Administration of John Brown White 417
In 1849 the College Hotel was completed and in December of that
year opened under the care of Mrs. Martha Ryan, who advertised that
with the beginning of next term she would be able to accommodate
fifty students with board, travelers with accommodations for
themselves and horses, and in the summer months the hotel would be
a refuge for those in eastern North Carolina from the unhealthy
conditions of their homes.6
The Campus at this time was not yet inclosed, but its size and
bounds were about the same as at present. The road running north and
south extended straight through; there was a shack or platform where
the station now stands, to accommodate students at the beginning and
close of the sessions and visitors at Commencement. East of the
railroad there were no buildings of any kind. Probably at this period
as afterwards a large part of the Campus was used as a pasture for
cows, while the farm lands being no longer regularly cultivated
presented an appearance of neglect and desolation
It was in such surrounding that the students and faculty of the
College worked during the middle years of the past century. There
was little to interfere with the simple academic life. It should be
extensive view of the surrounding country. The Campus embraces twenty acres of
land, and contains a beautiful grove in the midst of which is the principal College
Building. On the east side of the Campus is the railroad, and on the other sides are
the officers' houses, an elegant Hotel, and other dwellings used for boarding
houses." These were hardly a dozen in all.
Advertisement in Biblical Recorder, December 27, 1849. An editorial note
calling attention to the hotel says: "The need of such a place of public entertainment
at the College has long been felt and acknowledged. The public is now indebted for
the accommodations so long desired to the enterprise of our Bro. Jas. S. Purefoy, the
owner of the building."
7J. D. Hufham, Wake Forest Student, XXVII, 338: "It was a black night, cold and
rainy, when we left the cars and took refuge under a shack where the station house
now stands. . . . The Campus was not enclosed, and the public road ran through it.
There were no walks, neither was there shrubbery nor flowers. The dormitory was
out of repair and but few students had come in. Altogether the place had an air of
lonesomeness and neglect."
Major J. H. Foote, a student of these years, Ibid., XXVIII, 332, speaks of the
majestic grove of oaks around the College Building, and continues: "Outside the
grove was an old broomsedge field, which they called the Campus, with no
enclosure. Seated around were the unpretentious homes of the faculty, with Rev. J.
S. Purefoy's only store on the corner" [opposite the Alumni Building].