Dartmouth College's South Hall Dormitory and Two House Consumed by Fire


Submitted a year ago
Created by
Michael Hinsley

July 11 1888 South Main St Hanover NH

July 11, 1888 Dartmouth College's South Hall dormitory and Sub-South Hall as well as the houses of Mr. Charles Clifford and P.H. Whitcomb.

The corner of South Main Street and Maple Street where the current Bank of America operates, has housed a blacksmith shop, private residence, a general store, a tavern a dormitory, as a hotel, then finally as a tenement house.

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Dartmouth College originally granted the lot to Mr. Charles Sexton who operated one of Hanover's earliest blacksmith shops. Dartmouth in 1868 was faced with a growth of undergraduate enrollment and the presence of the NH Agricultural School also in town competing for beds for their students purchased the building and land and operated the building as a dormitory for its "indigent Freshmen at $7.50 a year for each one of two in a room."

The accommodations were as indigent as their occupants and the Old South Hall was deserted by the students after a few years and the building was used as a tenement until it burned July 11, 1888. 

No cause for the fire is recorded. 

The "Dartmouth Hotel" on South Main St and West South Street South Operated by Mr Horace Frary who later Operated the Dartmouth Hotel at the Location of the current Hanover Inn.

South Hall in 1865

View from the two-story "piazza" June 1887

The interior of the Old South Hall  May 1887

July 11 1888 The ruins of the Old South Hall The Gates House in the rear

July 11 1888 the Smoldering ruins of the the intersection of South Main St and West South St, now Maple.

Looking South on Main St The South Hall Building on the right side rear

Stereoscopic view - never gets Old!!

Looking South on South Main St

Hanover 1884 View from Prexy's Garden. This view from the Velvet Rocks area is looking from the south east over the current Coop Food Store Ledyard Bank branch, Hanover High School, St. Denis Church , Dartmouth Memorial Field and Leverone Field House.

1879 Hanover Topographic Map

Close up of 1879 Topographic Map #17 on the lower center was the location of the buildings that burned July 11 1888

#12 and #11 .. they burned also.

Town of Hanover 1890 Map The black circles on the map indicate the burned locations of the buildings destroyed by fire July 11 1888

Close up of 1890 Town of Hanover Map the three black dots represent the South Hall and Sub-South Hall as well as the houses of Charles Clifford and P.H. Whitcomb. You might notice a number of other block circles... yeah we will discuss those at a later date!

Photo credits to the coolest place on campus, Dartmouth College's Rauner Library. 

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