Notes to Thomas Edison

                    Thomas Edison on campus with President Hamilton Holt, 1930

While researching a reference question recently, we came across an envelope marked “Notes written to Thomas A. Edison on Founders Day, February 24, 1930, during the program.”  These appear to have been written by Pres. Hamilton Holt, who presented Edison with an honorary degree of science that day.

At the time of the ceremony, Edison had just turned 83.  One newspaper reported that while he could not hear the “words of tribute paid to him, Mr. Edison took an active interest in the two-hour exercise that ended at high noon,” though he was escorted off the platform during the first part of the ceremony to rest in the shade for a time.

Edison on the outdoor platform during the ceremony

Since Edison had difficulty hearing, Pres. Holt wrote notes to him throughout the day.  Here are some of them:

NotestoEdison_Page_05George Cartwright served as the College’s  Superintendent of Grounds and Buildings from 1927 to 1961, and received the Rollins Decoration of Honor 1941.  A native of Sheffield, England, he lived in Canada before coming to the United States in 1919.


NotestoEdison_Page_11ReducedDuring the ceremony, a $5,000 donation to the College’s Endowment Fund from Mrs. A. M. Young of Mountain Lake was announced, as well as the gift of a new women’s dormitory  from former New York congressman and philanthropist Cornelius A. Pugsley ’29H, a Rollins trustee.

NotestoEdison_Page_12According to The Sandspur, Pres. Holt “announced that a pet raccoon had been donated to any group on the campus that would guarantee to give it a comfortable home and proper attention.  Mr. Edison, who had displayed keen interest in the other gifts, chuckled heartily at this last announcement.”

NotestoEdison_Page_06                                  We have no record of what prompted this note. . .

NotestoEdison_Page_08                                                                  or this one.

The story of Edison’s visit to Rollins was covered by several newspapers. The New York Times reported that 3,500 people attended the ceremony and that Edison “was acclaimed by several hundred schoolchildren along the street as he marched in the academic procession to the campus.”  The Times also reported that President Holt read aloud a telegram sent by a friend of Rollins alumnus Rex Beach. The friend asked, “What’s Rex Beach doing there?  Are you giving golf degrees?”  It was signed, “Yours intellectually, Will Rogers.” (Humorist Will Rogers was a friend of both Rex Beach and his brother-in-law, actor Fred Stone.)

Following the ceremony, the Edisons were guests at a luncheon hosted by Pres. and Mrs. Holt. Edison’s brother-in-law, Halbert Hitchcock, later wrote about this event to his nephew, Theodore:  “At the luncheon which was held directly after he got his degree from Rollins College, President Holt sat at his right hand and wrote out for him the salient points of what was being said and the questions they were all anxious to have him answer, and he entered into the matter with a marvellous [sic] amount of zest, and one could hardly appreciate that he could not hear anything that was going on.  President Holt was so skillful in writing out the things that were important for him to know and the questions that were being asked” (letter dated March 21, 1930, from The Thomas Edison Papers, Rutgers University).

Thomas Edison died the following year, in October 1931.  In April 1940, Mrs. Edison returned to Rollins to plant a tree on campus.  According to a clipping from an unnamed newspaper, she explained that “the ebon tree from India had weathered Florida tornadoes, cold and other vicissitudes characteristic of the career for her husband,” which was why she had chosen it for Rollins. She said, “May this tree be destined to grow and flourish and give joy to all as it gives me joy in presenting it to you.”

From The Sandspur, April 24, 1940

Thomas and Mina Edison’s home, Seminole Lodge in Fort Myers, features a Friendship Walk that is modeled on the College’s Walk of Fame.  Its first stone came from their friend, Hamilton Holt.

~by D. Moore, Archival Specialist

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The First College Color: Oleander Pink


This keepsake in the Archives, decorated with faded pink ribbon, tells the story of Rollins’ first College color, oleander pink, and how it came to be replaced with the blue and gold that we know today.  The text on the right reads:

                     College Colors

Oleander pink was chosen by Mrs. Edward P. Hooker.

