Greystone built as a two-story barn. Major renovations in 1928.
[Kieran] Gatehouse & gardener's cottage [“St. Peter's”] built on the Bech property.
22 December: certificate of incorporation of the Marist Brothers.
The Brothers look at properties in Westchester and in the area of Esopus, but these prove unsatisfactory. On February 28th, the 35-acre Thomas J. MacPherson property just north of the Water Works road is bought for the Marist Brothers, a teaching order founded in France in 1817 by St. Marcellin Champagnat, S.M. It is said that Bro. Zepheriny, who had founded St. Ann's Academy at 76th Street and Lexington Avenue in 1893, knew the Jesuit Fathers nearby at St. Ignatius church and school at Park Avenue and 84 th Street, and it was they who suggested he contact the Jesuits in Hyde Park, NY. Advised by Rev. Joseph Havens Richards, S.J. of St. Andrew's, (Bro.) Louis Zepheriny [cf. attached biography], helped by his sister, buys the McPherson Estate for $7000, plus some $2000 in incidental expenses. In 1908 he will sell it to the Brothers for $100, and the Brothers will assume the rest of the mortgage. The purchase was made in order to establish the first house of studies in the United States to train future Brothers. The mansion is in a terribly sorry state, but the grounds are attractive, and there is a small lake fed by a spring of clear water, with an island in the middle. Bro. Zepheriny names the new property St. Ann 's Hermitage in memory of Champagnat's Hermitage in France. (N.B. The Jesuits bought St. Andrew's in 1897, and their novices moved there in 1903. They moved in 1963 and sold 80 acres in 1970 to the Culinary Institute of America.)
The Brothers had first come to North America in 1885 and were well established in St.-Hyacinthe and Iberville, Canada. The first Brothers came to the United States in 1886 to start a school in Lewiston, Maine.
The MacPherson mansion is orientated east-west, with the eastern end where the south third of Dyson Hall now stands. There is a small pond near the mansion fed by a spring. This pond was located immediately to the north of the Lowell Thomas Communications Center.
On 21 February 1906 12 Juniors arrive from St.-Hyacinthe, Canada, to begin their studies. They are the first students on campus.
The Brothers begin farming and gardening, herding cows and pigs, and raising chickens and pigeons. Rabbits are added later. There are as many as 10 cows in 1940, over 200 roosters in 1943, over 30 pigs in 1962. The last livestock on campus will be removed in Summer 1962 after a fire on 27 January 1962 kills some 20 suckling pigs. The Brothers grow a variety of vegetables. There are gardens here and there. In 1942 Bro. Abelus gets a new greenhouse along the Water Works Road just north of the chapel, and in November 1943 Bro. Adolph has a new cannery and apiary next to St. Mary's, a small dormitory just southwest of the Bech homestead. There are vineyards in several locations, west of St. Ann's Hermitage and later on the Bech property. Corn is grown in the field between St. Peter's and the Kieran Gate House and on the land now occupied by Donnelly Hall and Donnelly parking. Later, strawberries will be cultivated where the baseball infield now stands and they are amply fertilized by barrels of liquid manure. Fruit trees dot both properties.
The Brothers buy the 65-acre Bech property just south of the Water Works road for $26,500 [$35,000 according to Bro. Azarias]. The money is loaned interest-free and anonymously by a local Irish benefactress. The loan is repaid by 1913. Because of anti-Catholic sentiment and because the city was thinking of buying it to use as a park, Mr. John P. Murray of Coudert Brothers in NYC acts as “straw man” for the Marist Brothers. The deed is signed on 23 July 1908. On 27 August 1908 he sells it to the Brothers for $1.
The Water Works Road went to Route 9 through the St. Peter's parking lot. It was angled north to meet the traffic light at Fulton Street when the Lowell Thomas Communications Center was built.
The Bech homestead stood on the small grassy slope immediately to the north of the very short east-west access road to the Sheahan parking lot. The homestead was torn down in 1963.
14 students officially begin their Postulancy on 26 January 1908. This stage of formation followed the Juniorate and represented a higher level of study, as well as basic training for religious life.
