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March 9th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

“Thumbing A Ride”

(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today we have a series of three photos, two showing Clemson students “thumbing a ride” outside of Sikes Hall.

“Thumbing a ride” was a Clemson tradition almost since the beginning of the college. The above picture was taken in the 1940’s and shows Clemson cadets standing outside of Sikes Hall with Tillman Hall in the background of the picture.

If you look closely behind the center cadet you will see a sign. These signs signified to the cadets where to stand to thumb the ride (to Greenville, Columbia, Anderson, Atlanta, etc.). You can also see that the cadets have packed lightly, probably for a weekend trip to their hometown. Cadets could consistently get rides to locations that would get them closer to home, and then thumb another ride to move closer, and so on until they arrived in their destination.

You can see from the picture in the 1960’s below that the system was the same, but had become a little more organized with nice signs provided by the fraternities and sororities.

The central location for all of these “rider stations” throughout the years was, for some reason, Sikes Hall. Sikes was built in 1904 and rebuilt after a fire in 1927. Sikes Hall is named after Enoch Walter Sikes, the President of Clemson Agricultural College from 1925-1940.

Sikes Hall was built when the Agriculture department outgrew its space in Tillman Hall. Situated at the original entrance to John C. Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation. Tthe building was designed by Rudolph E. Lee, and modeled after the Library of Congress Building. After a fire in 1924, it was remodeled into a library. Today, Sikes is the main administration building.

Scott Rhymer can be reached at
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