Aerial Photo Of Clemson From 1940’s
(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today’s photo is an aerial photo of Clemson University taken sometime between 1942 -1950.
We can use a few clues to narrow the date down to that time frame above.
Bracket Hall has not been built yet in this picture as you can see from the open field to the left (in the picture) of Tillman Hall. Bracket Hall was completed in 1951, so we can determine the picture was taken before that date. This is also confirmed by the fact that Olin Hall (1953) is not in the picture either.
You can see Mell Hall in the top right corner of the picture, which dates the picture from at least 1940. The most obvious clue is Memorial Stadium, which is clearly visible in the picture. Memorial Stadium was built in 1942, so that narrows the window of possibility between 1942 and 1950. It appears to me that the grass inside Memorial Stadium is still very thin and not fully grown in. If that is the case, it could date the picture to sometime closer to 1942 as opposed to 1950.
If the picture was taken during war time, it might explain the relative lack of activity on campus. I don’t notice any regiments marching anywhere in the picture. Of course, at the time, Clemson was a Military College and it would be almost unheard of to not see cadets marching in the middle of the day somewhere on campus.
Clemson sent many officers and regular enlisted men to fight in WWII, leaving a gaping hole in enrollment at Clemson during war time. I am going to take a guess that the lack of cadets visible in the picture may mean the picture was taken during war time (sometime between 1942 and 1944).
Also looking at Memorial Stadium, you can notice the North and South lower decks do not extend quite as far as they do now horizontally. Added sections of those stands was done in 1958 and 1960. If you go into Memorial Stadium today without fans in the seats, you can actually see a slight difference in the color of the stands that contrasts the original 1942 stands compared to the 1958 and 1960 additions.
Also notice the house that is located in the middle bottom of the picture. Today, the area surrounding that house is called Trustee Park. I wonder if this house in the picture is what is now called the Trustee House that still sits on the property? I cannot tell if the house in the picture is the same as what is now still standing in that area, but I would certainly be interested in the answer.
Scott Rhymer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org