The Horseshoe was bordered

with oleanders which bloomed

profusely at Commencement time.

The Big Freeze killed these bushes

and they were not replaced.

Gold and royal blue were chosen

by the students in  the

spring of 1895

This is a short and simple account, but is there more to the story?

As is sometimes the case in such matters, there are different versions of events on record.  One source says that the colors were changed in 1905; another states that the new colors appeared in 1908, inspired by the opening lines of the “Rollins Song” of 1907:  “Fiat Lux!  Let Rollins shine clear in the golden light of day.”

A more detailed account comes from Henry “Hank” Mowbray, class of 1897, the first editor of The Sandspur (and the future donor of Rollins’ Mowbray House).  In an essay written in 1949, “Youthful Days in Florida,” he recalled the first part of the story told above:  that Mrs. Hooker, the wife of Rollins’ president, had chosen oleander pink for the blossoms that appeared on campus at Commencement time.  Then he added:

“But there arose complications for there was a fellow student of mine, Miss Marie McIntosh, who had a sallow and pimply complexion and who volubly contended that oleander pink was most trying for her to wear.    Another complication was that I hoped. . . to secure the affections of Miss Marie.  So to ingratiate myself with her, as editor of The Sand Spur, I waged a campaign against oleander pink and presented in print the advantages of Blue and Gold.”

SKMBT_22313102114170_0001Henry Mowbray (seated, third from left) and fellow students at Pinehurst, 1894-95                                                             (click on the photo to enlarge it)

Just as Mr. Mowbray stated, the first issue of The Sandspur, published in December 1894, featured an article arguing for new school colors.  The author, identified only by the initial “D.” (possibly art instructor Amy F. Dalrymple)  first cited “the complaining whispers which the writer has heard for the past five years in regard to the college color,” and noted that “the rosewater pink which was selected and which Wanamaker promised to keep in stock for us, is not the color which we now use” and “the original color cannot be procured–a good reason for changing it.”  After stating “the one strong objection to rose-pink is that it is felt to be inadequate to express dignity, strength, and stability,” The Sandspur went on to make this recommendation:  “A charming combination of colors are royal blue and gold, each color giving force to the other by contrast. .  . Let the royal blue suggest kingship, power, and the highest and deepest in character and aims, and let the gold mean to us, unchanging value, and real, substantial worth.”

Sandspur                       The cover of The Sandspur, 1894.  Inside was the motto, “Stick to it.”

The Sandspur kept up the pressure in its next issue, which appeared in March 1895 and included a brief article arguing that “the new Rollins stick-pins which are seen displayed on lapels and other conspicuous places, surely show the weakness of the College color. Imagine pins of like pattern with gold mountings instead of silver; royal blue enamel instead of pink, and on the blue ‘Rollins’ or ‘RC’ in gold.   It would be a pin to be proud    of. . .”  The same issue quoted a letter from alumnus Fred Lewton, who said in part, “though I should be sorry for the sake of old associations to have the color changed, I will say that I am in favor of something else,” as well as an update on the activities of The Demosthenic Society (publishers of the paper), who had unanimously voted for the new colors and appointed a committee to draw up a petition to submit to the faculty.

The minutes show that the faculty approved the change on April 16, 1895:

Faculty Minutes April 1895


According to Henry, the campus had been “a tempest in teapot, made wild and stormy by Mrs. Hooker,” so the victory had been hard-won.  Then came an unexpected blow:  “It still brings tears to my eyes, and today I hope to your eyes, that after all this labor of mine, for her, the ungrateful Miss Marie transferred her affections from me to my rival, Ernest Missildine.  How bitter life is!”

More than fifty years had passed, but even so, Henry claimed that “when these days I see Rollins students marching under blue and gold standards, I would that it were oleander pink.”

SKMBT_22313102114170_0003            Henry Mowbray (front row, left) and fellow members of the Delphic Society,                 from a photo taken in 1894-95.  Ernest Missildine is seated behind him.                                                    Author Rex Beach can be seen on the top right.

