1912 Letter Found in Brigham Fireplace

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 11:45

While repairing a fireplace mantel in Brigham Hall, facilities staff members Mike Hurley and Jerry Blain discovered a small cache of old papers in the brickwork, including a letter dated April 18, 1912. They immediately delivered the documents to Leslie Fields, head of Archives and Special Collections, who set about researching their origins.

Among the documents are two calling cards, an undated postcard, a student note replying to a faculty invitation to a dinner party, a February 1913 calendar page, and the letter. After sleuthing through College records, Fields discovered the identity of the letter writer: Eleanor Rowland, an associate professor of philosophy and psychology. At that time, some faculty lived on campus in the dormitories, Fields says. Rowland was writing to her colleague Amy Hewes, professor of economics and sociology, about her travels in Greece. Near the close of her letter, she asked Hewes to “send my love to all the Brighamers.”

Fields says she and her colleague, Patricia Albright, will add the documents to the collection in the archives and continue to research them.