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Swarthmore of Yore

This nostalgic map paints a loving picture of Swarthmore as it was in 1927.

At first glance, the eye is drawn to still-familiar elements: the asphalt path up to Parrish; the tennis courts in front of Wharton; the Benjamin West House with Bond and Worth beyond. The eye stumbles over rearranged features: the Library Entrance, what we now call Old Tarble, is too far south; in McCabe’s place is Somerville, the women’s gym; athletic fields huddle at the wrong end of campus. The eye squints at mystifying items: “Pip” Pollard, Pest House (a quarantine), and even a servants’ dormitory (here, at Swarthmore?).

But while campus traditions come and go—from the May Pole Dance to the Frosh–Soph Poster Fight (post as many as you can while tearing down your opponents’)—anchor your eye on Alligator Rock. I don’t have the geologic knowledge to date the ancient gneiss outcropping, but while buildings change on campus nearby, it remains as enduring as the fondest Swarthmore memories.