Most of our American colleges designate the grounds upon which the principle buildings are grouped as the Campus. Here it is simply the "yard," a name quite strange in this sense to the ears of the ordinary collegian. The whole yard now includes about twenty four acres. The first grant was made by the old town and consisted of four and a quarter acres situated where Holworthy, Hollis and Stoughton now stand. From tine to time, down to 1883, when the last purchase was made, various lots of land were added as the requirements and needs of the college in creased. In the earliest times the old town palisades, to keep away the Indians, ran not far from the western line of the present grounds. At the Harvard Square corner was an eminence, which must have been leveled, known as "Watch Hill," upon which a sentry was stationed. Where University now stands was formerly the college wood yard and nearer Stoughton was a small brew house. The portion near Sever Hall and Cambridge Street was a pasture and huckleberry swamp. For some years a church stood on the old Watch Hill and several wooden dwellings faced upon the streets. Of these old buildings only Wadsworth House and the Dana House, occupied by Dr. A. P. Peabody, now remain. All the others were torn down after they were purchased by the college.
Later a white wooden paling closed the western side; but this in time gave way to the present solid fence. In the early part of the present century only the oldest of the trees were standing. President Quincy planted most of the remainder; and it is to his fore sight that we owe our thanks every spring for the pleasant and grateful shade of our great elms. The paths are many of them simply old short cuts regularly laid out and the slate, brick and plank walks are of quite recent construction. Of the grounds of all the various colleges devoted to men, ours receives much more attention and care than any other and in summer presents a finer and neater appearance. At the present rate of improvement, if the college only gets money enough, we may expect to see, in winter, board walks in all directions, and in summer, beds of bright flowers adorning the neat grass plots.
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