On July 26, feast of St. Ann , nine Postulants take the Marist Habit, thus becoming the first Student Brothers on campus. The last Student Brothers on campus are BB. Eugene Birmingham, Daniel Cronin, and Gerard Geoffroy from the Profession Group of 1968. The first two graduate in 1971, and the last in 1972.
In September at the request of Father [later Monsignor] Joseph Sheahan, 3 Brothers join the Sisters of Charity to teach at St. Peter's Grammar School in Poughkeepsie . These Brothers reside in the Gatehouse, then called “The Château.” In August 1910 they move to the Gardener's cottage thenceforth called “St. Peter's.” The Brothers leave St. Peter's School in 1936. Bro. Louis Omer's 1933 project to open St. Peter's HS (1926-1936) to the region as a Central Catholic High School was never realized for various reasons, but primarily because of the death of Msgr. Sheahan on 2 November 1934. Our Lady of Lourdes High School is opened in September 1958 and is confided to the Marist Brothers and the Newburgh Dominicans.
The Novices move into the Bech homestead, renamed “The Novitiate,” on 25 September 1908.
A grave is blessed at the south end of the Bech estate to bury Bro. Charles-Camille, 23-year-old Assistant Master of Novices; he dies of meningitis on Sept. 1. A cemetery will be definitively delineated and beautified in 1913, and a wall built around it in 1921. It is filled in 1953, and a new cemetery is blessed in Esopus. The Poughkeepsie cemetery is covered over around 1970 because of the building of the McCann Recreational Center . It now lies under the NE corner of the McCann apron. Just south of the cemetery was “hobo town,” where migrants stopped on their way to and from Florida. They plied the East coast from Maine to Florida, begging meals at the various religious houses. The Juniorate regularly fed them, most often after having them weed the garden for an hour. “Hobo town” was also destroyed when the area was filled in.
A steam laundry is installed in the basement of Greystone. It will be moved to Marian in 1928, then to the west side of the Old Gym in 1947. It will cease operations in 1983.
Tents serve as dorms and classrooms for summer courses.
Swamps west of Central are drained because of mosquitoes. Central is the first name given to Greystone and adjacent building. The latter is later called the “ Pullman ” because of the Scholastics' lodgings, and finally Marian Hall. Marian Hall is torn down in 1967?
The 5 Brothers teaching at St. Peter's move from the Château to “St. Peter's.” Two working Brothers remain in the Château.
The Student Brothers [Scholastics] move from New York to Central. Bro. M. Florentius [cf. attached biography] is named Director and Professor. He thus becomes unofficially the first “Academic Dean” on campus. The Scholastics were in New York originally to take advantage of high school courses at St. Ann 's Academy and college courses at Fordham.
In March the Province of the United States splits from the Province of Canada and thenceforth has its own administration. Bro. Ptolemeus [cf. attached biography] is named Provincial.
One public telephone on campus. BB. Legontianus [Leo] and Aloysius Mary build an intercom system linking all buildings. It will serve until a public phone system is installed in March 1942.
The dry stone wall along Route 9 on both properties is rebuilt by hired workers because of its poor condition. Part of the MacPherson Estate wall still stands, extended in 1999 with the building of the new Fontaine Hall.
Hired workers also dig a well in the field south of St. Peter's.
A 12-inch transit conduit is laid and buried from the Juniorate lake, through the adjoining field on the West, across the Waterworks Road onto the Novitiate property and empties southeast of the city water basins. Digging is done by the Novices.
In May 1911 two bungalows are built south of Marian Hall. They measure 72'x27'x15' at the peak. One collapses under 4 feet of snow in December 1915; it is rebuilt. These bungalows house retreatants and Brothers during the summer. 70 Brothers arrive on 1 July 1911 for summer courses. Later one bungalow serves for storage and the other as a gym. The storage bungalow burns down on 25 June 1946 and the other, used for basketball, is removed in 1947 to build the Old Gym.
A bigger (90'x16') chicken coop is built just south of Central. The smaller coop is moved to the southeast of the new one, to the site later occupied by Adrian Hall. Part of the new coop later becomes the carpentry shop, but is reconverted to a chicken coop in 1943. It is removed in 1944[?]
