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Plymouth State Buildings

Buildings Timeline

1891    Rounds Hall built
1903    Klock House (later renamed Frost House) acquired by Plymouth Normal School
1916    Mary Lyon Residence Hall built
1923    West wing of Samuel Reed Hall Residence Hall built
1926    Russell House acquired by Plymouth Normal School (structure built in 1797)
1931    East wing of Samuel Reed Hall Residence Hall completed, Lamson Library established
1934    Ellen Reed House acquired by Plymouth Normal School (structure built in 1900)
1956    Silver Hall built
1960    Blair Hall built
1964    Lamson Library moved from Samuel Reed Hall Hall to its present location
1965    Pemigewasset Residence Hall built
1967    Speare Building and High School Vocational Building acquired by Plymouth State College. Both structures renovated in 1972 Vocational Building becomes Hartman Union Building.
1967    Grafton Hall built
1968    Boyd Science Center built
1968    Smith Hall built
1969    Belknap Hall built
1976    Hyde Hall built
1992    Draper-Maynard Building acquired by Plymouth State College (structure built in 1911)
2006    Langdon Woods built

Boyd Science Center

Building History

Boyd Hall was completed in January of 1968 at a cost of $1,654,000. The architect was Alonzo Harriman of Auburn, Maine. Boyd Hall included a diverse set of facilities including a greenhouse, a planetarium, and a TV studio, in addition to laboratory and lecture hall space.

Named For

Born in Lynn, MA, Robert L. Boyd (1893-1978) interrupted his college career to enlist in the army during WWI. After his service, Boyd finished his bachelors degree at Massachusetts State College (now the University of Massachusetts) and his Master of Education from the University of New Hampshire. Boyd was a professor of science at Plymouth from 1931 to 1961. A botanist and naturalist, Boyd devised nature trails in Langdon Park. He is remembered for the excellent rapport that existed between him and his students.

Grafton Residence Hall

Building History

When it was completed in 1967, Grafton Hall was the college’s tallest building at seven stories. Several structures had to be torn down or relocated for the building of Grafton Hall. One of these was the Stephen Webster House, the oldest structure in Plymouth, built in 1765. Grafton Hall and its twin hall, Smith Hall, were designed by architect Nicholas Isaak of Manchester, New Hampshire.

To commemorate the Alumni Association’s contribution to the building of the hall, a bronze marker was placed on the residence hall. The bronze marker, which has gone missing, read:

 

A PORTION OF THE LAND
UPON WHICH THIS BUILDING,
GRAFTON HALL, IS CONSTRUCTED
WAS DONATED BY
THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF
PLYMOUTH STATE COLLEGE

Named For

Grafton Hall shares its name with the county in which Plymouth is located, which was named for Augustus Henry Fitzroy, 3rd Duke of Grafton (1735-1811.) Grafton was a member of British Parliament, serving as prime minister from 1768-1770. He favored repeal of the Tea Act which ultimately incited the Boston Tea Party and resigned his post because he supported conciliatory action towards the American colonies.

Harold E. Hyde Hall

Building History

Hyde Hall construction was completed in September of 1976. At the dedication, a plaque was finally unveiled that had been created five years earlier to honor Harold E. Hyde’s twentieth anniversary as president of Plymouth College.

Named For

Born in 1911 in Hartwick, NY, Harold E. Hyde obtained a bachelors degree from Hartwick College in 1933, a master’s degree from the University of New York and his doctor of education degree from New York University in 1950. Under Hyde’s skillful management, the college grew significantly in the number of students and breadth of curriculum. When Hyde became president in 1951, 271 students were enrolled at Plymouth; when he retired in 1977, enrollment had grown to over 2,500.

Mary Lyon Residence Hall

Building History

Mary Lyon Hall is one of Plymouth State’s oldest and most beloved residential halls. This dormitory for women opened  on November 18, 1916. Normal Hall, one of the school’s earliest dormitories was located on what is now the lawn of Mary Lyon Hall; it was moved to facilitate the construction and later demolished.

At the time Mary Lyon Hall opened, standards were high and rules strictly enforced. Girls had to sign out after 6 p.m. and had to sign in by 11 p.m. The rooms were to be well maintained, and were frequently inspected. Beds had to be made by 10:00 a.m. and apparel was not to be scattered around the room. Guests were permitted only by the permission of the house director and were met with a fifty cent fee if they planned to stay overnight.

Named For

This residence hall was named after the feminist educator and founder of Mount Holyoke College, Mary Lyon (1797-1849.) Lyon attended the seminary at Byfield at the age of 24, at the time an unusually advanced age for a woman to attend school. Lyon taught for ten years in Derry, NH at the Adams Academy where Plymouth Normal School President, Dr. Ernest L. Silver, had previously been a principal. Lyon believed in making the highest educational opportunities open to women and that these opportunities should prepare women to serve the community.

