Digital Archive: Montreat College Origins - Montreat College

Digital Archive: Montreat College Origins

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Alba Hotel

The Alba Hotel can be seen in the background of this picture of Montreat, NC. Built in 1907, the rambling, white wooden structure served summer guests for forty years, and, after heating was installed, was used by Montreat Normal School and Montreat College as a dormitory. The H-shaped hotel faced the Lake, with two stories on the upper side and three on the lower side. The Alba burned during the Christmas holidays in 1945.

Alba Hotel and Auditorium

The original auditorium in Montreat, NC can be seen in this photograph and, the Alba Hotel can be seen in the background. The Alba Hotel was built in 1907. It served summer guests for forty years, and, after heating was installed, was used by Montreat Normal School and Montreat College as a dormitory. The Alba burned during the Christmas holidays in 1945.

Anderson Auditorium

This photograph shows construction of the first Anderson Auditorium, built in 1922 in Montreat, NC. The building featured a 1,500 meeting hall, as well as a chapel and classrooms for the Montreat Normal School. This building burned in April 1940 probably from smoldering heating devices used during a play presented that evening in the chapel. The auditorium was rebuilt in 1940.

Auditorium, Alba Hotel, Lake Susan

This photograph shows Lake Susan, the original auditorium, and the Alba Hotel in the background. The Alba Hotel was built in 1907 and was used by the Montreat Normal School and Montreat College as a dormitory. The wooden dam can also be seen.

Big Piney Out

This photograph shows the first hotel built in Montreat, referred to as The Big Piney Out. The hotel was built in the late 1890’s by John Collins and was replaced by Hotel Montreat which was built in 1899 by John Huyler.

College Hall

College Hall was built in 1942 as a women’s dormitory for Montreat College. This photograph shows the fire that partially destroyed the building in 1953. The fire began while most of the students were attending a ball game. The building was not totally destroyed and was rebuilt and later named McGregor Hall in honor of the college’s second president, Dr. J. Rupert McGregor.

Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Anderson

Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Anderson are pictured in this 1943 photograph. Dr. Anderson was the founding president of Montreat College, serving from 1916 to 1947. His wife, Sadie Gaither Anderson, was the college’s most generous benefactress. Dr. Anderson came to Montreat in 1911 as president of the Mountain Retreat Association (MRA) and served as dual president of both Montreat College and MRA until his retirement. Dr. Anderson designed and supervised construction of many of the college’s facilities including Anderson Auditorium, Gaither Hall, McGregor Hall, McLeod, the Bell Tower, Howerton Hall and other MRA buildings.

Dr. Robert C. Anderson

Dr. Robert C. Anderson was the founding president of Montreat College, serving from 1916 to 1947. Dr. Anderson came to Montreat in 1911 as president of the Mountain Retreat Association (MRA) and served as dual president of both Montreat College and the MRA until his retirement. He designed and supervised construction of many of the college’s facilities including Anderson Auditorium, Gaither Hall, McGregor Hall, McLeod, the Bell Tower, Howerton Hall, and other MRA buildings.

Early Buildings in Montreat

This photograph shows two of the earliest buildings, ca. 1916 in Montreat, NC.

Education in Montreat, NC

The first private school in Montreat, NC was a school first in the Presidents Log Cabin and then in the Community Center, now the present Montreat Post office. Irene Foreman (shown in this photo) and others taught elementary to middle grades beginning in the early 1900’s.

Flood of 1916

This photograph shows the old wooden dam in Montreat, NC which was broken in the flood of 1916. After several days of rain caused by two different hurricanes, logs and debris backed up at the spillway of what would later be named Lake Susan so that water soon overflowed the dam. The 1916 flood had the greatest discharge of water on record for the area. The earthen dam gave way about midnight on July 15 -16, 1916, washing out all the bridges in Montreat. A fallen tree above the lake formed a footbridge and for several days was the only link between the two sides of Montreat.

Hikers

This photograph shows a group of hikers, possibly near Mt. Mitchell in NC. Caption says, “getting ready for bed.”

Hotel Montreat

Hotel Montreat was built in 1899 by Montreat benefactor and leading financial founder, John S. Huyler. The hotel served between 1916 and 1922 as the only Montreat Normal School facility, with classes conducted on the first floor and dormitory rooms located on the upper floors. The hotel continued to serve as a dormitory until it burned on January 21, 1924.

May Day

May day was celebrated for many years at Montreat Normal School and Montreat College. This photograph shows May Day activities outside of Anderson Auditorium ca. 1928.

