered that Newetowne
Shall henceforward be called Cambridge
13 March 1638-9 It is ordered that the colledge
Agreed upon formerly to bee built at Cambridg
Shal be called Harvard Colledge
From the tablet on the opposite side we learn that-
After God had carried us safely to New England
And wee had builded our houses
Provided necessaries for our livelihood
Reard convenient places for Gods worship
And setled the civill government
One of the next things we longed for
And looked after was to advance learning
And perpetuate it to posterity
Dreading to leave an illiterate ministry
To the churches when our present ministers
Shall lie in the dust
New Englands First Fruits
Passing into the college yard, two very ancient brick buildings greet our sight.
Built in the early Years of the last century, they have witnessed many stirring scenes.
During the first year of the Revolution the Provincial Congress took possession of them as barracks for the American
That on the right is Massachusetts Hall
, built in 1718, the oldest in the yard, and used for a dormitory with rooms for lectures and examinations.
The building on our left is Harvard Hall.
The province bore the expense of its erection in 1765.
Its uses were manifold in the early days, and we find it mentioned as chapel, library and recitation hall.
In the year 1775 while the American
soldiers occupied the building, the students went to Concord
, where studies were resumed.
In that year no public commencement was held.
degrees being conferred by a general diploma.
One noticeable feature of this building is its belfry, where hangs the college bell, whichs summons the students to lectures.
In former times attendance at morning prayers was compulsory, and this same bell also called the students to these early devotional exercises.
Many devices were tried to prevent the bell ringing at the early morning hour, and many stories of adventures at midnight are told.
One Thanksgiving the students were anxious to present a turkey to the bell-ringer, and thoughtfully hung it to the tongue of the bell, whence it was finally taken by its delighted recipient.
Passing beyond these buildings we come into the quadrangle.
Stately buildings form its surrounding walls, and within are the grand old elms which grow to such perfection in the college yard.
This enclosure rises to especial importance on Class Day evening.
Then hundreds of colored lanterns hang in festoons from tree to tree, the brilliant fires of different hues brighten the sombre buildings, and the whole scene becomes a fairy land, through which Fair Harvard's guests wander on their way to spreads and dancing.
Music in the open air by the various organizations connected with the college is another feature of the occasion.
As we stand in the quadrangle facing the point of entry, we see another ancient brick building next to Harvard.
This is Hollis Hall, built in 1763 and named for the family of Thomas Hollis
, a London merchant who left a legacy to the college.
Many noted names are associated with rooms in this building, among others being Ralph Waldo Emerson
(5-15-20), Henry D. Thoreau
(23-20-32-31) and Wendell Phillips
Back of Hollis
is Holden Chapel which was built in 1744 by Benjamin Coleman
and named for another London
family who befriended Harvard.
For twenty-two years prayers were held here, but now for many years the building has been used for examinations and for a few recitations.
coat-of-arms may still be seen on the western front, and a noteworthy fact about the building is that it stands to-day almost exactly as it was built so many years ago.
In the space enclosed by Holden
stands the Class Day Tree
, a fine old elm which has witnessed the scrambles of many a graduating class.
At four o'clock, the loveliest
hour of the June afternoon, daintily gowned maids and matrons, forming a very enthusiastic and expectant audience, gather about the tree, which is encircled with a wreath of flowers at a distance of about eight feet from the ground.
The air resounds with the class cheers of the undergraduates and alumni who form groups on the greensward.
At five o'clock the senior class assemble in the quadrangle, presenting a very odd appearance in their motley garments, with coats reversed and costumes generally of ill-mated parts.
With lusty cheers for the college buildings the strange procession marches to the tree.
After everyone has cheered himself hoarse, after honor has been shown to the favorite professors, athletes, the college, the classes, the ladies, and the alumni, the rush for the flowers begins.
Frantic are the struggles to get a trophy from the garland just out of reach.
Individual efforts are not apt to be successful, for just when one is about to touch the wreath, dozens of hands are ready to drag him back.
Then some concerted action is planned: a wedge, perhaps, is formed, with some agile champion raised on the shoulders of his classmates.
Now he reaches the tree and, amidst the cheers of his supporters.
tears away the flowers by handfuls, stuffing them into every available place about his clothing, and then, presenting a very humpy appearance.
he is borne away to a place of safety where the treasured flowers may be distributed as precious souvenirs to fair admirers.