Russell House

Building History

Russell House was acquired by Plymouth Normal School in 1926. For some time it was a residence for professors. In 1956, because of a demand for student residences, the house became a dormitory for senior women. In the fall of 1967 the house was once again transformed and used for faculty and administrative offices for the Social Science Department, as well as accommodations for Admissions, Public Relations, Alumni Relations and the Director of Student Teaching. Currently this house is home to Admissions, the Center for the Environment, the Center for Rural Partnerships, as well as the Institute for New Hampshire Studies.

Named For

Russell house was built by Plymouth merchant Moor Russell (1757-1851) in 1797. Russell, a soldier in the Battle of Bunker Hill, moved to Plymouth from Haverhill, NH in 1801 and purchased the property from David Webster, the first settler in Plymouth. He opened a general store in 1798 that operated for more than 100 years on the spot currently occupied by the post office. In addition to his successful business dealings, Russell also served for ten years in the state legislature as a senator and representative.

Smith Residence Hall

Building History

Smith Hall first opened as a women’s dormitory in January 1968 and housed 238 women. To make way for the construction of Smith Hall, the Methodist Church parsonage as well as other structures, on Highland Avenue were purchased and demolished. Smith Hall and its twin hall, Grafton Hall, were designed by architect Nicholas Isaak of Manchester, New Hampshire. Because of the height of these buildings the college and Plymouth Fire Department obtained an 85-foot ladder, costing $74,000 in 1967.

Named For

Smith Hall was named after Geneva “Miss Mathematics” May Smith. Smith attended Farmington Normal School and Boston University before teaching at public schools in Massachusetts and Maine and at Plymouth Normal School. Remembered for her pep and vitality, she served forty-two years at Plymouth, from 1924-66. Miss Smith was a woman of determination, who for several semesters took on a twenty-two credit teaching course load. Her contributions were recognized in 1966 when she was named Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and in 1983 when the college awarded her an honorary doctorate.

Belknap Residence Hall

 

Building History

As a result of a steady increase in enrollment, Belknap Hall, located at the intersection of Langdon Street and Highland Street, was built as a women’s residence in 1969. In 1974 it became the first co-ed residence hall on campus. It first accommodated 207 women and at present houses 250 students.

Named For

Belknap Hall shares its name with Plymouth’s neighboring county to the south, which was named for Jeremy Belknap (1744-1798.) Born in Boston, Belknap entered Harvard at age 14. After graduating in 1762, he taught school in Greenland, NH and Portsmouth, NH before becoming pastor of the Congregational Church in Dover, NH. While he is best known for his three-volume work “History of New Hampshire,” he was also a founding member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the first society of its kind in America.

Draper & Maynard Building

Building History

Established by Plymouth native Jason F. Draper and Loudon, NH native John F. Maynard, the Draper and Maynard (D&M) Sporting Goods Company was originally located in Glove Hollow in Lower Intervale and later in Ashland NH. Due to continuing growth, the operation was moved to its current location in 1900. In January 1911, a fire demolished the original, three story wooden building and the existing four story, brick structure was built by December 1911. Between 1914-1925 D&M was the site of several celebrated visits by professional baseball players, including the Boston Red Sox and Babe Ruth. The Draper and Maynard Company was sold in 1937 and the building changed hands twice (O.A. Miller – United Shoe Machinery Corporation of Boston and Rochester Shoe Tree) prior to the acquisition by Plymouth State in 1992. Upon completion of the renovations in 1997 the building became the home for the Art Department, the Health and Human Performance Department and the Karl Drerup Gallery.

Named For

Jason F. Draper (1850-1913) followed in his father’s footsteps in the glove business. John F. Maynard (1846-1937) attended business college in Manchester, NH and studied architecture before becoming a contractor and builder in Manchester. The two formed a partnership in 1875 that grew into a successful business producing sporting goods. The company began producing baseball gloves in the 1880s, just as their use was catching on in professional baseball. When Draper died in 1913, Maynard continued to head the company until 1930 when his son Ed Maynard became president. The company closed its doors in 1937.

Samuel Reed Hall Residence Hall

Building History

The Hall Dormitory was built next to the Peppard house starting in 1923, and for some time the west wing of Samuel Read Hall Dormitory was connected to that house. In March of 1932, the east wing of Hall Dormitory was completed and the Lamson Library was moved from Rounds Hall to this wing. Although originally built to house women, the increase in veteran enrollment after World War II prompted the hall’s change to a men’s dormitory.

