Happy October! We hope everyone is doing well and is staying safe! Things are definitely looking a little different here this fall, as MSU has made the decision to stay remote for the entire semester. As our director, Dr. Camp, mentioned in her blog post …
Tag: Morrill Hall
With the semester coming quickly to a close, so is my research on the Women’s Building, otherwise known as Morrill Hall. I’ve spent all year finding out as much as I can about the beginning of the life of that “good ol’ red building” that sits on the north-east side of Michigan State’s campus. Spending a lot of time at the MSU Archives (a big thanks to those at the Archives who helped me) I focused on the years between 1900 and 1925 (1900 being the year the Women’s Building was constructed). I found out some pretty interesting facts about not only the building, but the women who lived inside the building. These women were pioneers; the first to enter a school full of men and to prove that co-education was the next step in university education.
However, if you want to know more about what I’ve found out at the MSU Archives, you’ll have to stop by the MSU Union on Friday, April 12th at around 9:30am, where I’ll be presenting at the UURAF. The University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum is held in the spring of every year for undergraduate Michigan State students to show the rest of the school what research they have been conducting all year. Research can be presented either orally, on a poster, or performed (for those students showcasing their scholarship through artistic work, such as dance, music or theater). There are twenty research categories total, ranging from Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (be sure look for my friend Matt Smith’s poster!), to Psychology, to Social Science, which will be the category in which I’ll be presenting. Presenters will be asked questions on their research, and constructive feedback will be given by the judges. Judging happens throughout the day, and is based on certain criteria, such as delivery, elements and visual aids. Last year five hundred and sixty students presented at the forum, and I have no doubt there will be even more students this year.
For my research, my mentors, Dr. Lynne Goldstein and Katy Meyers, and I decided that a poster would be the best approach for my presentation. To be honest, designing the poster was harder than I had anticipated. It’s all designed on the computer, and PowerPoint is used for this. However, PowerPoint must be set to certain dimensions (40” by 32”), so trying to view the whole poster on my tiny laptop screen was, well, inconvenient to say the least (as some of my friends would say, “first world problems”). Anyway, I eventually got all of my information placed on the poster only to realize, with the help of Katy, that it was extremely cluttered and disorganized. So, back to square one, I had to reorder and re-place everything, but eventually I got it to look presentable. The poster is in the process of being printed, and will be ready to go Friday morning.
So come on by to the MSU Union this Friday, to not only see some pretty interesting research on Morrill Hall (if I do say so myself), but also a lot of pretty incredible research from my undergraduate peers at MSU. It’ll be an all day event, so even if you can’t make it at 9:30am for my presentation, there will be plenty of other chances during the day to see other presentations. Come support all of MSU’s undergraduate researchers, and I hope to see you there!
Make sure to visit our interns at the UURAF this Friday, April 12th! At 9:30am in the Gold Room at the MAC Union, Bethany will be presenting her poster on Morrill Hall, and Katie and Dana will be presenting on their classification of the Saints Rest material. Feel free to visit and ask them questions about their research.
For more on the UURAF, visit: http://urca.msu.edu/uuraf/
Hello all! So far my experience as an undergraduate intern for Campus Archaeology has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I know it sounds cliché, but there are so many things I’ve learned about archaeology, research, and even myself that other experiences may not have brought …
Construction: a word dreaded by most individuals, especially during these summer months when it seems to be the most prevalent. Like many other people, archaeologists dislike construction for the fact that it makes it extremely difficult for us to get to work; however, construction can be an archaeologist’s best friend believe it or not. Last week, Campus Archaeology was called in when the construction workers hit a historic wall foundation in between Morrill and Eustace Cole Halls while working on the West Circle steam loop. As dreadful as construction can be, it sometimes is able to open up doors into discovering more of our archaeological past.
To the construction workers, it looked like a boring wall. To us, well, it looked like a boring wall too – but only at first glance. When we first began our work, the wall was a mystery. There is no evidence of any structure in that location on any type of historic map of campus. After a few days of clearing away giant piles of dirt, detailing every stone of the wall, and drawing very intricate profiles, we were able to learn a little bit more about the history of this historic foundation.
With the help of the University Archives and Historical Collections, we were also able to find an old image of the university from 1903 with a large boiler house located in the exact location where the wall was uncovered as well as an unnamed building on maps that it could possibly be. When we first saw the image, we were all shocked that no one had noticed this building before seeing as though there was a HUGE smokestack attached to the structure. The boiler house dates from 1900-1904, and was used to heat Morrill Hall.
Although just a foundation, we can tell a lot about what possibly happened to the building from what now remains. From the looks of it, after the structure was demolished, the foundation was covered by the road rather than being completely removed. The wall runs northwest to southeast, and on the north end we’ve uncovered a series of bricks, mortar, and a large pipe, perhaps materials used in a road made of brick before the paved road near Morrill was constructed. We also excavated in hopes of finding evidence of a builder’s trench, but came up short of anything. In archaeology however, it is sometimes the absence of such things that can offer insight as well. The fact that there is no builder’s trench, along with evidence of the wall tapering off on the south end and the brick structure on the north end, leads us to believe that this area was highly disturbed throughout the years. This old boiler house was most likely destroyed and forgotten until now. Although, just a simple wall, this historic boiler house foundation gives us another glimpse into MSU’s past and how it operated in historic times.
We are still conducting research with the help of the University Archives and Historical Collections to try and learn a little bit more about the boiler house. In the mean time, you can check out the State News and their stories regarding the boiler house excavations!