Sesquicentennial Pictures

Sesquicentennial Pictures

Mansfield, 1857

This map was used to represent the early residents and businesses of the era.

1857 map

The Seminary Building

There are no known photographs of the original Seminary building. Photography was in its infancy when the school was built. This is a rendering of the building taken from an original drawing belonging to Lawton Cummings, foreman on the construction of the 1st Seminary building. “The main Building, including the wings—all four stories high—is 100 feet in length—all of brick—and surmounted with a commodious Observatory and glittering spire. The building will fully accommodate over 150 students.” From the Mansfield Express, December 1856.

1st seminary

Grand Jubilee Poster

The Grand Jubilee poster is most likely the only piece of ephemera that has survived the Seminary fire of April 22nd, 1857, with the exception of a few billing records. The Jubilee was held to celebrate the successful completion of the first semester of school. Three hundred and fifty tickets were sold at 50 cents each. Funds were to be used to “purchase of Chemical and Philosophical Apparatus for the Institution.”

grand jubilee

The Second Seminary Building

Through monumental efforts and extreme financial hardships the Second Seminary Building rose from the ashes of April 22, 1857 to open its doors on November 23, 1859 to some 30 eager students. “The extreme length of the building is one hundred and fifty- one feet, and its extreme width fifty-three feet. The central portion is fifty-one feet square: and four full stories in height, besides the attic. The wings are each fifty feet long and forty-seven feet wide, and three stories in height.” Quoted from S.B. Elliott address on the opening of the new building, Oct. 1859.

2nd seminary

First Graduating class of Mansfield State Normal School, 1866

“A valuable custom has been established in this school, in accordance with which, each successive graduating class has presented to its Alma Mater a frame containing the photographs of the individual members. The custom has been faithfully observed, and today, from the walls of Alumni Hall, look down hundreds who completed the two-years’ course and went out of these halls to lives of usefulness and distinction. The series furnishes a complete exposition of the art of photography in its historic development during the last three decades. The earliest of these groups is that presented by the class of ’66.” The class was also the first one graduated by the institution, after its organization as a State Normal School. This article was published in the Normal School Quarterly, fall 1898.

At the top of the group is Hannah I. Dartt. Continuing down the line are Mary J. Briggs, Sarah A. Woodruff, James H. Bosard, and Sarah J. Shove. 
The line on the right shows Electa Camp, Susanna E. Conard, Adelbert R. Vermilyea, Emma A. Brewer, and Miss Frank E. Buttles. 
On the left are Lizzie B. Ames, Mary J. Carr, Brainerd O. Bird, Mattie J. Buchannon, and Elnora Lung.

class of 1866

Downtown Mansfield 1866

This is one of the earliest photos of downtown Mansfield. It shows the northwest side of Main Street from Center Street. The brick building, owned by Dr. C.V. Elliott, is believed to be the first brick store in the county. Dr. Elliott was one of the founders of the Classical Seminary.

town 1866

Mansfield State Normal School Faculty, 1867

This is probably the first faculty group photo for the years 1867/68. In the center is Principal Fordyce A.Allen, Professor of Mental Philosophy and Theory and Practice of teaching. J.T. Streit, A.M. Professor of Latin and Greek and Charles H. Verrill, A.M., Professor of Mathematics, are at the top left to right. The first young lady center right is Miss Susanna E. Conard, B.E., Mathematics and reading. The second lady is Miss Mary J. Briggs, B.E. Principal of the Model School. The three remaining photos are still unidentified.

faculty 1867

St. James Church

Construction started on the St. James Episcopal Church in 1868 on a lot donated by Joseph P. Morris. It is located at St James Street and Sullivan Street. The church was completed in 1870.

st james church


The Ross and Williams building built in 1871 would be known as the Bank Block. This would be the first of the large corner brick buildings in Mansfield’s downtown, built on the southeast corner of Main and Sullivan Streets.

bank 76

Methodist Church

The Methodist Church on the Corner of Sullivan and North Academy Street was completed in 1872. Simon B. Elliott was the Architect on the building. The building to the left is the old town school built in the 1830’s. The house to the right belonged to the Beach family.

methodis church 76

Pitts Store

The second large brick building built on a corner in the downtown area was that of the Pitts Brothers, Daniel and Aaron. Sons of Apollis Pitts a founder of the Seminary. The building was built on the Southwest corner of Main and Wellsboro Street.

pitts store 76

New Ladies Building

A view of the New Ladies Building at the Normal under construction in 1874 with the Second Seminary building to the right. The Ladies building would soon be known as North Hall and the old Seminary building would be called South Hall.