This would appear to be the definitive story of how the College colors came to be blue and gold, but one question remains:  the Archives has no record of a student named Marie McIntosh.  However, in yet another version of the story, published in 1952, The Sandspur reported that the change was first proposed by a student named Annie Fuller, who “hated pink.  Rebelling against the insipidity of the color, Annie went to Henry Mowbray, who was then editor of the newly-founded Sandspur, and delivered a sales talk that apparently sold.”  We do have a record of Miss Fuller, who attended the Rollins Academy in the 1890s.

AnnieFullerCroppedAnnie Fuller, a music student at Rollins, pictured with classmates and faculty in 1893.   She is wearing a striped dress and is seated behind the young woman holding a guitar.

Whether or not unrequited love played a role in the change, the College colors have been blue and gold since the student days of Sandspur editor Henry Mowbray–who also gave our student newspaper its name.  But that’s another story.

~ by D. Moore,  Archival Specialist






Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“My business is to play young girls parts”: Letter from Annie Russell

LettertoEdwardBok                                            The first page of Miss Russell’s 1903 letter

The Archives is pleased to share this newly acquired letter, written by actress Annie Russell in January 1903.  It is addressed to Edward Bok, editor of The Ladies’ Home Journal, the magazine that was about to feature Miss Russell in a series covering “the lives of the popular actors and actresses as they are lived off the stage” (The Ladies’ Home Journal, May 1903).

Miss Russell begins her letter by noting that these articles always include the actors’ birth dates, then says, “I write to ask you please not to take as authority for mine that given in a book called ‘Famous Actresses of the Day’ which is incorrect in many, many points.”  The book she cites is in the holdings of the Olin Library and gives her year of birth as 1864.

FamousActressesExcerpt                 Annie Russell in the book Famous Actresses of the Day in America,                                                by Lewis C. Strang (published in 1899)

She goes on to say definitively, “I was not born in 1864.”  And then, “as my bussiness [sic] is to play young girls parts–this statement causes a certain disillusion.”  Though claiming that 1864 was “not many years” off the mark, she points out that “each added one makes my work a little harder.”  (Confusion about Miss Russell’s birth date persists to this day, with some sources citing the year 1869.)

At the time this letter was written, Miss Russell was starring in Mice and Men, a romantic comedy in which her character first appears on stage as a 16-year-old girl.  The New York Times, noting her “angular and untrained” movements and the “childish treble” of her voice, declared her performance to be “a marvelously sincere and amusing impersonation of a girl of sixteen just out of an orphan asylum.”  Her achievement is even more impressive considering that she was just days away from her 39th birthday (for she was, according to our records, born on January 12, 1864).

                                            Poster for the play Mice and Men, 1903                                                                (Image from the Library of Congress,

It’s easy to understand why Miss Russell wrote Mr. Bok, “I would rather not have my age given at all.”  She continued, “I can trust to your understanding that this is not a matter of personal vanity—so much as of business necessity.”

The article that appeared in Mr. Bok’s magazine a few months later describes Annie Russell’s life as the “young mistress” of her summer home in Maine, where she jumps into the ocean “with the glee of a girl,” and comes to dinner after a horseback ride and another swim “as fresh and lively as a girl of twenty.”  It concludes with a description of Annie as “the soul of gracious young womanhood and contented happiness.”  Her age is not given.

As the letter suggests, Annie regarded Edward Bok as an understanding friend.  What no one could have guessed at the time was that this friendship would eventually change the history of Rollins:  the Annie Russell Theatre, dedicated in 1932, was the gift of Miss Russell’s close friend, Mary Louise Curtis (Mrs. Edward) Bok.


                                       Annie Russell (left) and Mary Louise Curtis Bok

~ by D. Moore, Archival Specialist

For more information, please see our biography of Miss Russell at our “Golden Personalities” page ( ).  Additional information is available at the Annie Russell Theatre’s website ( ).

