Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ray's Reviews: Michigan Agricultural College - Campus Life 1900 - 1925 by Stephen Terry

“Michigan Agricultural College – Campus Life 1900-1925” by Stephen Terry
(Thunder Bay Press, $19.95) is a wonderful look at an important part of
the history of Michigan State University.
        It focuses on the postcard history of the campus in the era before it
became Michigan State College and later MSU.
        Subtitled “A Postcard Tour”, the well-designed, oblong book provides
hundreds of postcard images of a multitude of campus buildings and
        Terry uses an excellent variety of views, often including the messages
from the individual who initially sent the postcard, such as “This is
sure some great place” or “am having a fine time.”
        The book explores the campus as it existed in the early twentieth
century, when the main entrance to the campus was from Grand River at
Evergreen Street. This was also where the trolley cars from Lansing
        Many postcard images are provided for numerous buildings, including the
U.S. Weather Bureau, the Dairy Building, Wells Hall, the Gymnasium and
the Armory.
        Images of buildings that no longer exist also appear, such as the old
Greenhouse, College Hall (which collapsed), the Engineering Buildings
(which burned in 1916) and the Woman’s Building (later renamed Morrill
Hall, which was recently demolished.)
        Terry provides fascinating graphics from commercially sold postcards as
well as the much scarcer real photo postcards, which were produced in
significantly smaller quantities.
        While much emphasis is given to the architecture of M.A.C., images are
included of the Red Cedar River, the Campus Gardens, the Arboretum and
Lovers Lane.
        There are also panoramic and “bird’s eye” views of the campus and events,
offering a general view of Laboratory Row and the Agricultural
        The last section of the book is devoted to the Smokestacks, Steam
Tunnels, Off Campus Housing and the 1907 Semi-Centennial celebration,
which drew 20,000 people to campus to hear President Theodore Roosevelt
deliver a speech.
        The postcards presented in this book come from the collections of the
author as well as Dennis Hansen and Jeffrey Kacos.
        Terry is a 1960 MSU graduate who worked on campus for 32 years. He served
as the University’s Senior Financial Officer before retiring in 1998.
        This is a great book for historians, libraries and dedicated MSU fans.

        Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed
Michigan books and crime novels regularly since 1987.

Find this book and other great titles

at the Curious Book Shop, an independent 
book shop in East Lansing, founded in 1969.

We have a limited number of SIGNED copies available.
This would make for a lovely gift! 

Curious Book Shop
307 East Grand River Avenue
East Lansing, Michigan

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on November 16, 2014.

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