The north boundary of the campus, along Richards Street, was the site of some of the earliest residential development directly related to the presence of the college. During the college’s first half-century, students boarded wherever they could with private landlords or faculty members. With the erection of the college building in Sherman, several enterprising individuals built boarding houses near the campus with the intention of cashing in on the need for housing for out-of-town students.
Eagleton House, home of English professor Davis Foute Eagleton and his family, was located at the corner of Richards and Hurt Streets, facing Hurt. After about 1909, the address was 1024 Hurt, presently the site of a parking lot serving Cern, Dean Hall, and Abell Library. The Eagletons provided room and board to a student from time to time.
After the college acquired Eagleton House, it served as a dormitory, a center for foreign students, and a guest lodge. It remained a campus landmark well into the late 1970s.
Hardy House, named for the college clerk during the 1890s, John Hardy, was also located at the northeast corner of Richards and Hurt. The address was 1405 Richards Street. Hardy and his wife were popular with the students, and a number of them boarded with the couple.
Within two more years, a grand stand was erected on the site with lumber donated by J. Lewis Thompson. Luckett Field was located at the north end of Luckett on the site of the Sherman Boy’s Club, the college having donated the property to that organization. Twenty years later when Cashion field was constructed, the grandstand structure was moved a short distance to the southwest corner of Grand Avenue and Lewis Street and remodeled into an apartment house. It burned to the ground in January 1998.
The building now known as Cern, located on the south side of Richards Street, was built in 1914 at a cost of $15,000 and was dedicated in April, 1915. The original structure had floor space of about 7,500 square feet in two floors and a basement. Constructed to house a power plant for the campus, it contained a two-story boiler room, a fuel room, a room for the electrical power plant, a room for a pumping station and a large room for a shop. The third floor contained three rooms specifically designed for the anticipated department of electrical engineering, the establishment of which was imminently expected at the time of the building’s construction. The smokestack and third floor were never used for their original purposes, but that smokestack became a symbol of student pride, adventure, and ritual. Year after year students scaled it to paint their class year on it.
Just east of the powerhouse stood the YMCA building, north of the old main building and just west of Luckett Hall on the site now occupied by Dean Hall. Cornerstone for the "Y" building was laid on the same day as the cornerstone for Luckett Hall, May 28, 1907. The "Y" took longer to build, for it depended in part on student labor and student solicitation of funds. It was ready for occupancy in 1911 and included a gymnasium, swimming pool, bowling alley, several meeting rooms, and facilities for campus organizations such as yearbook and newspaper staffs. During its existence it provided dormitory rooms, faculty offices, a geology museum, and an arena theatre, built over the swimming pool and bowling alley after World War II. In 1964, the Y was torn down to make room for a new dormitory.
Adjacent to the YMCA on the east was the frame building known as the Annex. In the 1930s and ‘40s the Annex served as the student union until the Memorial Student Union Buildings was completed in 1952. Subsequently the newly created Home Economics Department occupied the Annex until both it and the YMCA building were demolished.
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