No Bonfires, Please

January 25th, 2018

If you think students are wild today, consider those of the late 19th century. In 1884, Archibald “Archie” Delaney, seen here working in the carpenter shop then located in the basement of University Hall, became Brown’s first caretaker of buildings and grounds. By all accounts, a significant portion of his time was spent convincing undergrads to refrain from setting bonfires—a popular pastime back then—and from generally wreaking havoc on the place. Known as a kindly man who was well liked by students, Archie apparently found that maintaining friendly relations with them was the best approach to protecting the campus buildings and grounds—and then to get busy in the carpenter shop after the undergrads went ahead and broke stuff anyway.

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January/February 2018