Early Postcards of the State Normal School, Bridgewater, Mass. Bridgewater State University Clement C. Maxwell Library

Maxwell Library > Digital Projects > Early Postcards

View the Bridgewater State University campus (then known as the State Normal School at Bridgewater, Massachusetts) as depicted in these postcards from the early 20th century.


Entrance to Campus Park and Pond. In 1881 Albert G. Boyden purchased six acres of land adjacent to the school campus. Boyden excavated the pond and laid out the grounds as a park for the students' use. In 1886 the school purchased the land  the area became known as Boyden Park. The pathway from the Campus Park pond led west to Summer Street, across which were the Normal School buildings. Another view of Boyden Park in the State Normal School campus. Residence of the State Normal School president, Albert G. Boyden. Boyden served as principal of the school from 1860 until 1906. State Normal School Buildings, as seen from the campus pond. The building in the center is Normal Hall, erected in 1869. Beyond Normal Hall is the Normal School Building. To the left are the old Tillinghast Hall and the old Woodward Hall. Normal Hall, which served as a dormitory, and the brick Normal School Building. A fire in December 1924 destroyed much of the campus, including the brick Normal School building. Normal Hall, State Normal School, Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The school's first boarding hall contained twenty-one rooms with space for fifty-four students. The dormitory housed both men and women - men on one side, women on the other, and the principal, Albert G. Boyden, and his family in the middle. The State Normal School's main building, which housed classrooms, laboratories, a gymnasium, an auditorium, and space for the training school, was erected in 1890. Tillinghast Hall, a dormitory building, was erected in 1896 and named in honor of the school's first principal, Nicholas Tillinghast. The building was one of three destroyed in the December 1924 fire. The Albert Gardner Boyden Gymnasium, which opened in 1906. The Albert Gardner Boyden Gymnasium (erected 1906) and the Unitarian Church (erected 1845). Notice that the postcard title says 'Abner Gardner Boyden' rather than 'Albert Gardner Boyden.' View of the Normal School campus from Summer Street looking south. Beyond the cemetery in the foreground is the back of the Boyden Gymnasium (right); across the street are the brick Normal School Building (center) and Normal Hall (left). This residence hall for women opened in 1911; in 1917 it was named in honor of Eliza B. Woodward, alumna and longtime member of the Bridgewater Normal School faculty. Notice that the postcard reads 'Woodard' rather than 'Woodward' Dormitory. Classroom interior, State Normal School. This room served as the assembly hall, where every morning the students would gather to hear principal Boyden during 'opening exercises.' During the morning assembly the faculty would sit at the long table at the front of the room.

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