No. 25--Morrill Hall Entrance
Most impressive, perhaps, of the many interesting rooms in the Morrill museum--two lower floors of Morrill hall--is Elephant hall. In this quiet room time yawns, and down her great throat one sees the endless vista of the years. Here animals of all eras, usually clad only in their bones, confront one. If you are sentitive (sic) to the ghostly whispers of the past you might well bring a companion. To span millions of years alone in an afternoon is too much; the winds between as the centuries whirl are too vigorous.
Last Saturday we gazed, alone we believed, at a beautiful pair of albino coyotes (Wheeler county, Nebraska, 1940) with touching blue eyes; at a peruvian mummy (pre-Inca)--a baby with its little skull resting on moth eaten arms; at the skeleton of a dawn horse, no higher than your knee dug up in Sioux county, and were kneeling intent before a reconstructed dodo when we turned suddenly and encountered the saturnine eye of the ever present guard.
Rightly, the museum takes no chances. Elephant hall contains one of the best collections of modern and fossil elephants in the World, and in addition real or reconstructed animals of many ages. Backgrounds for these reassembled bones of animals which sniffed the earth when it was new were painted in delicate tints by Elizabeth Dolan. The late Gutzon Borglum, stepping into Elephant hall in a woolly camelskin coat. stopped in his tracks among the ancient bones and murmured paradoxically and appreciatively, "A new world."
One of the activities of the museum has been research oil the antiquity of man in North America. Many discoveries have been made in Nebraska, and one of the few existing collections of Yuma-Folsom artifacts is to be found here.
No. 26--Carrie Belle Raymond hall
The pattern has changed since grandmother attended the University of Nebraska in 1871. Today's coeds glide thru their four years of college with a minimum of discomfort. Grandmothers undoubtedly led a more rigorous life, tho, it cost her less (but again, money was money then). Lincoln's few citizens were urged to be kind to open up their homes to farmers' daughters bent on education. Or she could stay at "ladies mall," which our sleuthing has led us to believe stood at 14th and U, for 50 cents a week if she toted in her own bedstead. Wherever she stayed, chances are she often had to crack ice on the water pitcher winter mornings. And crossing the pasture toward University hall in temperate seasons she ran the risk of falling over someone's tethered-out cow.
In the evening grandmother lighted her kerosene lamp in a chilly room and sat down to her lonely studies--perhaps with her chilblained feet asoak. She was more or less isolated, as phones were still missing from the Lincoln scene. If it had been arranged in advance, she might meet other young men and women for a candy pull or sleigh ride.
Now, in Carrie Belle Raymond, Julia L. Love and Northeast halls--on No. 16th--the way of the co-ed is smooth. She may roam at large over an area predigested as to temperature, blossoming with deep chairs, radios, cardtables, piano, shampoo rooms, dancing halls and tennis courts. Fifteen sororities in the region of the campus furnish approximately the same sort of living for grandmother's granddaughter. Others take their living places where they find them. But even at the worst those living places are much superior to what was the common lot in 1871.
© 2000, 2001 by Kathie Harrison, Ted & Carole Miller