In December, for $1 “and other considerations,” New York Central buys 4 parcels of land totaling approximately 6 acres from the Brothers to widen its tracks. The railroad company has two iron bridges built at the Juniorate and at the Novitiate for access to the Brothers' land along the Hudson . In 1960 Marist buys some NY Central land at the south end (where McCann now stands) and the railroad removes the iron bridge to the North. The bridge to the South is removed in 1980[?].
The Brothers build a dam west of the St. Ann 's Hermitage [MacPherson mansion] vineyard and playground to create a waterfall which drops 17 feet and turns a waterwheel to generate electricity for St. Ann 's Hermitage, then eventually for all the buildings. In November 1916 the Juniorate [MacPherson mansion] will be the first building to have electricity. The generator will also pump water to all the buildings from a 65-feet-deep artesian well, newly dug nearby. The water runs off to the Hudson River through a 900-feet-long 11-inch conduit. A 10,000-gallon water tank is raised near the barn (site of the Townhouse “A” block).
A silo is built near the stables at the NW corner of the Juniorate playground. It measures 20'x10'. Another 10' are added in 1917.
The private water system is completed at a cost of about $2200, and the city system is turned off, thus saving much money. The Brothers were paying double the rates because the property was outside the city limits.
St. Francis Hospital , incorporated 17 December 1913, accepts its first patient on 17 February 1914. It is run by the Franciscan Sisters founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1855 by St. John Neumann in 1855. From the start the Sisters and the Brothers collaborate closely. The Brothers grow vegetables for them, and they go door-to-door to solicit funds for the hospital's expansion in the early 20's. Later, Marist faculty serve as instructors at the School of Nursing, both faculty and student Brothers become a “living blood bank” for the hospital, and Marist Press under Bro. Tarcisius prints much of their printing. In return, the Sisters, for close to a century gave the Brothers the best hospital care possible.
The Juniorate grotto is begun northeast of St. Ann's Hermitage. It will be demolished in 1976[?].
A second vegetable caveau [cellar] is created by blasting in a rocky mound near the Juniorate barn. A first one already existed on the Bech property in 1908 in the hill north of Greystone.
Major modifications are made to the Bech homestead. It is enlarged, a chimney is added, the façade is raised to join the two towers at either end, and a new roof is put on.
Outside workers wire St. Ann 's Hermitage for electricity. The first current flows on November 5. New fire escapes are added. From 1905 to its demolition in 1958 the old wooden MacPherson mansion was a firetrap.
In the Fall the water conduits from the Juniorate to Central are replaced, about 2000 feet. The labor is provided by the Juniors, Novices & Scholastics.
Centenary of the Founding of the Marist Brothers, 2 January. (cf. attached poem by Bro. Dacianus)
14 June, centenary of St. Peter's Church in Poughkeepsie.
28 October the statue of the Immaculate Conception [Our Lady of Lourdes] is blessed and placed in the Juniorate grotto. This grotto will be removed in 1976[?].
Work is begun on the cement basin to receive the water from the stream coming from the Winslow property. John Flack Winslow, who had designed the gun for the Monitor of Civil War fame, bought an estate at Wood Cliff off North Road north of Poughkeepsie in 1867. He died there in 1892. By 1930 a Poughkeepsie resident, Fred Ponty, acquired the estate and developed the Woodcliff Amusement Park This 25-acre park closed in 1941 after 3,000 visitors from New York City rioted and battled the police. The Brothers bought the western half, and the eastern half was bought by the Costanzi Construction Company to store its heavy equipment. Marist College acquired the entire former park property in 1980[?] to build the Gartland Commons.
In February the final installation of electricity is made in the Juniorate dormitories.
The Juniors take Regents Exams, supervised by St. Ann 's Academy, NY, with which the Juniorate is now affiliated with permission of the Regents in Albany. From 1911 until 1919 exams were taken with the students of St. Peter's in the city.
In February the worldwide flu pandemic rages in the mid-Hudson region. Two Sisters from St. Francis Hospital and Dr. Charles J. McCambridge work round the clock to care for our sick. Only one Brother dies, Bro. Michel-Ange.