Named For

Hall Dormitory was named for a former principal of the Holmes Plymouth Academy, Samuel Read Hall (1795-1877.) Before serving as principal at the Academy he established the first normal school in America in Concord, VT. During his time at Plymouth, from 1837 to 1840, he established a teachers seminary and introduced the concept of training teachers for grade positions. It was the existence of a teachers seminary at this location during the time of the Holmes Plymouth Academy that helped sway public opinion in 1870 that Plymouth should be the location for the State Normal School.

Lamson Library

Building History

The college’s first library was located in Rounds Hall. In 1931 the library was moved to the east wing of Samuel Read Hall Hall and was opened to the public in March 1932. When moved to Samuel Read Hall Hall, the library was given the name Lamson Library. Although this newer library was an improvement, this one room library quickly became over-crowded as well.

In September 1964, a new Lamson Library would open its doors to students, in a new building on the site of the former Pemigewasset Hotel property. When the new building was completed, students created a human chain to move books from Hall Hall to the new Lamson Library across Highland Street. In the 1970s, the rapidly growing student body created a need for more space and an addition was built that doubled the size of the library. Once again in 1996 an expansion and renovation project was undertaken. Library operations returned to Hall Hall until the project was completed in 1997.

Named For

Before serving at Plymouth, Herbert H. Lamson received his MD from Dartmouth in 1889 and taught botany at the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (currently the University of New Hampshire, Durham). During his tenure at Plymouth from 1903 to 1938 he taught agriculture, geography, and the natural sciences, and was well known as a nature enthusiast. He also served as the assistant to president Silver, and was the official leader of the school in Silver’s absence. Affectionately known as “Lammie,” Dr. Lamson was well loved by his students.

Ellen Reed House

Building History

Built in 1900, this property, previously known as the Calley house, was acquired in 1934 and served as the administration building. Under President Hyde’s direction it was significantly refurbished to facilitate more offices for the President’s growing administration.
Since the Guy E. Speare Building became the primary administration building, the Ellen Reed house has continued to function as an office building for the English Department. For a short time, beginning in 1974, the building was called the Faculty Office Building and was officially named the Ellen Reed House in 1976.

Named For

A faculty member at the Plymouth Normal School, Ellen Reed is remembered for her dedication to the school. She was the only faculty member not to resign during the financial difficulties the school faced in 1879.

Silver Hall

Building History

Silver Hall was completed in 1956, twenty-seven years after plans for an auditorium-gymnasium were initially drawn up by President Ernest L. Silver. Silver Hall had three purposes: as a physical education and sports center, as a music center, and as a theatre. The building went without an official name until a May 1959 faculty meeting, and it was rededicated on Parents Day, October 25, 1959. At the time of its dedication it was one of the largest auditoriums in northern New Hampshire. Silver Hall was remodeled in the early 1990s and was renamed the Silver Cultural Arts Center. Recently, the building was given its current name, Silver Center for the Arts.

The Silver Center for the Arts sits on the former site of the mansion of abolitionist Nathaniel P. Rogers. By the 1950s the mansion was no longer used and in disrepair. Built in 1825, the Rogers mansion played a significant role in the abolitionist movement in northern New Hampshire before the Civil War.

Named For

Born in Salem, NH Ernest L. Silver (1878-1949) graduated from Pinkerton Academy, where he would later serve as principal. After his graduation from Dartmouth College in 1899, Ernest L. Silver worked as Superintendent of Schools at Rochester, NH and Portsmouth, NH.

Assuming various titles as principal, director, and president, Silver led Plymouth from its normal school days in 1911 to Plymouth Teachers College in 1946. When enrollment declined during the Great Depression, Silver successfully averted several attempts by the state legislature to close the school

Sources

The sources below provide more in depth information on the buildings’ histories and the people for whom they were named.

Blair Residence Hall

Building History

Built in 1960 and dedicated on Parents Day, April 9, 1961, Blair Hall was originally a men’s dormitory. It included recreation rooms and a snack bar, which were some of the first places on campus where the conservative dress code was relaxed and dungarees could be worn. Currently Blair Hall is a special interest dorm for music, theatre and the arts.

Named For

The building was named after Campton native Henry William Blair (1843-1920.) Blair attended the Plymouth Holmes Academy whenever the farm work he did to support himself allowed. He studied law in the office of William Leverett in Plymouth, and was admitted to the bar in 1859.

At the outbreak of the Civil War he applied to the army three times before being accepted despite his poor health. He became captain of 15th New Hampshire Volunteers. He achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel before his military service ended when he was injured in the Port Hudson Louisiana campaign in 1863.

He served in the New Hampshire state legislature from 1866 to 1868 and in the US Congress from 1875 to 1881 and 1893-1895. During this time he advocated for federal support of public education, woman suffrage, and labor issues. A pioneer for school funding, Blair acquired permanent endowments for land grant colleges and was instrumental in getting the state college located in Plymouth.

