100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Fire Destroys College In Maryland

Maryland Agricultural College located in College Park, Maryland was chartered in 1856. The school became a state institution after the Civil War and reopened with 11 students in 1867. The college became a federally funded Agricultural Experiment Station in 1887.

On November 29, 1912 many students who had stayed at college for Thanksgiving attended the annual Thanksgiving Subscription dance. They invited local girls as their dates – there were not any female students attending the university.

The 1912 Thanksgiving Subscription Dance at Maryland Agricultural College
November 29, 1912

Shortly after the dancers posed for this photo a fire started in the building due to faulty electric wiring in the attic of the newest administration building, where the dance was being held. The 80 students on campus at the time evacuated themselves safely then formed a makeshift bucket brigade. Fanned by a strong southwest wind, the fire destroyed the barracks where the students were housed, all the school’s records, and most of the academic buildings on the College Park campus.

The Barracks at Maryland Agricultural College engulfed in flames  – November 29, 1912




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