First automobile garage is built [near the barn on the NW corner of the Juniorate property?].
Calvary group is built near the Novitiate: Christ on the Cross, Our Blessed Mother, St. John , and St. Mary Magdalen. It is a gift of Mrs. Dowd in memory of her son killed in France on 7 September 1918. It is seriously damaged by the 1938 hurricane. It is restored in 1941[?] with a gift from the Marcelynas family, relatives of a Postulant[?]. This restored Calvary is vandalized in the late 60's and the stairs and altar are finally removed in 2001.
A cellar and 3-story extension are added to the west side of St. Ann's Hermitage.
In August, the Brothers pay $28,000 for the 200-acre Wanalancet Farm with its colonial mansion in Tyngsboro, MA , as a bi-lingual Juniorate for French-speaking students from New England . These students join the Juniors in Poughkeepsie for the Postulancy and Novitiate. The first students from Tyngsboro come to Poughkeepsie on 29 June 1925. After serving as a Juniorate from 1924-1949, Tyngsboro serves as the Novitiate from August 1949-August 1968, and thus the Postulants and Novices there take Marist College-accredited courses.
Bro. Leo [Legontianus] becomes Provincial in January, replacing an ailing Bro. Heribert.
That year he goes to Germany to buy a considerable amount of equipment for physics, chemistry, and biology. [cf. attached biography]
Outdoor Stations of the Cross are erected near the Novitiate Calvary and grotto. They are removed in 1962 to make room for the road to Sheahan Hall. Some Station pedestals are still visible.
A 6-foot-high concrete block wall on the Novitiate property along Route 9 is begun. It is finished in 1923. Two rows of cedars are planted. The wall is removed in 1966 at the suggestion of Mr. John Dougherty, then Director of Development, for greater neighborliness. Some footings are still visible. One row of cedars is cut down with the widening of Route 9 in 1975[?]
Drainage from the Knauss Brothers' slaughter house contaminates our water supply. Our law firm, Coudert Brothers, has to intervene to make them correct the situation.
Ca. 1922, the ice house is removed. [It stood near the dam generating electricity?]
In February, at the suggestion of Dr. Skinner of the NYS Board of Regents, Albany provisionally recognizes our Houses of Formation as accredited Junior and Senior high schools.
It is decided that the Juniors must have completed Second Year of high school to be admitted to the Novitiate. In 1928 this is raised to completion of Third Year.
The Novitiate grotto of Our Lady of Sorrows and adjoining recess of Our Lord in agony are built. The rock canopy and recess are removed in 2001 because of structural weakness, and the area around the Pietà is redesigned and illuminated.
In April two handball courts are put up in the Juniorate playground west of St. Ann 's Hermitage. These stood on a slight bluff east of where Gregory House now stands.
On May 1, Mr. Seymour from the Regents in Albany inspects our high school classes. He is very pleased, and on June 6 Albany notifies us that our high school has been permanently accredited as a Senior High School.
Fordham University authorizes us to give summer courses at St. Ann's Hermitage. These include Algebra, Physics, and History of Modern Times. These are the first college-accredited courses given on campus.
On June 29 the first Juniors from Tyngsboro, 9 of them, enter the Postulancy in Poughkeepsie.
A Mrs. Durnin on Delafield Street leaves the Brothers a legacy of $939.94 and an equal amount to Cabrini Orphanage in West Park , NY .
Bro. Zepheriny dies on December 29. [cf. attached poem.
In January, the Annals note that a “Mr. McCann” attends the funeral of Bro. Zepheriny. The newspaper obituary specifies that it is a “Mr. John McCann.”
A cellar and 2-story wooden addition are built on the east side of St. Peter's, and a small room on the west side. [This room will later be called “ Alaska ” because it is unheated?] These additions are demolished in 1969.
The Dutton Lumber Company buys 150x100 feet of our river front for $10,000. It will buy more in 1929.
Marist Training School is opened under Fordham auspices. In 1929 it is provisionally accredited by the Regents in Albany as an independent 2-year college and is permanently accredited on 9 April 1930. It offers 72 credits toward a Bachelor of Science in Education awarded by Fordham University.
