A Clarkson Mosaic - page 71

The country celebrated the centennial of Lincoln's birth, and began issuing a one-cent piece in
his memory. On April 9, Peary's expedition reached the North Pole in weather so cold that the
flask of brandy under his parka froze solid. In July, Louis Bleriot of France flew across the 21
miles of the English Channel in 37 minutes. The NAACP was founded. Henry Ford produced
19,051 Model T automobiles, and Leo H. Baekeland devised bakelite, the first phenol-
formaldehyde resin used as electrical insulator. Nine million immigrants arrived in the United
States. Apache Indian chief Geronimo died at age 80. The Boston Marathon record was set at
2:38:48. London publishers accused Mark Twain of plagiarizing Shakespeare. After a West
Point cadet was killed in the Harvard game, the Army-Navy football game was cancelled.
Painter and sculptor Frederic Remington died at age 48.
• The Homestead Burned • Tech Nite
• Miss Frederica Died • Economic Status
The Homestead Burned.
Later in the year, the Homestead burned. It had been built by his
father in 1840 when Thomas was three years old. Extending over 600 acres, the entire Clarkson
estate had contained three residences (Homestead, Woodstock, and Holcroft) a separate
building called the Conservatory, an elegant barn with mahogany stalls for thoroughbred horses
with its own track for exercising them, and a number of other buildings existing on what one
sees today as Clarkson University's hill campus.
With his brother and four sisters, Thomas grew up on the estate. Near Woodstock
Lodge, but closer to what today is Moore House dormitory and at the center of the Clarkson
estate, stood the family home, the Homestead. This home was a rectangular, two-story stone
building that burned in 1909; it might have been saved had the water pressure in the mains from
across the river been high enough to extinguish the flames. A persistent tradition lingered for
years that a large sum of gold and silver coins still lay buried beneath the cellar. (See 1934)
Two sandstone pillars on Clarkson Avenue still mark the entrance of the circular driveway to
the Homestead.
Spread out expansively over the grounds, these buildings were connected by roads so
the Clarksons could ride in horse and buggy instead of walking around the estate. Behind the
Homestead location were stables and carriage and the greenhouse behind the stables. When
favorite horses died, they were buried in back of the barn with tombstones erected over their
graves. Miss Annie especially was a lover of horses, and the gravestone of her favorite horse,
"Trick," can be found in front of the present Indoor Recreation Building.
Other buildings on the estate included small wooden residences of the farm workers for
the Clarkson family. Between the present Alumni Gym and Snell Field stood the caretaker's
cottage. Beyond Woodstock, on the brow of the hill facing south (site of today's Science
Center), stood the cattle barn. Dug into the south slope of the hill was a large tomb-like
structure resembling a railway tunnel that was used for a vegetable cellar, but which, early in
the history of the College, was used for fraternity initiations. Rumors of tunnels leading from
building to building on the Clarkson estate were put to rest when the excavations for
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