Frost House

Building History

This house was purchased by the state for the Plymouth Normal School in 1903 and stands as one of the oldest buildings on campus. It was the residence of Dr. Ernest Silver, president of the school from 1911-1945. While serving as principal of Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, Dr. Silver met Robert Frost, who was on the teaching staff and was impressed with his ability. When Dr. Silver became president of Plymouth Normal School he asked Frost to join the Plymouth faculty to teach psychology and education. During his early years as president, Dr. Silver offered to share his home with the Frost family.

For some time, the house accommodated the infirmary and was also used as a dorm. Today it is home to the Continuing Education program at Plymouth and the Frost Faculty Center.

Named For

Born in San Francisco, Robert Frost (1874-1963) moved with his mother to Lawrence, MA in 1885. After attending but not graduating from Harvard, Frost and his wife moved to Derry, NH. He taught at Pinkerton Academy for several years, before coming to Plymouth Normal School in 1911 to teach education and psychology. He left for England in 1912 to devote more time to writing. Three years later Frost returned and settled in Franconia, NH. Frost continued to write and teach most notably at Middlebury College in Vermont until his death in 1963.

The Spinelli Archives is home to the George H. Browne Robert Frost Collection, a collection of correspondence, first edition books, audio-visual material, photographs, and other items relating to Frost. The Robert Frost Collection Finding Aid provides a detailed list of the materials in the collection.

Hartman Union Building

Building History

Formerly the vocational building of Plymouth High School, the structure was purchased by the college in 1970. After renovations were completed the Van A. Hartman College Union Building was reopened on Parents Day in March 1972. With the space for the snack bar, offices for student organizations, a game room, and meeting and lounge facilities, this building became the center of student social life. A second renovation was completed in 1995.

Named For

Van A. Hartman served as the dean of personnel at Plymouth from 1961 until his death in 1968. Before coming to Plymouth, Hartman was a soccer, basketball, and baseball coach, as well as a semi-pro baseball player. He supported athletics at Plymouth State and helped the school transition from Plymouth Teachers College to Plymouth State College.

Langdon Woods

Building History

Langdon Woods, located on the north end of the campus, opened for residents in the fall semester of 2006. Langdon Woods has been recognized for its environmental sustainability and was the first residential hall in New Hampshire to receive a gold LEED certification.

Named For

Woodbury Fogg Langdon (b.1830), a local civic-minded college graduate, deeded the land that is now known as Langdon Park to the State Normal School in 1917.

Pemigewasset Residence Hall

Building History

Originally slated to be the site of a grocery store, the college bought the Pemigewasset property from the First National Stores in order to build a multipurpose dormitory and academic building. The property was first used for parking, as the streets around the college were quite congested. The architect of this residence hall was Norman Randlett of Laconia, New Hampshire. Construction was completed in 1965.

Named For

Pemigewasset Hall and the Pemigewasset Hotel, which previously occupied the location, both take their names from the river that flows through Plymouth. Pemigewasset is a form of a Abenaki word meaning swift and rapid current.

Rounds Hall

Building History

A boarding house once stood on the site of Rounds Hall. After repeated and costly attempts to repair the two-story building it was decided that a new building was needed. Rounds Hall was dedicated in honor of Charles C. Rounds on August 28, 1891.

This building was the main academic building in Plymouth for many years housing classrooms, the library and the town grade school and high school. The normal school classrooms were allocated to the top two floors, the library and Livermore Hall were located on the second floor and the first floor was taken by the elementary and high schools.

A much needed renovation completed in 1979 updated the building making it more economical and functional. Now the oldest academic building on campus, Rounds Hall today houses a mix of classrooms and offices.

Rounds Hall has been home to one of Plymouth’s most interesting traditions. Every year, shortly before Halloween, two pumpkins appear on top of the spires above the clock of Rounds Hall. The first time it occurred was in 1975 and this mysterious tradition continues today.

Named For

Charles C. Rounds (1831-1901) served as president of Plymouth Normal School from 1883 to 1896. He held master’s degrees from Dartmouth, Bowdoin, and Colby Colleges. Known for his direct manner of speaking, Rounds was influential in matters of education legislation in the state.

Speare Building

Building History

In 1967 the University System reached an agreement with the Plymouth School District to purchase land and buildings. This property included the Guy E. Speare Elementary School which was renovated in 1972, with the help of architects Banwell, White, and Arnold, of Hanover, NH, to serve as an administrative building. The Guy E. Speare Elementary School, along with the Memorial School, was once the setting for the student teaching required of all PSC students.

Named For

After graduation from Dartmouth College in 1903, Guy E. Speare served as teacher, principal, and superintendent at several schools in Vermont and New Hampshire. He received his Master of Education from Harvard in 1926. Speare served as Director of Training at the Plymouth Normal School from 1921 to 1944.