Next to Hollis
, a brick dormitory, built in 1805.
Many clubs formerly had quarters here, and here.
also, were the student homes of such men as Edward Everett
(23), Oliver Wendell Holmes
(31), Charles Sumner
(12) and Edward Everett Hale
At the northern end of the quadrangle stands Holworthy, a dormitory built in 1812, in part with money raised by a lottery.
For many years this hall was devoted to the senior class, and it is along the front of Holworthy now, that, on Class Day evening, the year of the graduating class shines out in figures of light.
One of the claims to distinction which Holworthy enjoys is that during his American tour some years ago, the Prince
visited the hall, and left his picture as a memento of his visit.
On the eastern side of the quadrangle next to Holworthy is Thayer Hall, the largest dormitory in the yard, built in 1870 by Nathaniel Thayer
The most prominent of the college buildings, because of its close connection with student life, comes next.
University it is called, constructed of granite and completed in 1815, being the first stone building erected in the yard.
The central portion was at one time used as a chapel, but now the building is devoted to lectures, and to the offices of the President
In the office of the President stands the ancient chair which was always used by him at commencement.
Official notices are posted on the bulletin boards at the entrance and in the corridors.
South of University is Weld Hall, a dormitory of brick with freestone trimmings, a gift of William F. Weld
, in memory of his brother.
The southern end of the quadrangle is formed by Gray's Hall, a dormitory built by the corporation and named for three generous friends of the University
It is built of brick with three granite tablets inscribed respectively with the dates 1636 and 1863, also the college seal.
Directly back of this dormitory, facing Harvard Square, is Wadsworth House, a wooden structure built in 1726 in colonial style, and for many years the home of the college presidents.
Many celebrated persons have been entertained here, and it was at this house that General Washington
had his headquarters before going to Craigie House.
At present the building is used as a dormitory, while the brick addition in the rear contains the offices of the bursar and college printer.
on the opposite side of the quadrangle is Matthews
, built in 1872 by Nathan Matthews
Southwest of Matthews
and facing the square stands Dane Hall, a gift in 1832 from Nathan Dane
of Beverly, Mass.
Until Austin Hall was built, this was devoted to the uses of the Law School.
At present it is occupied by the Cooperative Society
, headquarters for books and student's supplies, and contains one lecture room.
Passing from the quadrangle between Weld
's we observe on the right a large granite building.
This is Boylston Hall, the chemical laboratory, and was built in 1857.
On the wall facing the street is a tablet which informs the reader that-
Here was the Homestead
of Thomas Hooker 1633-36
First Pastor at Newtown
Thomas Shepard 1636-49 John Leverett 1696-1724
Jonathan Mitchell 1650-68 President of Harvard College
First & Second Ministers of Edward Wigglesworth 1726-68
the First Church of Cambridge First Hollis Professor of Divinity &
Edward Wigglesworth 1765-94
Second Hollis Professor of Divinity
As we proceed on our walk Gore Hall, the Library, comes into view.
This imposing granite structure was completed in 1841, a gift from
The original plan of the building was that of a Latin cross, having octagonal towers at the corners of the principal part.
In 1876 an addition to the east was made for the bookstacks, and now further alterations are contemplated.
The library here numbers 323,000 volumes, with as many pamphlets.
This number does not include the volumes in the special libraries belonging to the various departments of the college.
The entrance to the hall is on the south side, where one may see a small gilt cross, a trophy brought by the Massachusetts
troops from the siege of Louisburg
In the original part of the building is the Art Room
, containing many precious curiosities: In a glass case one may see the only book remaining from John Harvard
's library, John Eliot
's Indian Bible, Burns
' “Scots wha hae” in the handwriting of the author, the autographs of many famous men, besides a death-mask of Oliver Cromwell
, and a large collection of Roman coins.
The great privilege of using this library is extended to those not connected with the University
, and its doors are open every week day, except legal holidays, from 9 A. M. to 5 P. M. (2 P. M. during vacations).
As we leave the library, we may see the President's house
on the elevated ground to the east.
This building is of brick and was a gift to the college from Mr. Peter C. Brooks
The old mansion house in the corner, next to the one just mentioned, is known as the Dana
In 1823 the family of Chief Justice Dana
lived there, and after the cupola was added to it, astronomical observations were made here until the present Observatory was completed.
