Carleton College: Town and College Beginnings

Tour curated by: Carleton College

Carleton College and the town of Northfield are inextricably linked, and there is a noticeable lack of boundaries between the two. This tour highlights the interactions between town and gown. From professors respected by both the student body and general Northfield populace to town conflicts involving faculty members and elected officials, the histories of Carleton and Northfield are intertwined.

Locations for Tour

One January in the 1880s, two students knocked on the door of James Strong’s house at 118 College Street and asked, “Might they borrow a horse and sleigh from Carleton College’s president to travel to a neighboring town where they had…

A wave of “general mourning” descended over Northfield at 7:20 p.m. on January 29, 1919. Everything in the city stopped. The movie theater closed. A basketball game between Carleton and St. Olaf was interrupted. Fred Burnett Hill, Carleton…

In 1948, in response to the town’s growing population, the Northfield Board of Education voted to close College Street and convert Central Park—originally designed by the town’s founder, John W. North—into a playground for the adjacent high…

When Derek Phillips ’77 was growing up in Kansas City, he knew that he was more artistic than athletic. He had tried basketball, track, and baseball in high school, but it soon became clear to him that competitive athletics were not his strong…

In the early 1930s, two Carleton students, looking for somewhere to live because they had not enrolled early enough to find a place in a dorm, noticed the grand mansion on the corner of Union and Third Streets. They stopped to inquire whether the…

Dacie Moses was loved by generations of Carleton students who greatly appreciated her kindness, wisdom, and patience. She took the time to listen to young people and welcomed them like family. Dacie’s one rule was that there would be no discussion…
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