"New" Dartmouth Hall Dedicated after Destruction by Fire

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Michael Hinsley

Today in Hanover and Dartmouth College History Feb 17, 1906

Dartmouth Hall was rededicated by Dartmouth President William Jewett Tucker on February 17, 1906.

The original Dartmouth Hall was built in 1784-91. This original building served as classrooms, a dormitory, a library and a museum. The original building was proposed to be brick but was instead constructed of a wood timber frame and sheathed with clapboards. Records show the massive timber frame was raised in ten days in 1786. It took until 1791 to complete the building due to struggles securing the required funds. The nearly 118 year old wooden building was destroyed by fire February 18, 1904 by faulty wiring in less than two hours, but more on that tomorrow..

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The Cornerstone was laid October 26, 1904 with a grand ceremony featuring the Earl of Dartmouth.

The decision to rebuild was obvious, and fund-raising, planning and design commenced immediatelyThe style and design of the building is nearly identical to the original, with a few notable exceptions. The building is slightly larger, the building is constructed of a steel frame and brick walls instead of wood. In addition, all the electricity was run using the new "conduit method".

The following represented a few of the College's investments to provide a safe campus for students, staff and faculty: the change from wood construction to steel and masonry construction, the construction of the College Heating Plant to reduce fires from dozens of heat sources in each building, the upgrade of electrical and life safety systems, and the continual maintenance required, to all buildings and systems.

The band leads the crowd across the Green to the dedication ceremony of the New Dartmouth Hall February 17, 1906

February 17 1906 Dedication Ceremony.

A view of the crowd assembled for the ceremony February 17 1906

Dartmouth College's 9th President William Jewett Tucker arriving at the ceremony February 17, 1906

The interior of the New Dartmouth Hall in 1906

The New Bell for Dartmouth Hall 1906

Unsure of why it is "Fat" Peirce. The old bell was presented to Dartmouth by Joshua Winlsow Peirce Class of 1905. The new bell was cast by Meneely & Co. West Troy NY, the makers of the original bell, but of "a richer tone", and weighing 1,854 pounds.

The Dartmouth Hall Bell " Presented by Joshua Winslow Peirce of the Class of 1905"

Sporting a fresh coat of white paint Dartmouth Hall was able to host the 1906 Dartmouth Class Day

Dartmouth Class Day 1906 Dartmouth Hall Illuminated for the occasion

Check out one of the Rauner  Special Collections Blogspots


Photo Credit to Dartmouth College Rauner Library

You cant "re-dedicate" a building unless something happened to it. Almost two years to the day prior to its re-dedication, the "Old Dartmouth Hall" was destroyed by fire.

As fires go, the complete and absolute destruction and consumption of your communities most iconic building at the time, by fire is one that we remember and this fire was certainly not one in the Fire Department "Win Column"..  See you on February 18th!!

What a difference a coat of paint makes

Fire will strike Dartmouth Hall again in April 1935.... stand by we have photos to share!

Looking North

Looking East

Overlooking The Green with Mount Ascutney in the distance

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