The next family to occupy the house was that of Dr. A. P. Peabody
from which fact it is sometimes referred to as the Peabody House
At present it is the home of Professor Palmer
and his charming wife, Mrs. Alice Freeman Palmer
, formerly President
of Wellesley College.
Facing Quincy Square which lies to the south of the Dana House
, stands two dormitories, outside the college yard and owned by private individuals.
The more noticeable of the two is Beck Hall, named for the Latin Professor Charles Beck
, and for many years considered the finest in its appointments as it surely was the most expensive of the dormitories.
The broad front is rendered very attractive with bright window gardens, while the eastern side, overlooking the lawn, used for tennis and for Class Day spreads, is in its season richly decorated with the luxuriant Ampelopsis veitchii
The other dormitory, Quincy Hall, named for this noted Massachusetts
family, has been recently built, thus embodying all the improvements which have been made in buildings of this nature.
Within a short distance of Beck Hall, on Harvard street, stands Ware Hall, considered a model in its appointments for a dormitory.
It is owned by private individuals.
Let us now continue our walk around the eastern extension of Gore Hall.
We shall first come to Sever Hall, a magnificent lecture hall of brick with ornamental work in sandstone, a gift to Harvard
from Mrs. Anne E. P. Sever
This is considered one of the finest buildings of its kind in the country.
Heretofore the Fine Arts
department of Harvard has been in Sever, where has been kept a collection of 2,500 photographs illustrative of what is best and most instructive in art. These will doubtless be removed to the new Art Museum, upon its completion.
Appleton Chapel, to the west of Sever, will be easily recognized by its spire.
The sandstone of which it is built was brought from Nova Scotia
, and the chapel was completed in 1858.
Here are held the religious services of the University
, consisting of morning prayers, attendance not compulsory, vesper service on Thursday afternoons from November until May, and Sunday evening services.
As the University
is non-sectarian, preachers of all denominations officiate at these exercises.
The chapel was formerly used for notable wedding and funeral ceremonies, the obsequies of Professor Louis Agassiz
, the eminent geologist and teacher, having been performed here.
Next to the chapel is located the “William Hayes Fogg
Art Museum of Harvard University,” the latest addition to the buildings in the college yard.
It is of stone, facing Cambridge street, and consists of two parts, the front portion with two stories for exhibition rooms, the rear part forming a semi-circular lecture hall.
The purpose which this museum is to fulfil, as stated by the donor, is to furnish a place for the study and advancement of what is best in art. The exhibition space is necessarily limited, but, supplemented as it is by the resources of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, will amply justify the hopes of its founder.
Leaving the college yard by the North
gateway, a gift from Mr. George von L. Meyer
, in 1891, our attention is immediately attracted by the grand outlines of Memorial Hall, glimpses of which have been had many times during our previous walk.
At the entrance let us pause a moment and glance at the curious, old, octagonal building of brick in the triangular plot of land opposite.
This is the old gymnasium, built in 1860,
but long since outgrown for its original purpose, and now used for the engineering department of the Scientific School
Now turning our attention to the imposing structure of brick and sandstone before us, with its graceful tower, one of the landmarks of Cambridge
, and its beautiful windows of stained glass, we learn that it was built in 1874-6, through the generosity of the Harvard
As a tablet on the right hand wall of this central or memorial portion informs us
Commemorates the patriotism
Of the Graduates and Students of this University
Who served in the army and navy of the United States
During the war for the preservation of the Union
And upon these tablets
Are inscribed the names of those among them
Who died in that service.
Upon the walls of this main hall are the names of the honored dead, classed according to the departments in the college to which they belonged.
Small crossed flags placed by the G. A. R. decorate each tablet, while various Latin selections, in praise of patriotism and valor, adorn the walls.
The northern portion of the building is occupied by the dining hall, with accommodations for nearly one thousand persons, modelled after the English
Light is admitted and softened by eighteen rich, stained glass windows, while the end wall is pierced by a handsome window of the same beautiful material, showing the seals of the University
, the State
and the United States
Every year the Commencement dinners take place here.
In that part of the hall to the east we find Sanders
' Theatre, named in honor of a college benefactor, Charles Sanders
The theatre is classical in plan,
having an elevated stage, a semi-circular orchestra with aisles raying out from it, cutting the tiers of seats into wedge-shaped portions.
