Sweet Briar History

Take a visual tour of Sweet Briar's rich history. Sponsored by the Tusculum Institute at Sweet Briar College (www.tusculum.sbc.edu). Contact Dr. Lynn Rainville with questions (lrainville@sbc.edu).


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This spooky bas-relief medallion featuring Daisy Williams hangs in the old Daisy Williams gymnasium. Its origins are mysterious, it was re-discovered just in time for the opening of the gym in 1931. If you want to learn more about the early 20th-century SBC ghost stories, swing by the Sweet Briar Museum for tales and treats starting at 5:30pm October 30th and November 1st. For more information: http://sbc.edu/news/uncategorized/friendly-ghost-stories-sweet-briar/

This spooky bas-relief medallion featuring Daisy Williams hangs in the old Daisy Williams gymnasium. Its origins are mysterious, it was re-discovered just in time for the opening of the gym in 1931. If you want to learn more about the early 20th-century SBC ghost stories, swing by the Sweet Briar Museum for tales and treats starting at 5:30pm October 30th and November 1st. For more information: http://sbc.edu/news/uncategorized/friendly-ghost-stories-sweet-briar/

Don’t worry, it hasn’t yet snowed on campus. But the standing slave cabin (and later 20thC college classroom, tea room, and chapel) is open for visitors this fall: Monday, 3-6. Tuesday, 12-1 Wednesday, 10-11 Thursday, 3-6 Friday, 1:30-2:30. So stop by, pick up a brochure, and chat with the friendly student guides.

Don’t worry, it hasn’t yet snowed on campus. But the standing slave cabin (and later 20thC college classroom, tea room, and chapel) is open for visitors this fall: Monday, 3-6. Tuesday, 12-1 Wednesday, 10-11 Thursday, 3-6 Friday, 1:30-2:30. So stop by, pick up a brochure, and chat with the friendly student guides.

In the 1930s, the Cleveland SBC Alumnae Club started making dolls to raise money (to give to the college). The “Daisy Dolls” were actually two dolls in one: one side was “Daisy” and the other side (by flipping down the dress) was “Signora” (a.k.a., Signora Hollins, Daisy’s childhood playmate). They sold the doll for $1.75 at the slave cabin (which was then the Alumnae Cabin). Their slogan was “A Daisy Doll for every Sweet Briar grandchild.”

In the 1930s, the Cleveland SBC Alumnae Club started making dolls to raise money (to give to the college). The “Daisy Dolls” were actually two dolls in one: one side was “Daisy” and the other side (by flipping down the dress) was “Signora” (a.k.a., Signora Hollins, Daisy’s childhood playmate). They sold the doll for $1.75 at the slave cabin (which was then the Alumnae Cabin). Their slogan was “A Daisy Doll for every Sweet Briar grandchild.”

This is a horse blanket. But not any horse’s blanket. This belonged to “Bounce.” Bounce belonged to Marie Georgianna Williams, better known on campus as “Daisy.” This blanket is currently on display at the Sweet Briar Museum in their Fletcher Farm Exhibit. Check the museum website for their opening hours: http://sbc.edu/museum.

This is a horse blanket. But not any horse’s blanket. This belonged to “Bounce.” Bounce belonged to Marie Georgianna Williams, better known on campus as “Daisy.” This blanket is currently on display at the Sweet Briar Museum in their Fletcher Farm Exhibit. Check the museum website for their opening hours: http://sbc.edu/museum.

Founder’s Day ceremony around 2000. Note the replacement footstone for Daisy (in the center) and the two larger footstones (with the flowers) that mark the burials of Indiana Fletcher Williams and her husband, James Henry Williams. Elijah Fletcher’s monument can be seen in the background (the base of his obelisk). This year’s (2013) Founder’s Day ceremony will take place on September 27th.

Founder’s Day ceremony around 2000. Note the replacement footstone for Daisy (in the center) and the two larger footstones (with the flowers) that mark the burials of Indiana Fletcher Williams and her husband, James Henry Williams. Elijah Fletcher’s monument can be seen in the background (the base of his obelisk). This year’s (2013) Founder’s Day ceremony will take place on September 27th.

Walking to classes in 1965 (note Fletcher in the background and the hedges surrounding Sweet Briar House). Can you tell which trees are still standing today?

Walking to classes in 1965 (note Fletcher in the background and the hedges surrounding Sweet Briar House). Can you tell which trees are still standing today?

An early photograph of Sweet Briar House (1905). The “baby’ boxwood hedges in the front have long since blossomed into tall bushes. Otherwise, the view is very much the same (plus the addition of the lovely brick walkways provided by the Garden Club of Virginia).

An early photograph of Sweet Briar House (1905). The “baby’ boxwood hedges in the front have long since blossomed into tall bushes. Otherwise, the view is very much the same (plus the addition of the lovely brick walkways provided by the Garden Club of Virginia).

Welcome to the start of the 2013 Academic Year! This photo illustrates an old needlepoint of the Sweet Briar crest. Pop quiz: what do the elements in this faux-heraldic shield represent? Hint: it was created in the early 20th century by the Trustees of Sweet Briar Institute. Bonus question: where was this photo taken?

Welcome to the start of the 2013 Academic Year! This photo illustrates an old needlepoint of the Sweet Briar crest. Pop quiz: what do the elements in this faux-heraldic shield represent? Hint: it was created in the early 20th century by the Trustees of Sweet Briar Institute. Bonus question: where was this photo taken?

My favorite way to start the term, leading a Learning on the Land group and exploring Sweet Briar History. In the photo Dr. Karol Lawson guides students through the Sweet Briar Museum exhibits. Subscribe to this blog to read weekly posts about historic artifacts, buildings, and people at Sweet Briar.

My favorite way to start the term, leading a Learning on the Land group and exploring Sweet Briar History. In the photo Dr. Karol Lawson guides students through the Sweet Briar Museum exhibits. Subscribe to this blog to read weekly posts about historic artifacts, buildings, and people at Sweet Briar.

Not sure what to do after Halloween? Take a Chung-Mungs Ghost tour. Offered Nov 1 and 2 (5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Sweet Briar Museum), the Chung Mungs and Tau Phi will be reading ghost stories written by Sweet Briar students long-ago. Questions? Contact Dr. Lawson (klawson - at - sbc - dot - edu).

Not sure what to do after Halloween? Take a Chung-Mungs Ghost tour. Offered Nov 1 and 2 (5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Sweet Briar Museum), the Chung Mungs and Tau Phi will be reading ghost stories written by Sweet Briar students long-ago. Questions? Contact Dr. Lawson (klawson - at - sbc - dot - edu).