Although it was mostly disused in recent years, the barn was one of the more historic buildings on campus. By researching the course catalogs from 1919 and 1929, I believe that it first served as a dairy barn and was constructed some time in 1928. This makes sense given that state appropriations to the college in the later 1920s as well as the generosity of Pierre DuPont significantly increased the college's capital. Whatever the case, the 1920-1930 catalog states, "The Dairy Barn, recently constructed, is a strictly modern building in design and equipment. It is one of the most important recent additions to the Agricultural Department."
At one time, the barn held a prominent place within the college community. This is not surprising when considering that the State College for Colored Students was founded as an 1890s land-grant institution. Agricultural studies were at its very heart. From conversations with alumni, I know that the barn held cows, pigs, chickens, and other animals that supported the dinning services on campus. Anecdotally, the cows that lived here are forever in the memories of the athletes who shared a field with them.
|An undated photograph of the Dairy Bary, possibly c. 1930.|
|Barn, c. 1990|
The loss of the barn and the very uncertainty of the facts that I researched this morning serve as a reminder that history can be lost. It is easy to take for granted that what is here today might not be there tomorrow. I must also acknowledge that institutional memory is fuzzy. The unfortunate truth is that unless information is captured in a fixed media, it is likely to be lost.
|The maintenance building after the 1968 fire.|