Monday, July 13, 2009

Didn't know Jack about the Stories I jacked....

I'm working on a project for my job at the college and I keep running across this incredible information that I just thought it would be tragic not to use, or share. The first is from the internet archived collection of Elisabeth Peck's book: Berea's First Century. The second is a bunch of ghost stories about campus buildings that I found from an old edition of Berea College Magazine.

The problem of how to supervise student labor is the most
pressing labor problem in Berea today. Already in 1894 it was
a serious problem when President Frost wrote: "I do not think
anybody in Berea has ever made a study of supervising, and
yet we have a great deal of it to do, and ought to do more. It is
a kingly art and one which there is a great pleasure in exer-
cising, to transform the unskilled apprentice into the efficient
workman." 26 A good supervisor on the campus today with a
clear program of procedures soon trains an unskilled student

Labor for Education 135

into a productive worker without arousing resentment from Ms
corrections; a careless supervisor or one who feels resentment
that he must perform his duties with inexperienced help soon
taints the student with irritation. Of course, a good printer
may not be fitted to supervise; an excellent hospital technician
may exasperate each student who comes within sound of her
voice; and an excellent weaver may find it harder to direct the
labor of student girls than to weave with her own hands the
most intricate pattern of double weaving.

Another problem is the adjustment of labor to the class
schedule. In most forms of work the superintendent finds that
the fifty-minute academic hour is too short a work period,
especially if the student must change his clothes or wash up
within that time. Yet it may be difficult to make a student's
schedule of college courses and still preserve a place for two
consecutive hours of work. Many a student has found a solu-
tion for his labor troubles in a janitor's job, since janitor work,
though it may seem the least interesting of tasks, is usually done
after classwork in a room is ended.

The Berea work policy includes the idea that drudgery has
no great value per se. If labor savers by their introduction bring
to an end some college jobs, the College will face the problem
and provide some other work. Time was when sawing wood
for college furnaces and stoves employed many men students,
but central heating has long since eliminated the work of the
sawyers. Class bells are now under electric control; so no bell
ringer leaves his classes five minutes early to do his hourly
labor. Janitors are no longer responsible for putting out campus
fires by means of their water buckets. Instead, a preferred form
of labor for a few spirited young men is to ride on the two red
fire trucks and operate the up-to-date fire-fighting equipment by
which both the College and the town are protected. The cows
are milked by machine, the college store uses cash registers,
and needlecraft uses electric sewing machines.

The labor program has had to keep pace with the increase
in Berea's enrollment and with the increasing emphasis upon

136 Berea's First Century, 1855-1955

the College Department. In the early days when no student
industries had been set up, the College simply offered Institu-
tional work, as much as was possible. This work was o two
sorts: first, collegiate service such as library work, assistance in
laboratories, and ringing the college bell; second, house work,
such as janitor service, mixing bread for the boarding hall, and
pumping water to the fourth floor of Ladies' Hall. Almost all
the college labor of today has grown from those two types of
institutional work.

Student labor still shelves books in the library and still
cleans classrooms, but the boarding hall's baker now has an
adjunct of his own, the bakery, which bakes the college bread,
and some extra. In fact, many of the college industries, while
performing indispensable services for the College, have en-
larged their facilities for production because of the desire of
people outside the College to share in college services and
products. The laundry, the power and heat, and the dairy
illustrate such enlarged production. Certain adjuncts are es-
sential for teaching agriculture, such as the poultry farm, the
livestock farm, and the garden; but they too produce essential
products for the College and for others. Some students secure
a desirable cultural experience from such an industry as wood-
craft, which sprang from the old woodworking department, and
from the new pottery, which still rests under the wing of a
teacher in the Art Department. Finally, there are certain in-
dustries, such as needlecraft, which were begun as stabilizing
industries to absorb student labor when other types of campus
work were unusually scarce.

To READ SOME of the things that hard-working Berea students
of the past fifty years have said about their "labor for learning"
is to find reassurance that the effort put upon Berea's labor
program has been worthwhile, even though new problems

Labor for Education 137

spring up before the old ones have been quite solved. While
it is in the classroom and the college Chapel that the serious
student becomes devoted to great ideas for the rest of his life,
the place of his labor is likely to be where he becomes habit-
uated to social responsibility and drawn to new interests that
enrich all his mature life.