Famous Actresses of the Day in America is available in the Olin Library’s Department of Archives and Special Collections (call number PN2285 .S77 1899).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Rollins Reminiscences”: Emma N. Gaylord

StudentsandFaculty1896-97                    Rollins Students and Faculty, 1896-97 (click on the photo to enlarge)

Among the many intriguing items in the Archives is a box labeled “Rollins Reminiscences.” This box contains recollections from many of our earliest students, including Emma N. Gaylord, who attended the Rollins Academy (the College’s preparatory division) from 1897 to 1902.  We hope that she would have been pleased to serve as a “guest blogger” and share some of her memories here.

Emma’s “Reminiscences” file holds a letter written to Prof. Alfred J. Hanna on May 23, 1935, in which she recalled her work for Pres. George Morgan Ward during her student years.   She began by writing, “They say reminiscing is a sure sign of old age.  But it is no trouble at all for me to recall the beginnings of Dr. Ward’s work at Rollins, for the events are as clear in my mind as it they had occurred but yesterday.  And perhaps it is a peculiarly appropriate employment for his birthday.”

gwardregelia                 Rev. George Morgan Ward, who served three times as Rollins’ president                                                         (1896-1902, 1916-1917, and 1919-1921)

“At the trustee meeting that fall [1896], one of the trustees, Rev. E. P Herrick, then my pastor at the Congregational church here in Tampa, walked into Mr. Ward’s office and saw him struggling with a pile of correspondence, trying to answer the letters in his own energetic but somewhat illegible script.  To Mr. Herrick’s suggestion that he needed a stenographer, he replied vigorously, ‘I certainly do.  I’m three weeks behind right now.’”

“The upshot of it was that I entered Rollins immediately after the holidays, to work my way as Mr. Ward’s stenographer. . . I had had seven weeks instruction in shorthand and typing at the Tampa Business College the summer before, and was in the junior year at Hillsboro High.  The only typewriter on the campus was a Blickensderfer belonging to a student named Louis Lyman, and inasmuch as the only one I had ever seen before was a Remington, it was hopelessly beyond my ability to manage.   So for the remainder of that year the letters were transcribed in longhand.”

       A Blickensderfer 5 typewriter, featuring a DHIATENSOR keyboard layout                                          (with the most frequently used letters on the bottom row)

It was no thanks to this equipment that the President’s correspondence was caught up after three weeks, but rather “because neither of us paid any attention to the hours we put in.  We simply worked till the work was done.  And that was true as long as I was with him.”   It wasn’t until 1898, when “the college finances were sufficiently prosperous that a brand-new Smith Premier was installed, which I used from then on until I left, in June, 1902.”

At that time, the President had “the two rooms on the southwest corner of Pinehurst, Dr. Ward using the one opening out of the hall as his private office.”  Emma recalled that when the office clipboard was full of letters, “we removed them, strung them together with a piece of twine and a darning-needle, and stacked them in the bottom of the closet in the private office.”  As she described it, “The first two years, no record was kept of outgoing letters except my stenographic notes.  Inasmuch as owning to the meagerness of my instruction I soon developed a system all my own, there was no particular loss when those records were burned in the fire that destroyed Knowles Hall.”

firstknowleshallruins                   The remnants of the first Knowles Hall, which housed the College’s chapel,                                      classrooms,  administrative offices, and scientific equipment.                                                                 The building burned down in December 1909.

Living and working on campus in those days could be challenging and uncomfortable.  Emma remembered that “there was no way of heating the offices except a charcoal burner, whose fumes made me sick.”  She would put a hot brick under her feet, or stand over “the hot air register in the hall” to warm up.  “Fortunately, such cold days were not very numerous.  Only twice during the six years did the water pipes freeze and burst, so that we had to use water from the lake until they could be thawed out and repaired.”  During her second year at Rollins, a steam pump was installed on campus, which supplied running (though non-drinkable) water from the lake to the buildings.

