What are some buildings you’ve never set foot in at Brown? For some, it might be the Annmary Brown Memorial – that tomb-like, windowless building near Keeney and Health Services, a subject of much Brown folklore and ghost stories. Blog spent an afternoon in the famed memorial, and lived to tell the tale.
The Annmary Brown Memorial, located at 21 Brown Street, was built in 1907 by General Rush Christopher Hawkins as a memorial to his wife. During the Civil War, General Hawkins (1831 – 1920) served as Colonel of the “Hawkins Zouaves,” the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry, and was named Brigadier General in 1865. Hawkins was a well-known book collector, fascinated by early print editions, and a collector of early modern representational paintings.
Annmary Brown (1837 – 1903) was the daughter of Nicholas Brown III and granddaughter of Nicholas Brown II, for whom the university was named after. Brown and Hawkins married in 1860. Annmary was close with her sister, Carrie Brown Bajnotti, who is memorialized by the Carrie Tower on the Quiet Green. After her premature death from pneumonia in 1903, Hawkins decided to build a public memorial in her memory, to house belongings from their life together, Annmary Brown’s letters, as well as his Civil War memorabilia and art and book collections. Hawkins donated the memorial and the collection to the City of Providence in 1907. Brown was buried in the crypt in the rear of the building, and was joined by Hawkins, who died at the age of 89. The university acquired the memorial in 1948, which now houses the programs in Medieval Studies and in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.
In the ongoing, nationwide debate about what kind of bear is best, the sensible answer is always the brown bear. There’s nothing more intimidating than a 1,500 pound male grizzly, and even polar bears have been hopping on the grizzly train of late.
More importantly, the brown bear is perfectly representative of the Brown University student: social, fierce, and possessing large, curved claws that may reach up to six centimeters in length. As the fall events of Brown’s 250th anniversary grow near, it’s important to look back at the history of this noble mascot, particularly with last year’s installation of ‘Indomitable’ – the massive statue of a Kodiak bear – outside the Nelson Fitness Center.
According to Encyclopedia Brunonia, the first mascot of Brown University was actually a burro, given to the student body by “real estate man” Isaac L. Goff and “valued at $100.” Introduced at a game against Harvard in 1902, the burro was found to be not only frightened of crowds but a totally laughable mascot, and was replaced by a brown bear at the suggestion of Theodore Francis Green in 1904-1905.
A series of brown bears were presented at sporting events in the following years, a number of whom did such typically bearish things as snarling at the opposing teams and (in the case of Bruno III) climbing trees in an attempt to escape the crowds. Plainly, this was back before people realized that keeping live bears on leashes at crowded public events was an incredibly idiotic idea. By the 1960s, students had to be content with humans dressed in bear suits at sporting events.
This weekend, the University has planned a series of events to continue the celebration of its 250th birthday. Football and fireworks and Binder, oh my! What part of the Fall celebration are you most excited about?!
Do you find yourself unable to resist taking pictures of the beauty around Brown’s campus to share with your Instagram followers? Or documenting what(ever) the fuck is happening on the Main Green? Or even just capturing the most “Brown” moments in your day to immortalize on social media?
@BlogDailyHerald wants to see what you’re snapping! Tag all of your Instagram photos with these various #’s – #BlogDH #Brunonia #StudentsWhoDoCoolThings #WTFisHappeningontheMainGreen. Each week, we’ll feature the best of your pics on our own Instagram account in order to help you achieve an even higher status of Insta-stardom.
What are you waiting for? Spread your love for Brown AND be Insta-famous. #RaRaBrunonia
P.S. Follow @BlogDailyHerald on Instagram if you haven’t already!