Allendale Lodge, 1921



Allendale Lodge, 1921




In the spring of 1921, Indiana State Normal School began negotiations for the purchase of an "experimental farm," four or five miles south of Terre Haute near Allendale. The purchase of approximately 8 acres was subsequently concluded. The property's west line was on the Seventh Street Road (later US 41) and also on the Sullivan interurban line. The primary mover in this acquisition was Professor Fred Donaghy, head of the Department of Biology and Agriculture. Mr. Donaghy, who later received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, was responsible for clearing and carefully nurturing what was originally a deserted "bramble patch" on one of the "worst clay knobs in the vicinity." He and his students "tamed the bush" by planting an orchard, gardens and a remarkable variety of native Hoosier trees and shrubs. During the 1920s and 1930s, hundreds, if not thousands, of Botany, Biology, Zoology and Agriculture students made good educational use of the property, which was variously referred to as a "biological reservation" and the "College farm".

In 1939, the Indiana State Teachers College Board of Trustees approved the acquisition of two adjoining acres and the construction thereon of a stone building - the whole to be renamed the Arboretum and College Lodge. The National Youth Administration (NYA), a subsidiary of the WPA, paid a modest monthly compensation to ISTC students who provided labor for the lodge construction. The NYA also contributed to the cost of building materials.

In 1953, ISTC President Ralph Tirey described the facility as a "biological preservation where students of botany and zoology may become acquainted first hand with plants, trees, and various forms of animal life. It also furnishes facilities for student and college social, educational, and cultural activities."

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