Montreat

This photograph shows a group in Montreat, NC around the 1920’s.

Montreat Baseball Team

This photograph shows the girls’ baseball team, Montreat Normal School, ca. 1917.

Mrs. Dorsey with a group of students on May 6, 1934

This photograph shows Mrs. Dorsey, a teacher at Montreat College, with a group of students on May 6, 1934.

Montreat House

This photograph shows the second house built in Montreat in 1898, Chinquapin Lodge (now 300 Georgia Terrace). The first owner was Mary Martin, one of the early settlers in Montreat and a teacher at Montreat High School. She reported that the house cost $33.71 to build. Chinquapin is one of the two oldest houses standing in Montreat. Originally it was a two-room house with a lean-to shed.

Montreat Normal School

This is a photo of an early Montreat Normal School class. In September 1916, Montreat Normal School started as a girls’ high school for training teachers. This school would add junior college classes for girls and operate under the Montreat Normal School title until 1934.

1917 Domestic Science Class at Montreat Normal School

This photograph shows the 1917 Domestic Science Class at Montreat Normal School. In September 1916, Montreat Normal School opened as a girls’ high school for training teachers. The school would add junior college classes for girls and operate under the Montreat Normal school title until 1934. In 1934, the institution changed its name to Montreat College and it also continued to operate a state-accredited high school. Both schools were for women only. In 1945, the college changed to a senior, four-year college. The school was started by and operated by the Presbyterian Church U.S. and was part of the Mountain Retreat Association, i.e., Montreat Conference Center, until 1972 when the college became an independent Christian liberal arts college.

A group of Montreat Normal School students portraying the whole armor of God

This photograph shows a group of Montreat Normal School students portraying the “whole armor of God” as faith, truth, and righteousness.

1926 baseball team for Montreat Normal School

This photo shows the 1926 baseball team for Montreat Normal School. Pictured are Frances McAnally (Captain), Evelyn McElroy, June Humphries, Mary Vance, Annie Bell MacDonald, Mary McCall, Ruby Rock, Virginia Painter, and Mary Dulaney.

Montreat Normal School and senior class

This photograph shows Montreat Normal School and the senior class of 1924.

Montreat Normal School Graduating Class of 1926

This photograph shows the 1926 Montreat Normal School and College graduating class of 1926. Pictured are: Caroline McElvern, Ruby Burton, Minna McCall, (Miss Setser, sponsor), Lucille Gladney, Jessie Jones, Jessie Johnson, Ruby Griffith, Mary Griffith, Mariam Cole, Bernice Calhoun, and Elizabeth Miller.

Montreat Normal School Students

This photograph shows first year Montreat Normal School students. Pictured are: Louise Bailey, Eleanor Doggett, Elizabeth Doggett, Martha Fitzgerald, Viola Ledford, Lillian Russell, Callie Smith, Mattie Smith, and Grace Watson. Day pupils included Jean White and 2 boys, R.V. Alexander and Clyde Stephenson. In September 1916, Montreat Normal School started as a girls’ high school for training teachers.

Six Montreat Normal School students beside Lake Susan

This photograph shows six Montreat Normal School students beside Lake Susan (ca. 1918). In September 1916, Montreat Normal School started as a girls’ high school for training teachers. The school would add junior college classes for girls and operate under the Montreat Normal School title until 1934 when the institution changed its name to Montreat College. The school and college were started by and operated by the Presbyterian Church U.S.

Montreat Stunt Day

This photograph shows Stunt Day in Montreat in the early 1900’s. The old Bookstore can be seen across the lake and, the first auditorium is to the left.

Mrs. Sadie Gaither Anderson

Mrs. Sadie Gaither Anderson was Montreat College’s most generous benefactress in its beginnings. She funded the construction project for Gaither Hall which was built in 1935 and named in memory of her parents. She was the wife of Dr. Robert C. Anderson, the first president of Montreat College and the Mountain Retreat Association from 1916 to 1947.

Stable and Store in Montreat

This photograph shows a stable and store near Assembly Drive in Montreat, NC in the early 1900’s. The stone foundation and wall were used as garages.

Waiters at Alba Hotel

This picture shows a group of waiters at the Alba Hotel in Montreat, NC when the hotel was just completed in 1907. The Alba Hotel served summer guests for forty years, and, after heating was installed, was used by Montreat Normal School and Montreat College as a dormitory.