Class of 1862 Boulder

1862; Stone; Artifact
Central Campus; On the front (west) lawn of the Central Campus Transit Center, north of entrance doors

The large boulder originally stood at the northwest corner of the original 40-acre campus near the former Law Building, Old Haven Hall (just north of Angell Hall). This boulder was variously referred to as the “Pudding Stone,” the “Big Stone,” or the “Senior’s Pet Pebble,” and was placed on campus on February 24, 1862.

“It was through the suggestion of Dr. Winchell, professor of geology, that the stone was brought here. Speaking in the classroom one day of the drift period, Professor Winchell remarked upon the number of boulders in this locality which had come down from the Lake Superior region at that time. He said he knew of a particularly fine specimen which was to be found near the depot, and suggested that it would be a good idea if someone should raise it and place it on the campus as a memorial. The class immediately decided that it would be a good memorial for themselves, and steps were taken to raise the boulder. With the aid of workmen and machinery, the task was accomplished in the spring of 1862, before the snow was off the ground. The rock, which weighs some seven or eight tons, was placed upon a stone-boat and a triumphal procession to the campus was started. Two spans of horses and two yokes of oxen bore the stone from which a banner floated in the air, and the class marched to strains of music up to the campus where the burden was triumphantly deposited in an advantageous position. An inscription, ‘The Class of 1862,’ was placed upon it, and thus an undying memorial was assured them.”

The first black and white photograph (second thumbnail) is from circa 1895, with the old Law Building (Haven Hall) in the background, before it was substantially enlarged in 1898. The other black and white photo (third thumbnail) shows the boulder from the back, circa 1873. Sometime in the late 1960s, well after old Haven Hall burned down in 1950, the Class of 1862 boulder was moved to the east side of Angell Hall, and then later moved to the center of the former East University Avenue, near C.C. Little, Dow Lab, and Dana buildings. Unfortunately, it was placed face side down, so its inscription was not visible for many years. In 2005, the boulder was lifted and placed on the front lawn by the Central Campus Transit Center, where the “pet pebble” is in the company of other fine specimens placed near the home of the Geology Department. The inscription”Class of 1862″ is once again visible.