Prof. Bennett from New Paltz Teachers College comes once a week to teach literature to the Scholastics. Rev. Bruce McLean, O.M.I., from the Oblate Juniorate in Newburgh teaches them Philosophy.
Major renovations are started to Greystone for laboratories and a library. A third story is added for more dorm space, together with windows and the tower and stairs. The wooden floors are replaced by concrete floors supported by steel beams. Bro. Paul Acyndinus does the electrical wiring. Cost of the construction: $30,000. Cost of the furnishings: $10,000. The increased area necessitates a new boiler room addition to the west side of “Pullman/Marian” to heat both buildings. The steam laundry in the basement is moved to Marian. In 1947 it is moved to the west side of the Old Gym. It will cease operations in 1983 when the Old Gym is renovated to become Marian Hall, a student residence.
The Scholasticate receives provisional accreditation as a 2-year college called the Marist Training School. The Trustees are the Provincial Council and the President is Brother Provincial, Bro. Legontianus [Leo], at that time. The Master of Scholastics is Bro. Emile Nestor, who becomes “Academic Dean” of the college. Subsequent Provincials and Masters/Deans are:
|1922-1931 Bro. Leo Brouillette||1928-1931: Bro. Emile Nestor|
|1931-1937 Bro. Henry Charles Grégoire||1931-1940: Bro. Adrian August|
|1937-1942 Bro. Paul Stratonic Lelièvre||1940-1941: Bro. Victor Ralph|
|1942-1948 Bro. Louis Omer Duprez||1941-1943: Bro. Nicholas Mary Whiteside|
|1948-1953 Bro. Thomas Austin O'Donnell||1943-1958: Bro. Paul Ambrose Fontaine In 1946 Bro. Paul is named official Dean.|
|1953-1962 Bro. Linus William Hall||Bro. Paul Stokes is Dean from 1957-1965.|
|In 1957 Bro. Paul is named President||Bro. John Lawrence O'Shea is Dean 1965-1970|
On 28 November 1958 Dr. Foy becomes President to replace Brother Paul who has been named Assistant in Rome. Dr. Foy resigns in 1979.
The Dutton Lumber Company buys another 600 feet of our river front for $50,000.
On 27 July 1929 the Brothers sell land to Dutchess County along Delafield Street for $6500 for building a highway.
Rev. Bruce McLean, O.M.I., comes twice a week from Newburgh to teach Philosophy. Pierre Marique comes once a week from Fordham to teach the History of Pedagogy; he also teaches at St. Andrew's.
On April 4 Dr. Heisler from the Regents in Albany visits to be sure the studies in the Scholasticate do correspond to the first two years of college. On April 9 final certification by the Regents in Albany of the Scholasticate as a Junior College under the name of “Marist Training School.” These graduates are “approved for admission to the School of Education at Fordham University.”
The Scholasticate playground, today's Champagnat quad, is graded. Cinders are donated by Central Hudson and by the HRSH where a Mr. McGee was superintendent.
The Brothers buy about 5 acres of land in Washington, DC . There is the persistent thought among some that the Scholasticate be transferred or another one added near the Catholic University. (Cf. Annals, p.199) This land will be sold in 1964[?]
A stonecrusher is bought to make material for paving the roads on campus.
The old chicken coop behind the Juniorate barn is converted to a pigpen big enough for 25-30 pigs. The last livestock on campus are removed in the Summer of 1962 after a fire on 27 January 1962 kills about 20 pigs.
Four beehives are installed on campus. A new apiary is built in 1943 near St. Mary's. It is removed in 1967[?]
On June 5 Mr. John P. Murray dies. He acted as “straw man” for the purchase of the Bech estate.
On September 27 Bro. Césidius dies. He is the founder of the Marist Brothers in North America . (cf. attached biography)
On November 2 Msgr. Sheahan dies. Sheahan hall is named after him in 1962.
In April the State donates 2000 small pine trees to be planted on the property.
A 212-feet-deep well is dug in June and, together with the existing system, it supplies all the water needed, even for the gardens and flowers.