1874 New Ladies Building

North Hall 1875

A view of North Hall with the front porches completed and a covered walkway built between the two Normal buildings. Circa 1875.

north hall 76


A view south of the Normal and several homes with one under construction from where North Academy Street would be. Late 1870’s early 1880’s.

seminary 75

View from hill

This is a view from behind North Hall looking towards town. Circa. 1880.

view from hill

View from Prospect Street

A view looking south from where Prospect Street is located. Notice there are no trees on what was then called Normal Hill.

view from pros

Orphan School

This photo was taken from a stereopticon photo of the North West block of Mansfield circa 1871. The building to the left is Fordyce A. Allen’s Orphan School which he started in 1867. The large pole to the right of the photo is the victory pole, a large flag pole for the town.

orphan sch 76

Center Street

This is a side view of the Welch building built on Center Street built after the fire of 1882 which destroyed most of the wooden structures on the north west side of Main Street and South. You can see most of these building in the previous photo.

center street 76

Presbyterian Church

The Presbyterian Church was built in 1875 across from the St. James Episcopal Church on E. Wellsboro Street at a cost of $1,350. 

presbyterian church

Mansfield Iron Works

Built in the early 1850’s on the west side of the river along what became Brooklyn Street. It closed around 1879. 

iron works

Ladies’ Pavilion, Smythe Park

“The Ladies’ pavilion was built in Smythe Park in 1880 at a cost of $1,150. It opened for the Second Great Mansfield Fair.” From Come to the Fair by Chester P. Bailey.

ladies pavilion 1880

Town High School

The New Town High School was completed in 1880 on the south side of West Wellsboro Street west of the train tracks. 

town school

Entrance to Smythe Park

A new entrance to Smythe Park, circa 1880.

smythe park entrance

Pitts Building

The new brick addition to the Pitts Building in 1884 after fire destroyed several wooden structures the previous year.

pitts addition

Smythe Park

The fair in 1885 on Island Park, now Smythe Park.

1885 Smythe Park

Alumni Hall

Alumni hall was completed in 1886 at a cost of $25,000. The same year, the alumni association contributed a large carillon bell which cost $550. The clock would not be installed until 1907. Up to that point, the hands were painted on.

alumni hall 1886


The gymnasium was built in 1888 at a cost of $7,000. It contained a large drill hall, a library, reading rooms, one for the military company and one for the geological cabinet specimens, and a ladies dressing room. It was also known as the Armory.


Normal Band

In 1888 the first college band was organized, one of the longest traditions in Mansfield University history.

normal band 1888

Baptist Church

The brick Baptist Church was built on the north corner of Sherwood Street and Williamson Road (now Business 15). Completed in 1888, the church was chartered on June 20, 1843. 

baptist church

Opera House

The Mansfield Opera House and Borough Building were built in 1888 along the north side of East Wellsboro Street. The Opera House theater seated 800 people. It burned in 1913. The horse watering trough was given by a Mr. Butts.

opera house

South Hall Renovation

This building was the second seminary building, replacing the original that burned in 1857. It was renovated in 1889. One can see how it originally appeared on the first photo page.

south hall renovated

Normal Avenue

A view looking east up Normal Avenue (now College Avenue) at South Hall from St. James Street circa 1890.

normal avenue

Normal Football

In 1891 the spring football team played the Wellsboro town team. The game ended in a 22 to 0 victory for the Normal Boys.

1891 Football

North Hall 1894

The new addition to North Hall. Construction started in 1891. It was completed in 1894. Notice the difference in height of the new and the old. The windmill on the hill supplied some of the water to the Normal School.

old and new nh


The 200-pound Parrott Cannon on the triangle was placed there by a local veterans group in 1898. A favorite children’s pass time was rolling the cannon balls down the hill. 

cannon 1898

Robin Hood’s Cabin

Built in 1898 by Andrew Sherwood, Robin Hood’s Cabin was located on old River Road toward Lambs Creek. For many years, Mansfield community groups used it for daytime picnics.

robin hoods cabin

Agonian Rock

Located on a side hill at the university, the Agonian Rock was placed there on Arbor Day 1899 by the Agonians, a girls’ fraternity, the first to form at Mansfield Normal. The girls planted trees there every year and called the place Agonian Grove.

agonian rock

Railway Station

Photo of the Erie station on Railroad St. around the turn of the 20th of the century. Also shown is L. Hitchcock’s Dray and Horse-drawn Taxi. This was one of the means of transport for the Normal students to get to the school when they arrived by train.

rail station