A school. A church. And a frat!

Submitted 3 months ago
Created by
Mark Travis

Am I the only one amused by the fact that two memorials celebrating the creation of a fraternity are sandwiched between the Norwich's cherished elementary school and an Episcopal church? Talk about your holy trinities. 

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At the entrance of Girard Way, leading into the Marion Cross Elementary School, you'll find a historic plaque (shown above) noting that the Theta Chi Fraternity was founded "near this spot" on -- how about this for precision? -- 9 p.m. on April 10, 1856 in the Old South Barracks at Norwich University. (Presumably after the two founders had finished their homework. For the record, it was a Thursday night.)

The plaque appears to be standing guard over a brick pillar with yet another plaque, this one marking the area as the site of what was originally called the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy, founded 37 years before the frat, in 1819.

Finally, to the left of the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, you'll find a stone marker amplifying the historic plaque's commemoration of Theta Chi's founding.

Here, not only do we get the time, but the location: 200 feet north east of the monument. Of course I fired up my iPhone compass ...

and now we know the altitude too!

I'm no pathfinder, but by my reckoning that puts the barracks either on Girard Way or just beyond it on the Green. 

So. Anyway. There's your Norwich history observation for the day.


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