Over the stage is a Latin inscription, of which we quote the following translation:--
Here in the wilderness
Did English exiles
In the year after the birth of Christ
And the 6th after the foundation of the colony
Believing that wisdom
Should first of all things be cultivated
By public enactment, found a school
And dedicate it to Christ and the Church.
Increased by the munificence of John Harvard,
Again and again assisted
By the friends of good learning
Not only here but abroad
And finally entrusted
To the care of its own children,
Brought safely through
From small beginnings to larger estate
By the care, and judgment, and forethought
Of Presidents, Fellows, Overseers and Faculty
All liberal arts
And public and private virtues
It has cultivated, it cultivates still
But they that be wise
Shall shine as the brightness of the firmament
And they that turn many to righteousness
As the stars for ever and ever!
Several notable plays have been given here by the college men, such as the Greek tragedy “Oedipus Tyrannus
” of Sophocles
, the Latin
comedy “Phormio,” by Terence
, and Ben Jonson
's old English drama, “Epicoene; or the silent woman.”
In each case as faithful a reproduction of these ancient performances as modern conditions would allow, was presented to the audience.
Every year many lectures of great educational value are given here, and
in Sever Hall as well, by the professors of the University
and other acknowledged leaders in their subjects.
Concerts, too, by the various college musical clubs and by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
, take place here.
Memorial Hall is open to visitors at all times during the year.
As we leave the northeastern entrance to the hall, we find ourselves on Kirkland street, or “The road to Charlestown
,” as it was known in Revolutionary times, the oldest highway in Cambridge
Turning to the west and following this street, we will look for a moment at the bronze statue of John Harvard
Through the generosity of General Samuel J. Bridge
, we have here from the hands of the sculptor D. C. French
the face and figure of an English Puritan minister such as we may suppose the founder of the college to have possessed.
Few facts concerning the life of John Harvard
have come down to us. We know that he was a graduate from the English
Cambridge University, for which reason the name of Newtowne was changed to Cambridge
After leaving England John Harvard
settled in Charlestown
, and at his death in 1638 left to the “colledge at Newetowne” his library and £ 500 in money.
This one act on his part determined forever the name and future of our University.
The statue was unveiled October 15, 1884.
Continuing our walk and crossing Kirkland street, another group of college buildings comes into view.
The first which we pass, a brick building, is the Lawrence Scientific School, the gift of Abbott Lawrence
Immediately back of this stands the Jefferson Physical Laboratory
, built in 1884.
This building is completely equipped with all the apparatus necessary for making the most delicate and accurate experiments in physics.
The large brick structure with sandstone trimmings at the west of these two buildings is Hemenway Gymnasium where are to be found all the equipments connected with athletic exercise.
The main hall is used for dancing on Class Day evening, and during vacation is open to visitors.
At the left of the gymnasium, more remote front the street, stands Austin Hall, better known as the Law School.
A most impressive building it is, constructed of sandstone, with its arched entrance, showing the architect Richardson
's work at its best.
It was a most noble gift to Harvard
from Edwin Austin
The library is at the left of the entrance, the rest of the building being devoted to lecture rooms.
Forming a frieze on the front wall of the building we find these words, “And Thou Shalt Teach Them Ordinances and Laws and Shalt Shew Them The Way Wherein They Must Walk and The Work That They Must Do.”
Northwest of Austin Hall may be seen a portion of Hastings Hall, a very fine dormitory recently built, which commands a view of Cambridge Common on the west, and at the east overlooks Holmes Field, one of Harvard's playgrounds.
Here the great inter-collegiate games take place, and the stands have accommodations for 5,000 spectators.
Jarvis Field, another name associated with athletic sports at the University
, although now wholly used for tennis, lies not far distant to the northwest.
Through the generosity of Henry L. Higginson, Esquire
, a third lot of land for athletic uses has been added to the college.
Soldiers' Field, as it is called, lying on the other side of the Charles River
, is yet easily accessible from the college.
Two dormitories in the vicinity in which we
find ourselves, still remain for mention.
Built within the past year, they embody all that is best in buildings of this sort.
The first, Perkins Hall, cornering upon Oxford street and Jarvis Field, is a gift from Mrs. Catharine P. Perkins
, to commemorate three generations of Harvard
graduates in her husband's family.
The other, called Conant Hall, stands at the corner of Oxford and Everett streets and was given to the University
by Edwin Conant