A Clarkson Mosaic - page 130

op" house. Later on, it housed visiting athletic teams, and once was used as an infirmary.
In 1966 it was remodeled as a dormitory for Clarkson women. The freshmen women
with several upperclass resident advisors stayed there; upperclass women lived on the top floor
of Donahue House, a wing of Graham Hall. After a disastrous fire in a Cornell University
housing unit similar to Holcroft in the spring of 1979, President Plane ordered the building
closed as a dormitory, and converted into office use for freshman admissions. Later, it was
completely renovated to resemble its appearance in the 1850s, and thus make it a showplace for
prospective students and their parents: Holcroft, the dormitories, the Indoor Recreation
Building, the view of the river and the town—what a college campus is supposed to look like!
Currently, in addition to freshmen admissions, it also houses transfer admissions and the
student health clinic in the basement.
Several residents of Holcroft have claimed to have seen very strange events: open
curtains closed themselves; voices were heard when no one was around; footsteps were heard
on empty stairs. A woman in a long nightgown appeared throughout the third floor during the
1970s. One woman in 1975 was awakened from a deep sleep by the sensation of someone
standing beside her bed. She saw a woman in her late 20s wearing 19th century clothing.
Nearby a pet rabbit of one of the dormitory residents became terrified in its cage by the
presence of something. No one has any answers. (See Appendix I for "The Holcroft Ghost")
Clarkson Gets Estate.
At Commencement, an announcement was made that Miss Annie
Clarkson had given the College 600 acres of land—the Clarkson estate, including her own
residence, Holcroft, except for a few acres occupied by the keeper. The Homestead had burned
in 1909; Woodstock still stood vacant.
Snell Field.
A second announcement made at that Commencement by Trustee Stebbins was the
news that Mr. and Mrs. Bertrand Snell had given the College $40,000 to complete the athletic
field, and build a grandstand and dressing rooms. The Class of 1927 was the class which had
worked on the field for their four years of attendance at Tech. Its completion was certainly
worthy of the pride all the members of the class felt. Trustee Stebbins concluded this news with
the observation that Clarkson and Snell had laid broad foundations, so "Let us do our part to
make the dreams on the hill a reality."
For years Clarkson had felt the need of a new athletic field because the Fair Grounds
[Currently occupied by the High School and Junior High School] used for all its games became
a mud hole after every rain. Because teams acquainted with the field did not like to play here,
Clarkson could schedule only a few home football and baseball games, and up to 1924, the
annual Clarkson-SLU game always had been played in Canton.
To help solve the problem Miss Annie Clarkson in the spring of 1923 deeded to
Clarkson 12 1/2 acres west of the Clarkson estate on the Canton road. Before it could be used
for any athletic game, though, it needed to be levelled, graded, and drained. Realizing the
scarcity of money to lay out and grade a diamond, a gridiron, a track, and tennis courts, and to
build grandstands, bleachers, and a field house, the students arose with an idea—they would do
the work! It would take four years! Their idea was presented to the Trustees in 1923 with the
following petition from the entire student body:
We, the undersigned students of Clarkson College of Technology, do hereby petition the Board of Trustees that the
school be closed for the period of one week beginning Nov. 2, in order that we may work on the athletic field, and
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