This aerial photograph taken in 1945 shows the addition of the George Barron Miller farm to the original campus. The purchase of the Miller farm in 1920 added 170 acres to the campus. The original campus is to the right of Seventh Street in the photograph and is surrounded by trees. The Men's College quadrangle is clearly visible. The first building to be constructed on the former Miller property was the first wing of the Engineering Building ( the right wing of the U-shaped building to the left of the quadrangle), which was erected in 1921. Memorial Stadium, the second structure was dedicated in 1924. The stadium is not visible in the photo, but was located to the left of the baseball diamond in the upper-left quadrant of the photograph. Work was begun on the Vaughan Literature Building ( the C-shaped building above the Engineering Building ) in 1933. The final building to be erected before 1945 was the Davis Gymnasium ( in the upper-right quadrant of the photograph ), which was completed in 1938.
Some other interesting features of the 1945 campus can be seen in this photograph. In the lower-right corner, next to the Tustin Gymnasium-Service Building-Power Plant complex, are the Women's tennis courts ( the white area ). In the upper right, the Men's tennis courts ( the large white area )are located next to Seventh Street. Route 15, which was constructed in the early 1930's, is in the upper part of the photograph with trees lining both sides of the highway. Linntown is visible in the upper-right-hand corner of the photo. The white areas in the upper-left quadrant, between the Vaughan Literature Building and the Delta Sigma fraternity house ( to the left of the Engineering Building ) were fields which had been plowed and readied for planting crops.
The Purchase and Use of the Miller Farm
At the same special meeting of the Board of Trustees in Philadelphia on May 10, 1920, when the signing of the agreement to purchase the Miller farm “was unanimously confirmed”, “...the Committee on Buildings and Grounds was instructed to secure, if possible, an exchange of the [Strohecker] field adjoining the University Grounds for a portion of the Miller farm.” The Strocker farm is located in the bottom left corner of the photograph below the Engineering Building. The following year, the Committee on Buildings and Grounds was instructed “...to take up the matter of an exchange of part of the Miller Farm for the Strohecker Farm.” , but nothing came of this effort. .The university was still interested in the Stohecker farm in 1932 when the Committee on Buildings and Grounds was “...requested to find out upon what terms the Strohecker Farm could be purchased by the University and to secure, if possible, an option for the purchase of the same.” However in October, 1932, at the same time that Jens Larson was retained as the university architect, Trustee Albert W. Johnson “...made a report ...which disclosed a price asked by Mr. Strohecker very much in excess of what the Board generally thought should be paid,” and the matter was dropped. Larson’s master plan for the campus envisioned the campus extending from the Lewisburg cemetery to the Susquehanna River, and the Strohecker farm would provide access to the road by the river.
Questions arose concerning how the Miller farm should be used. Shortly after the purchase of the farm, the Trustees directed the university architects “...to so plan that plots of ground may be assigned to members of the faculty and fraternities for building residences for their own occupancy under conditions to be made by the Board.” In 1923, a plan that had been adopted by the board in June “...to assign and lay out plots for faculty members...and to extend water, sewer and light connections to the same” was rescinded by the board in December. The Trustees returned to “the matter of location of fraternity and professors houses on the campus” in 1927 when they appointed a committee to investigate such construction. The following year, another committee was appointed to decide the matter. In 1928, this committee “...unanimously decided that it was not necessary to use any part of the Bucknell Campus for the houses of either professors or fraternities.” Not until 1941 did the Trustees return to the matter of constructing fraternity houses on the Bucknell campus that had been added by the purchase of the Miller farm, and in that year the Delta Sigma fraternity house was built on part of this land on what would become known as Fraternity Row.
Around the time of the first consideration of assigning plots to faculty and fraternities, a trustee committee was “...appointed to investigate laying out a golf course on the Miller farm.” However, this never came to fruition. In 1929, the Kaiser farm was purchased for $9,500.00, and the golf course was located on this land. The cost of the golf course was “...financed by individual contributions and not out of University funds.”
The university did not retain the entire farm. In 1925, “[t]wo acres and twenty-five perches of land were transferred to the Lewisburg Cemetery Association.” Also, the university purchased additional land adjacent to the farm. In 1934, the Trustees authorized the expenditure of $10,000.00 for the purchase of “…the Cornelius property, of approximately 27 acres, lying to the north of the Stadium”, which occurred the following year.
Portions of the Miller farm continued to be utilized for farming after its purchase. In 1931, the Trustees determined that “[u]niversity farms should be operated by the Committee on Buildings and Grounds.” There was a large dairy herd on the farm that provided milk for university students. In 1937, the Trustees authorized that “ a pasteurization plant…be installed at the college farm” to meet the request of the Student Health Committee that “only pasteurized milk …be furnished in the dining hall.”
"was unanimously confirmed" BT '82-'20, p. 370
"...the Committee on..." ib., p. 371
"...to take up the..." BT '20-'50, 2/21./921, p. 4
"...requested to find out..." ib., 6/16/1932, p. 3
"...made a report..." ib., 10/21/1932, p. 2
"...to plan so that..." ib., 6/15/1920, p. 9
"...to assign and lay out..." ib., 6/.8/1923, p. 5
"the matter of location..." ib., 6/7/1927, p. 5
"...unanimously decided that..." ib., 12/22/1928, p. 1
"...apppointed to investigate..." ib., 12/18/1920, p. 4
"...financed by individual..." ib., 6/11/1929, p. 5
"[t]wo acres and ..." ib., 6/16/1925, p. 1
"...the Cornelius property..." ib., 6/9/1934, p. 5
"[u]niversity farms should..." ib., 12/19/1931, p.3
"a pasteurizatiion plant..." ib., 4/3/1937, p. 3
The major sources for the information on this page are the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, 1882-1920 (BT '82-'20) and the Minutes of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, 1920-1950 (BT '20-'50) .