“No sketch of the Rollins of that day would be complete without mention of the College’s one means of transportation, a buckboard and Old Kate, a sorrel mare whose head hung dejectedly to her knobby knees.  Fortunately, Dr. Ward’s sense of humor was strong enough to enable him to ride behind her without hanging his own head.  She brought supplies from Orlando, took Dr. Ward on his errands about the town and countryside, carried Dr. and Mrs. Ward to church on Sundays, all without ever lifting her head or getting out of a little jog-trot that most any of the boys could have beaten for speed at a walk.  I never knew what became of her.”

Ward1897-98Reduced                                  Pres. Ward and his wife, Emma, in 1897-98                                                    (pictured without Old Kate)

“Nor would the sketch be complete without mentioning Mrs. Ward’s tremendously big warm spot in her heart for the boys, particularly those living in Pinehurst, where Dr. and Mrs. Ward had their apartment.  They swarmed in her parlor and overran the halls, and played with her fox terrier more than she did.  I can see them now, Arthur Lincoln, Neville Clark, Harry Thompson, Russell Barr, snapping their fingers while that dog jumped to shoulder-height, with no regard to the consequences to her floors.   It was her delight when she entertained to make sure there was plenty of ice cream and cake left over, so she could invite the boys in to eat the remains.”

PinehurstStudents1899      Students at Pinehurst in 1899. Their average age was 14; most of the boys pictured here were enrolled in the College’s preparatory division and came to Rollins from Cuba,                             under the Latin American Program created by Dr. Ward.

Emma noted that Pres. Ward had come to Rollins shortly after the “Big Freeze” of 1894-95 that devastated the Florida economy and led to the resignation of the College’s previous president, Charles G. Fairchild.  (The booklet President George Morgan Ward and His Three Administrations tells of a young man visiting from England that year, who wrote that “the country looked as if swept by fire. . . The orange trees were black, the fruit lumps of yellow ice. . . Not merely the fruit growers but everyone in the State, from the grocer to the land agent, was utterly ruined.”  The same booklet also quotes Mrs. Fairchild as saying,  “if there had been a death in every family in the State we could not feel more depressed.”)

afterfreeze1895                                  Oranges lying on the ground after the freeze of 1895

“Dr. Ward took charge just a year after the ‘Big Freeze,’ that wiped out the college’s endowment.  It was hopelessly in debt, but no worse off than the people for the benefit of whose sons and daughters the college had been founded. . . Meagerly as the college was furnished, it was luxurious compared to the homes from which the majority of the Florida boys and girls came.  And most of them fattened on the generous diet provided by Miss Merrill.  It is well known that Dr. Ward spent most of his time, ably abetted by Mrs. Ward, soliciting aid for the college.  But it probably is not so well known that they also solicited clothing for individual students. . . Nor is it known that often and often, when things were the darkest, he would come into the office, after prayer in his own room, slap the palm of his left hand with a sheaf of bills in his right, and say, with a rather tight-lipped little smile, ‘Blessed be nothing, for then you can’t lose it.’”

Emma described Pres. Ward as a “marvelous man,” who was “eloquent, witty, tender and sympathetic with the students in all their anxieties, knowing each one by name, stern in reproof when necessity demanded, always firm, a very rock of integrity, he left an indelible impress on our characters.  It is Rollins tradition, how we all idolized him.  I do not think we were any more hero-worshipping than other young people of that age.  We just had a better hero to worship!”

“If I could ‘make my heart leap into my mouth,” Emma continued, “I might find the words with which to utter a fitting tribute to George Morgan Ward.”  She was “not unmindful of the influence that others at Rollins had upon me, of that galaxy of brilliant golden personalities that was the faculty,” but “because he was the key man, upon whose will depended altogether whether I stayed there at all or not, as well as because his influence was exerted more constantly as well as for a longer period of time, looking back from the hilltop of the years, I can say from my heart, ‘I am what I am, by the grace of God and George Ward.’”

