High on the Hill

Dixon, Linda J.





The pathway across from Richardson House was once a main vehicle access road to the top of the campus. It is an easy climb because, according to the late Professor Edwin H. Wright, Class of 1894, of the Engineering School, the path has found its natural course on the hillside.

To our left is the distinctive Wessell Library. We will learn more about it in a short while when we stand on its rooftop. Beyond the library is Eaton Memorial Hall, the former library of Tufts College. A gift of Andrew Carnegie, it was completed in 1908 and was named for the Reverend Charles H. Eaton, Arts Class of 1874, C77, H87. The addition of the War Memorial Wing 30 years later doubled its size. This addition was designed by Dr. Arland A. Dirlam, E26, H53, an eminent architect who also designed a number of other buildings on the campus. Eaton Library contained memorial rooms to Lieutenant Commander Thomas M. Mark, A16, killed at Pearl Harbor, and to Dr. Charles Gott, A11, who chaired the Department of English from 1925 until his death in 1938.

The entire building was remodeled after the Wessell Library was completed. The memorials were relocated to the new library and Eaton was converted to clasrooms, offices for the classics, political science, philosophy and sociology departments, a language laboratory, the Bursar's Office, the Accounting Department, and a student center.


To our right are two yellow brick buildings connected by an arcade. It was here at the Crane Theological School (so named in 1906) that training for the liberal ministry was conducted for more than a hundred years. The first building is Miner Hall, named for the Reverend Alonzo Ames Miner, H1861, H1875, president of Tufts from 1862 to 1875. The second one is Paige Hall, formerly the dormitory for the Theological School. Crane Chapel, later annexed to Paige Hall, contained a small, beautifully appointed sanctuary and portrait gallery. A few years ago the Crane Chapel was destroyed by fire, the library transferred to the Wessell Library, and the Graduate School of Theology gradually discontinued.

Notable churchmen occupied the deanship of the theological school: Charles H. Leonard, H1868, H05; Lee Sullivan McCollester, Arts Class of 1881, R1884, H1899; Clarence R. Skinner, H45; John M. Ratcliff and Benjamin Butler Hersey, A35, C35, H44. Many of Tufts' buildings perpetuate the names of prominent Universalist Church clergymen and laymen — Ballou, Barnum, Capen, Cousens, Hamilton and Miner, to name a few. They were leaders in the establishment and development of Tufts as a liberal, nonsectarian college.