Excerpt from Fifty Years of Delaware College, 1870-1920
Newark of the period during which the college was closed, and for many years after, was a small and rather inactive village, strung for the better part of a mile along the highway leading southwest ward to Baltimore, northeastward to Wilmington and Philadelphia, Main Street, a thoroughfare deep adust all Summer, mired in mud all Winter, when not frozen into granite - like ruts, or mercifully cov ered with the assoiling charity of snow. The campus, then, as now, was a deliciously green oasis, rich in noble trees, and especially distinguished by the double row of European lindens, leading up to the dignified front of Old College. A revolving turnstile, replaced in the early seventies by a double ﬂight. Of substantial steps, gave entrance to the campus from Main Street. So long as the activities of Delaware College were suspended, The Ora tory, as Old College was then called, served the community for many public purposes. If Signor Blitz, the famous prestidigitateur of two genera tions ago, came to town, the Swiss Bellringers arrived, or a solemn lecturer brought enlightenment as to Siam or Bourioboulagha, the performance of the evening was given in the Oratory. Those were times of the simple life, and our good townsfolk were easily amused. Several rooms of Old Collegewere at one time occupied by a private school, and, in the late sixties, while the new Presbyterian Church was building, the congregation for many months worshipped in the Oratory, thus putting it to a use justified by its popular but probably oft misinterpreted name. Political parties often held their meetings on the campus, and Professor E. D. Porter, Principal of Newark Academy, usually gave there an exhibition of fireworks in celebration of Independence Day.
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