It was in her Labor Day address, 1952, that a senior said:
"I began my student labor as a waitress in Boone Tavern. Some
of my campus friends are janitors; some are gardeners; some
are weavers; some are typists; and some are making dough at
the Baker} 7 . . . . The way we do a job is more important than
the job because it indicates answers to so many of the questions
that future employers want to know about us." 27

A young man wrote on February 16, 1912: "I have been
thinking what Berea has been to me. When I first heard of
Berea, it was to me as a dream that was about to come true or
a long wishful prayer that was about to be answered, for I had
long hoped that there was some place where a young man
could get an education regardless of his financial situation. . . .
I have learned to do my part and trust in Berea College, and
Berea College trusts in God, so I need feel no uneasiness about
the rest. Some young men think they cannot work and do any
good in school . . . but I say from experience he does not know
how to enjoy life and make his joy pay him in dollars and
cents." 28

In 1928 a lad with fifty-one cents in his pocket stepped off
the bus in Berea and inquired for the "Berea College school-
house." He spent three years in the Academy and four in the
College, earning almost half of his school expenses through
literary and oratorical prizes, and the rest through campus
labor. When he was close to graduation in 1935 he wrote:
"I like to feel that I have been living in a fairly normal way,
instead of getting a theoretical preparation for living. Berea
College, with its work for everyone, is a whole community in
itself, and this fact simplifies our adjustment to the larger
community of the outside world." 29

138 Berea's First Century, 1855-1955

A graduate of the class of 1925, who has become a pro-
fessor In an outstanding medical school, wrote in 1938: "While
at Berea I enjoyed the privilege of working with Mr. Fielder
[garden], Mr. Goudey [painting], and Mr. Osbome, spending
four years with Mr. Osbome and his associates ... in the
Treasurer's Office. To me this attitude toward work, that is,
any task however menial or hard, when well done, Is an honor,
and the association with these men are by far the greatest
things that Berea gave to me." 30

Finally from a young woman who will graduate from the
College In 1955: "The next afternoon I went to work In the
College Store. Everyone was busy, but each person took time
to show me the things I would need to know. Those first days
were a mass of confusion, but gradually I learned the pattern
of doing tilings. ... I shall never forget the time I sold a cus-
tomer a fifteen-cent paint brush and then put the whole box of
four dozen brushes into her package. I went home that after-
noon wishing Td never have to return. ... I lived that down
in a few weeks. My labor experience has helped me grow
toward maturity. The people who know me are not my room-
mates, nor my teachers or classmates, but the people with whom
and for whom I work." 31

Here is something else I found that was Awesome!!!

When you visit
Berea College,
you can take
historical tours,
admissions tours and
craft tours. But now,
with Halloween fast
approaching, are you
brave enough to take
Berea’s virtual “ghost”
tour? If you are, then
follow us as we explore
some strange and
unexplained phenomena
on campus.
There are several
accounts of ghostly
presences in College
buildings, whether
sightings, sounds,
touch or just “feelings.”
As we tour some of
these buildings via
personal accounts,
hopefully there will be
a friend nearby whose
arm you can clutch—
just make sure there is
a warm body attached!
fall 2003

Page 11
fall 2003
of Berea’s Campus
Love Gone Wrong

The oldest legend takes place in
Berea’s oldest building, Fairchild Hall.
Supposedly, “Abigail,” a young woman
residing in Ladies Hall (renamed
Fairchild in 1937), found herself with
child. Rejected by her young man,
Abigail hung herself in the attic.
Ruth Butwell, former dean of
student life, was told this version. “In
the early years, residents stored their
trunks in the Hall’s attic,” she recalls.

“Abigail, pregnant and desperate,
pushed a trunk under a high rafter.
Finding a long, discarded rope she
climbed on the trunk, tied the rope to
the rafter and then around her neck.
Stepping off the trunk she resolved
her predicament the only way she
knew.” Former residents have been
awakened during the night by shuf-
fling noises coming from the attic—
noises much like heavy objects being
scooted across the rough, heavy
floorboards. Upon investigation, the
attic is always found undisturbed.
Over the years, folks reportedly
have seen a young woman on
Fairchild’s balcony wearing an old
fashioned white middy blouse, a loose
red bow around the neck and a long
dark skirt. Could it be. . . Abigail?

Another legend of thwarted love
has a ghost in Phelps Stokes. “As I
heard it,” says College archivist
Shannon Wilson, ’81, “a young man
and woman were alone in the old
wooden structure, Gothic Chapel,
when it caught fire and burned to the
ground, January 30,
1902. The young
woman was killed,
but the young man
somehow escaped.
Presumably she
continues to search
for him in Phelps
Stokes, which was
built on the Gothic
Chapel site.”

Janet Russell,
’79, has also heard
ghost stories of a
young woman
Over the years, folks reportedly have
seen a young woman on Fairchild’s
balcony wearing an old fashioned
white middy blouse, loose red bow
around the neck and a long dark skirt.
By Linda C. Reynolds, ’93
An early room much like Abigail’s, in Fairchild Hall.
Photos courtesy of Hutchins Library Special Collections

Page 12

roaming Phelps Stokes, unhappy
because she was jilted. Russell, the first
female monitor of Phelps Stokes,
never saw an apparition but she did
have a couple of unexplained incidents.
“I lived alone and late at night studying
in my room, with the building securely
locked, I would hear no footsteps, no
doors opening, no other noise except
what sounded like thousands of papers
being shuffled and dropped to the
floor right outside my door. However,
when I opened the door, there was
absolutely nothing or no one there.”