The Brothers leave St. Peter's School.
On July 10 a tornado knocks down about 150 big trees. The Novitiate handball court is rebuilt.
The Novitiate building is completely covered with artificial brick shingles, improving both appearance and insulation.
The waterwheel basin is cleared of some 75 loads of sediment. Later that year the waterwheel breaks and is repaired by the Fitzwheel people. It breaks again in 1942, and the Brothers repair it.
A Printing Shop is started on campus. A linotype is acquired in December 1939. Bro. Tarcisius Vallières moves from farming to printing. He is the college printer until retirement in 1980[?]. The Printing Shop is originally in the basement of St. Peter's, then it is moved to the northwest side of the Old Gym in 1947. Brother prints for St. Francis Hospital as well, and for several others. The Print Shop closes in 1980, replaced by the Copy Room in Donnelly. Bro. “Tarcy” dies in 1983.
The island in the Juniorate lake is removed, with tons of sludge from the lake bed, to transform the lake into a swimming pool. The soil is used to level the ground at the north end of the Scholasticate [along the Waterworks Road, north and west of today's chapel?].
The concrete floor for the pool is poured over the muddy bottom, using vertical bedsprings first, then horizontal bedsprings.
A terrible hurricane devastates New England and knocks down some 30 trees on the property. One of them heavily damages the Calvary group. [A new group is donated in 1941 [?] by the Marcelynas family, relatives of a Postulant]. The hurricane drops 9 inches of rain in 24 hours. The Novitiate is without electricity for three days, and railroad transportation is disrupted for two weeks.
The Juniorate lake is enclosed in a huge [80'x160'] concrete pool. It opens for swimming on June 19. It is 9 feet deep off the diving board and 4 feet deep at the shallow end. It is the biggest outdoor pool for hundreds of miles around. The Dutchess County Board of Health condemns it in 1967, but a Citizens Committee to Save the Marist College Pool raises money for improvements. The pool will be filled in in 1977[?], replaced by the pool in the McCann Recreation Center.
Two more fire escapes are added to St. Ann 's Hermitage.
The Scholasticate handball court destroyed in the 1938 hurricane is rebuilt.
A card party in NYC nets $302 for the Scholasticate.
The Marist Brothers buy the 16-acre Ambassador Johnson estate from the Servite Fathers. The property straddles Washington , DC , and Hyattsville , MD. However, it is used only as a residence for Brothers doing Graduate Studies. The Brothers sell the property in December 1963.
Dr. Charles J. McCambridge dies 9 January 1940. He had served the Brothers for 25 years and was an Affiliate of the Institute [honorary member of the Marist Brothers]. In his last moments he is cared for by his son Dr. James McCambridge, by Dr. Leonidoff, Dr. Boyce and Dr. Ramirez, the latter from NYC.
Bro. Ptolemeus dies 13 June 1940. Legendary math and science teacher. (cf. attached biography)
Fire escapes are added to St. Peter's and the Novitiate.
The Scholastics reap corn given by the Jesuits. The Brothers buy 3500 lbs. of grapes from LaFalce's across the Hudson to make wine and cordials.
A new jack and set of drills are bought to begin work on the foundations of a new Provincial House on campus. However, these new headquarters of the Poughkeepsie Province will never be built, possibly because of wartime constrictions. The Provincial House is moved to Esopus in 1952.
On December 5 there is a fire in the carpentry shop. The shop will be reconverted into a chicken coop in 1943. This coop is removed in 1944[?], leaving only the coop on the Juniorate property.
In March, discussion with the Commissioner of Public Works, Mr. Frank Doran, about the prospective start of a high school in the Knights of Columbus Hall.
In April, the orchard and vineyard west of St. Ann 's Hermitage are removed to extend the Juniorate playground beyond the handball courts. The enlarged yard will allow for three baseball diamonds. Rocks from the WPA project near the boathouses on the river front are used to raise the level of the former vineyard at the rate of 28 loads daily. In May, a raffle for the Juniorate playground improvements nets over $1,000.