Emma last saw Dr. Ward in 1930, shortly before he died, when he was just about to retire after many years of serving as pastor of the Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach.  At his  Rollins memorial service, Pres. Hamilton Holt declared that “no friend of Rollins has been more zealous in the upbuilding of the College, more devoted to its interests or more delighted in its success” than Pres. Ward.  He went on to say, “I suppose that every college president imagines that his own academic and financial burdens are heavy, but I should be ashamed to complain of mine after hearing of the trials and tribulations that Dr. Ward met and surmounted.  It is of such saints and heroes that most American colleges have been built, and the sad part of it is that most of their sacrifices can never be fully appreciated nor adequately repaid.”

For his part, Dr. Ward once said, “If I could keep but one experience of my own life, I would keep the years at Winter Park.  I learned there the real discipline of life.”

~ by D. Moore,  Archival Specialist

To read more about Pres. George Morgan Ward, please visit our “Golden Personalities” page at .








Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Remembering Dorothy Shepherd Smith ’33

WPStarApr221964             Dorothy Shepherd Smith at the College’s Mills Memorial Library in 1964                                  (clipping from the Orlando Evening Star’s Winter Park Star, 4/22/1964)

Last week we said goodbye to Dorothy Shepherd Smith, our alumna and an important contributor to the Rollins Archives.  During her years at Mills Memorial Library, she  worked under historian Alfred J. Hanna on the Union Catalog of Floridiana, an ambitious project to develop a statewide index of Florida library materials.  She also compiled the indexes to Winter Park’s first newspaper, Lochmede, and the Chase Scrapbooks (1881-1906), two resources on local history that continue to be used today.

Mrs. Smith’s family members were true Winter Park pioneers. Her great-uncle, Miller Henkel, came to Winter Park in 1883 and was the city’s first physician (office visits cost 50 cents; house calls, one dollar).  Her father, Forney W. Shepherd, was a businessman whose general store was the second brick building in Winter Park.  Mr. Shepherd, with James E. Harper, also built Harper-Shepherd Field, which they donated to the city in the 1920s, and which the city gave to Rollins in 1934.   Today, Harper-Shepherd Field is the home of the College’s Alfond Baseball Stadium.

In 1996 and 2001, Mrs. Smith participated in two oral history interviews for the Winter Park Historical Association (note: all quotes are from these interviews).   Among the stories she shared were her memories of growing up in city in the early 1900s:

Elementary school:  “The Park Avenue School was a red brick building a year or two old.  There was no playground equipment.  We skipped rope in the front yard.”

ParkAveSchool1920sReduced2                                Park Avenue School in the 1920s

Celebrating Christmas:  “Well, there was no such thing as going to a store and buying a Christmas tree.  There were trees to be had any place on the outskirts of Winter Park.  We always went armed with a hatchet to select a short-leafed pine tree.   There were no “No Trespassing” signs or anything like that. . . All the children in town were invited to the park for Christmas Eve.  There was a big tree and a Santa Claus.  We sang carols and they gave each child a red cornucopia filled with French candy and nuts.”

Alligators:  “Sometimes we went down to the lake front at night with a big flashlight to see how many alligators we could spot.  Their eyes, at night, are like red jewels–they are beautiful.  No alligators ever came up on our property and I never heard of anyone being attacked by an alligator in those days.  However, to an alligator, a dog is like ice cream and cake.  The Del Masons who lived close to us on the lake [Osceola] had hunting dogs.  They lost several of their dogs to alligators.  An alligator would crawl up on the lawn.  The dog would get too close and with one swish of its tail the alligator knocked it unconscious.  That was the beginning of the end.”

Going to the movies:  “The Baby Grand Theater, especially on Saturday night, was the most exciting place in town.  There was no ventilation.  There were wall fans on both sides of the theater.  The movie was silent with appropriate piano music.  There was always a serial on Saturday night with the villain or the hero left hanging from a cliff or in some other desperate situation.  You had to return next Saturday to see how it came out!”

After graduating from high school, Dorothy attended the Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee for one year, before transferring to Rollins.  She remembered Pres. Hamilton Holt as “very innovative.  His conference plan was the most wonderful way to learn.  Instead of being in a class with 75 or 100 students, as I had been at FSCW, the limit was 17.  We sat around a conference table and discussed the lesson of the day.  There were no examinations which was a great relief.  At the end of the term we had a private conference with the professor, at which time he asked enough questions to find out what we had learned and to grade us.”

