Through the years buildings on the northeast side of the campus became important centers of college life. Grand Avenue, the college’s eastern boundary, was the location of many memorable addresses.
"just ‘cross the way . . . . The pungent aroma of coffee . . . . or is it coffee? . . . . Matilda’s masking burgers. . . . Grunting in one corner. . . . Aston merely learning his Dutch . . . . The steins hanging miserably on the mantle. . . . patiently await Texas repealment. . . . will it ever be? . . . A Girls’ Council meeting? . . . No, only Brooksy and his women. . . . Students. . . . Firecrackers. . . . Co-eds, bearing up nobly under their burdens of countless admirers. . . . Queens of Kangarooland with drooping lashes and innocent glances. . . . Music. . . . a rag-time tune from the old pianner. . . . twisting, swaying. . . . Ah, the dance is the thing. . . . Barren floors. . . . crying for paint. . . . Tables galore. . . . Chairs?. . . . No. . . . Jokes. . . . Bull sessions. . . . Sky’s the limit. . . . Discussions of the national subject: women. . . . somebody’s meal ticket. . . . you gotta pay or no credit. . . . Potty Boon. . . . Coffee hound. . . . Mama Smith surveys it all. . . .Wont’ somebody spend a dime ? . . . She smiles, a cash customer. . . . The Dutch Treat. . . . Better still, the Cheat. . . . Home of indigestion. . . . The place where nickels enter never to leave. . . . How can it last?" -- The Chromascope 1934.
It lasted quite a while. Located at the corner of Richards and Grand Avenue stands a small house designed in the 1920s by "Pep" Clyce, son of Austin College president Thomas S. Clyce. Originally, the cottage had a large windmill above its front entrance and was known as "The Dutch Treat Tearoom and Bookstore," operated by Dr. Clyce’s daughter, Dorothy. "The Dutch Treat" catered especially to students and faculty. In its present incarnation known as the Carruth Guest House, it serves as a residence for visiting professors.
September, 1895. --"The A.T.O.’s have a nice building now almost completed and ready for occupancy. It is one of those built during vacation. It has four lovely rooms below and a hall above, where they are soon to meet regularly. Prof. Chandler is to occupy rooms in the building, and the goat being over the professor’s head, many of the boys express a fear that it will greatly annoy him." --The Reveille
Built in 1895, the frame house at the corner of Grand and Richards Streets, known as 1023 N. Grand, was remodeled and enlarged in 1900 by Dr. Clyce and his wife, May, who occupied it for four decades. The Clyces entertained many dignitaries in their large house, including former U. S. President William Howard Taft. After the death of Dr. Clyce in 1946, Mrs. Clyce remained in the house for a number of years. It was eventually torn down, however, to make way for Settles House, the brick home which currently occupies that location.
The Lucas store, 1001 N. Grand, was located on the northeast corner of Grand Avenue and Williams Street, on the lot where Detweiler House now sits. For many years it provided necessities and snacks to Austin College students and residents of College Park.
"The House"--my Bennett home for a year. That dear Mrs. Bennett, from the Yankee state of Ohio, never gave me an unkind word. Once, however, when I overslept from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 (milking time) and grabbed the tray of food for the boys with my "milking khakis" on, she did tell me to take off the outside suit!--Walter E. Long, Class of 1910.
Bennett House was located on the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and Williams Street.
The latest street address, 923 N. Grand, was the site of the home of Professor Robert Ritchie Harwell, Professor of Greek, and his wife, Ellen, college librarian, a founder of the Campus Club, and a staunch supporter of women students after co-education in the 1920s.
On Sundays it was a long, dirty trek downtown to church, and students could not escape it as they were required to attend church services. College Park Presbyterian Church was organized on November 8, 1900, with Dr. Clyce as its first pastor. The white frame sanctuary was finished in 1901. The building cost $8000, the furnishings more than $2000. In 1914 the name was changed to Grand Avenue Presbyterian Church although the white frame buildings continued to serve students and the East Sherman neighborhood for many years before being replaced by the present brick structure.
"The College Park Church stood just across from the campus. Sunday School and Church attendance was required of all students, either at this church or some other specified. Monitors kept a record of attendance." --Walter E. Long, Class of 1910.
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