Rearview Mirror

From the desk of Felicity Knox ’94, assistant university archivist librarian

Black and white photo of Carrollton Hall
Carrollton Hall, one of TU’s (then Maryland State Normal School) earliest school buildings

Ask an Archivist

Hey Felicity,

Q: Where was the university originally located? 

A: Ten years after the Maryland State Normal School was founded in 1866, classes were finally held in a building designed for the school. Prior to 1876, the school rented rooms in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. The first building was at the corner of Carrollton and Lafayette avenues, across from Lafayette Park, where the school often held events. It is often referred to as “the Carrollton building;” however, there were no dormitories, so students who could not commute had to live in boarding houses nearby. This would become one of the major arguments for moving the school to a more rural location 30 years later. 

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What’s New

Mruck Collection 

TU’s Special Collections and University Archives is honored to hold several collections focusing on World War II. These include items collected by the school community in our Towson and WWII collection, the Paul H. Gantt Nuremberg Trial Papers and material related to the Holocaust. We recently digitized and made available a collection from TU professor emeritus Armin Mruck, who was born in Germany in 1925 and served in the German army during the second world war. He joined the faculty at Towson State College in 1967 and taught at the school for 25 years. The material Mruck has shared with us offers another perspective of a complicated and tragic time in world history.  

DYK: Tigers are Strong Swimmers

Black and white photo of an outdoor pool

Summer 1943

Local businessman Frank L. LaMotte opens his pool at Cromwell Bridge Road to the State Teachers College (STC) at Towson students during a couple hot weeks in the summer. Students were in classes over the summer because of the pressing need for teachers during World War II.

Black and white photo of a large number of people standing in a gymnasium

Fall 1943

Perhaps inspired by those weeks at LaMotte’s pool, President M. Theresa Wiedefeld began a campus-wide fundraising program to buy war bonds for the construction of a swimming pool on campus. It took three years to raise the $10,000 projected cost. By that time, however, the post-war building boom meant materials and workforce were in short supply, so constructing the pool was postponed.

Black and white photo of the interior of Burdick Pool

Spring 1968

With the construction of the new gymnasium, Burdick Hall, the pool fund money was finally put to its intended use. Wiedefeld, who was still associated with the alumni association, advocated that the pool be named the “Victory Pool” as a nod to the folks who’d raised the money with war bonds. However, it was originally called the Alumni Memorial Pool, honoring those who had died in the war.