Conference Plan 1938                                      The Conference Plan in action, 1938

Dorothy’s undergraduate activities included membership in the Phi Mu sorority and work on the Sandspur staff.  She remembered attending dances at the Coliseum in Orlando, walking to get there, as “very few students had cars.”

PhiMu1933  Dorothy (lower left) and some of her sorority sisters, from the 1933 Tomokan yearbook

She also recalled a student job reading to Annie Russell:  “I heard that Annie Russell, the famous English actress, wanted someone to read to her, so I read to her and enjoyed the experience.  She was a small, pleasant woman.  I thought she was very, very old.  Recently, I found out that she was only 62.”  At Miss Russell’s home on Via Tuscany, “I read The Life of Sarah Bernhardt and other books on the Theatre and also news magazines.  She had broken her hip and installed an elevator in her home.  It was the first elevator in anybody’s home in Winter Park.  It was the talk of the town, Miss Russell’s elevator.”

Dorothy graduated from Rollins in 1933.

SeniorPhoto1933500x581jpg                                                               Dorothy’s senior picture

After graduation, she studied business for one year at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, then returned to Rollins and worked with Librarian William F. Yust at the Carnegie Library.  “In those days, the library occupied only one-half of Carnegie Hall and the other half was devoted to Administrative offices.  There was only one person on at night at a time and that one person was me.”

CarnegieLibrary1934                                                             Carnegie Library, 1934

Dorothy had an adventurous side, as became clear after she left the library in 1936.   In 1942, she spent three months traveling by bus “all over Mexico” with her sister and a friend.  From there, they decided to make their way “by bus and by train and a short distance by ox cart” to Nicaragua, where Dorothy’s cousin held a post in the foreign service. Met by her cousin “in a horse and buggy,” Dorothy found her new surroundings reminiscent of “when Winter Park was first founded in the 1880s. In spite of all this, we loved it.  We went to stay for two weeks and stayed for two years.”  A vivid memory of Latin America was riding mules in Mexico to the site of an active volcano, “with boulders being tossed out of its mouth and rivers of glowing lava running down its side. . . Our hair was stiff with lava dust and we were just covered with dust, but it was a spectacular sight that I’ll never forget.”   A few years later, she moved to Athens, and made trips to Turkey, Egypt, and the Middle East, later visiting Europe, Hawaii, and Japan.  Her articles about her travels appeared in The New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, and The Christian Science Monitor.

In 1955, she accepted a position at the College’s Mills Memorial Library, where she worked until her retirement in 1971.

Tomokan1956Archivist Frederick Lewton, Dorothy, and Della F. Northey (editor of the Union Catalog                                      of Floridiana), from the 1956 Tomokan yearbook

In 1989, her work in the Archives was recognized with a certificate of commendation from the American Association for State and Local History.

RollinsAlumniRecordWinter1990                                             The Rollins Alumni Record, Winter 1990

In 2007, Dorothy was pictured with fellow alumni from the era of Pres. Hamilton Holt, affectionately dubbed “the Prexy years.”

PrexyGroup2007“Remembering the Prexy Years”:  front row, left to right:  Annette Twitchell Whiting ’36, Dorothy, and Betty Carson Wales ’42.  Back row:  Charles Robinson ’51, Margy Mountcastle Robinson ’51, Jack Rich ’38, Alice Henry Acree ’42, Sherry Gregg Ogilvie ’40, Jenelle Gregg Bailey ’48, Peggy Caldwell Strong ’43, and Adele Fort Kirkpatrick ’56.

Looking back over the years, Dorothy said, “In spite of all the advances, restaurants, and enterprises that are here today, I would still choose that simple, quiet, lovely life that used to be.”   Her dedication to preserving the past continues to benefit researchers today.

~ by D. Moore, Archival Specialist

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments