194 History of Wake Forest College
read by Rev. R. R. Savage, all went to the site of the building and saw
the corner stone laid with due ceremony by Dr. W. T. Brooks,
president of the Board of Trustees.8 In accord with the practice of the
day and with the importance of the building in the world of scientific
education an elaborate collection of papers, catalogues, other
documents and photographs were deposited in a leaden case, which
by plan would have been sealed at the time, but was kept open for ten
days for the reception of other articles, and was then sealed and
placed in the corner stone.9
The contractor was Mr. Jacob Allen. The brick for the building
were burned on the small stream to the northeast of the campus and
were of rather poor quality as was much of the mortar that went into
the walls. According to the plan finally adopted the building was two
stories high, 100 feet long, in three sections all of about equal
frontage, with the two wings 40 feet wide while the central room
projected to the front 10 feet further. The upper story of the central
section was used for the college Library, the lower for a reading
room. The books for the Library were those of the former libraries of
the Literary Societies now given to the College. These were arranged
around the walls of the upper story on well constructed shelves of
pine and made easily accessible by dividing the height of the wall,
which was about 12 feet, into two stories, with a narrow ledge
running around the walls of the upper story. This was reached by a
short double stairway at the front end. In the floor of this upper room
was a well about 15 feet by twenty-five feet giving a view of the
lower floor. Light for both rooms was furnished by a lantern through
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8 Biblical Recorder, June 19, 1878.
9
Biblical Recorder, May 15, and June 19, 1876. The articles which it was
purposed to place in the corner stone were these: A copy of the Holy Scriptures;
catalogues of Wake Forest College and all the other male and female colleges of the
State; the photograph of Rev. Samuel Wait, D.D., the founder of the college;
photographs of the members of the faculty and Board of Trustees and students of
the College; photographs of the Governor (Vance) and other State officers;
photographs of the presidents of all the institutions of learning of the State;
photograph of the contractor of the building (Mr. Jacob Allen); a copy of each of the
papers of Raleigh, and of all the daily papers of the State; the new coins of the
Government. It is not certain how fully this plan was carried out.
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