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Placing Industry in Eden:
Water as Landscape and Escape in the 19th Century

Click to view original image
Five students from the Mount Holyoke Seminary
sit on Prospect Hill and enjoy the view of Lower Lake
in the 19th century. Courtesy MHC Archives.

In the nineteenth century, the Mount Holyoke Seminary community depended on local rather than global resources. The waterfront was see as a priceless commodity, and Mount Holyoke intgrated the economic, aesthetic, and social possibilities into daily life as fully as possible.

Water had many potential uses for the Seminary community during this time, and Mount Holyoke was determined to extract as much from the resource as possible. Hydropower and easier access to water for domestic use were two of the most coveted gains. Click here to read more about technology.

Students, especially, became so imbedded in the local land that it became their "'Paradise,'" their archetypal image of the collegiate experience. Some, however, struggled to integrate the new technology that peppered the land with this romantic idealism. Click here to read more about student visions of the landscape.

The beauty of Stony Brook often drew students to it for strolls and activity. More than just providing an aesthetic background, however, the waterfront held at least one definite social value in its own right: the ability to gather without supervision. Click here to read more about this social acitivty.

Atlas Home Going With the Flow: Main Title Placing Industry in Eden: 19th Century Shooting the Rapids: 1920s

The Tide Has Turned: The Modern Era

This page was created by Sandy North '05 in History 283, Fall Semester 2003 -