Morris Gay

In 1965 the Berea Fire Department
was made up of Berea College
students. Called out to a fire in
McKee, student Morris Gay jumped
on the truck to help out. History
professor Warren Lambert (now
deceased) explained that Gay, one of
his advisees, was killed that day when
the fire truck wrecked on the road to
McKee. “He was a
brilliant student,” said
Lambert, who gave an
account to the Berea
Citizen of a ghostly
encounter in Fairchild

After Gay’s death, a
custodian working in
Fairchild Hall saw a
young man with bright
red hair standing alone
on one of the lower
floors. The custodian
approached him and told
him it was time to leave,
but the man didn’t
respond. The custodian
left the room for just a
moment. When he
returned to let the
stranger out of the
building, the young red-
haired man had vanished
though all the doors were
locked in such a way that he could not
have left without the custodian
unlocking the door. Many believed the
custodian had caught a glimpse of the
spirit of Morris Gay.

The Phantoms of the Theatre
A young blonde actress dressed in a
sparkling blue evening gown is said to
haunt Phelps Stokes, where plays were
produced until 1929 when the old
Tabernacle, known as the Tab,
officially became the drama building.
Allegedly the actress jumped to her
death from the building’s high slate
roof after a harsh public review.
Perhaps the same woman is the ghost
English and theatre professor Paul
Power used to encounter in the Tab.

“Paul told me of the ghostly
encounters and he was sure the ghost
was a woman,” recalls Paul’s wife
Barbara Power, head of circulation at
Hutchins Library. “He only saw her
when he worked alone, late, in the
. . .the young red haired man had
vanished though all the doors were
locked in such a way that he could
not have left without the custodian
unlocking the door.

“I lived alone and late at night
studying in my room I would
hear what sounded like thousands
of papers being shuffled and dropped
to the floor right outside my door.”
fall 2003

Page 13
Phelps Stokes Chapel
The old Gothic Chapel burned in January, 1902
costume area. He said she was not
malevolent at all; in fact she was
playful. She might appear first one
place and then quickly appear in
another, like hide-and-seek. Or he
might find his desk papers all switched
around. Paul said he never saw her in
the new Jelkyl Drama Center though,
and believed she ‘went up in smoke,’
when the Tab burned in 1973.”

“We all joked about the phantom
Blue Lady,” says costume designer
Mary Ann Shupe, ’68, “but I never
saw anything although I never felt
alone in the Tab, even when by myself.
I believe that’s due to the building’s
energy from so many performances
over its long history. I never felt any
menacing energy though.”

Pamela Corley ’71, while working
alone in the Tab’s make-up area one
evening, suddenly felt a cold hand on
her back, but “when I turned around
there was no one there,” she says.
Diane Kerby, ’75, also remembers
strange phenomena at the Tab –
sounds, gusts of cold air, footsteps,
even the sensation of someone brush-
ing past. “I’ve heard some actors say
they felt a touch on their arm while
rehearsing,” she recalls. Such tales
prompted Kerby, Joan ’74 and Harold
Bowman ’73 and others (you know
who you are) to test the rumors with a
candle séance in the Tab’s costume
area. “Although I didn’t see anyone
actually blow out the candle,” says
Kerby, “it did go out!”

Who Can It Be Now?
Mike Ross, ’84, director of facilities
management, monitored Presser Hall
for a summer as a student. Awakening
from a sound sleep, Ross thought the
heavy, clomping footsteps coming
from the Gray Auditorium stage a
floor above him were not only unusual
but very annoying. After climbing the
steps, he opened the big wooden audi-
torium door. He was surprised to find
no one there and the outer building
doors still locked. “A few nights later,
the same loud footsteps, like people
walking across the stage, awakened me
a second time,” he recalls. “Again,
when I checked no one was there. The
third time I was awakened by the loud
footsteps, I said ‘Uh-uh, I’m staying
put’ and pulled the covers up over my
head!” Now that Presser has been ren-
ovated, we can’t wait to check with
the music department and see if those
ghosts are still around!

If you are still reading this then
you have made it to the end of our
tour. Congratulations! With all the
building renovations that have been
going on campus-wide, by now these
ghosts may have fled at the sounds of
construction. On the other hand, the
ghosts might be even more determined
to stake their claim on their buildings.
Next time you’re on campus, you’d
better keep your eyes wide open!

Do you know any stories about
ghosts, spirits, or phantoms
haunting the hallowed halls of
Berea College? Please share them
with us! Send your ghostly
recollections to:
Berea College Magazine
CPO 2142
Berea, KY 40404
or e-mail

well at least i thought it was cute.... =P

i think there's a few more stories about hauntings at berea here


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