Central Hudson and HRSH donate loads of cinders to level the Juniorate and Scholasticate playgrounds. The Lowell Thomas parking lot, Kirk House, and the Old Townhouses now occupy the site of the Juniorate playground. The Scholasticate playground was a parking lot from 1947 to [1980?], then it became the Champagnat quad.
In July, hay-making at Staatsburg and HRSH ( Hudson River State Hospital ).
In August a new vegetable caveau is built, probably replacing the old one near the barn now destroyed by the Juniorate playground work.
In September the Brothers pick grapes at LaFalce's and Erickson's.
In September the cement floor is poured for St. Mary's dormitory (60'x30') just southwest of the Novitiate, replacing the former Novitiate tool shed. The present site is the end of the Sheahan parking lot approach road, before turning into the McCann parking lot. In Fall 1960 the Marist crew team practices there on a fixed track laid for them. In Spring 1961 St. Mary's will house the first resident students on campus, coming from the King's Court Motel on Cannon Street in Poughkeepsie. Lay students all move after the opening of Champagnat Hall in Fall 1965, and St. Mary's will be occupied by a group of Canadian Brothers of St. Gabriel for 2-3 years. It will be demolished in 1970.
The new Bee House and cannery nearby are built in November 1943. Its curved roof beams come from the roller coaster on Ponty's Woodcliff Park where the Gartland Commons now stand. This bee house was demolished in [1967?].
In December the Provincial Council visits a site in New Jersey for a prospective school or training center. The property is not satisfactory.
On December 24 a Christmas gift of $100 is given a Dr. Leonidoff. He is not mentioned at Christmas 1942 or 1943. A Dr. Aleksei A. Leonidoff gives Marist College $25,000 to develop a football and soccer field; it is dedicated on 19 October 1968. This is the first substantial financial gift to Marist College from a lay person. Dr. Leonidoff also gives Marist College a house on South Hamilton Street in Poughkeepsie, to be used as a Russian Studies Center. This proves impractical and the house is sold and the money given to the Modern Languages Department.
On January 7 and 9 members of the Provincial Council visit two properties for sale.
In February, June and July the Postulants and Scholastics harvest 37 tons of hay from Schmidt's Farm on Salt Point Road, from Millbrook, from Shreve's, from Cookingham's, and from the Jesuits. In September, so much corn is reaped on campus that some must be left standing.
In March a public telephone system is installed, replacing the intercom campus one put in in 1911.
On 26 February the General Council in Europe approves the purchase of the Raymond C. Riordon property, “with school and buildings located about 12 km from Poughkeepsie,” but on March 18 Bishop McIntyre of NYC rejects our request, and Msgr. Sheehan in the Chancery suggests alternatives. On May 20 members of the Provincial Council visit two other properties, the Jacob Ruppert [now Linwood] in Rhinecliff, NY, and the Payne Estate in Esopus, NY. On June 26 Archbishop Spellman approves the purchase of the Payne Estate east of Route 9W. We decline to purchase the acreage west of the highway. [The Chancery thus prevents us from making a tragic mistake. The beautiful log-cabin buildings of the Riordon School west of Chodikee Lake inland north from Route 199 on the way to New Paltz have since deteriorated, and the property is today a somewhat dilapidated and unappealing Jewish camp on the west shore of Lake Chodikee.] Four Brothers occupy the Esopus mansion on July 10. Renovations begin on July 14. The deed is signed on August 2, Juniors are accepted later that month, and the old Juniorate in St. Ann 's Hermitage is closed. The new Juniorate is called Marist Preparatory. The Prep is blessed on October 25 by Right Rev. Charles D. Wood, Protonotary Apostolic from Middletown and Msgr. Martin J. Drury, P.R., from Kingston. The Prep closes as a Juniorate in August 1963 and moves to Marist Hall in Cold Spring until June 1969. In Fall 1959 Esopus becomes also the Novitiate until August 1969 and as such offers Marist College-accredited courses. In 1969 the Novitiate and Scholasticate stages of formation are transferred to after college age.
On May 4 the Scholastics sing for Mrs. Rohan's funeral. They had often picked apples for her, in exchange for “seconds.”
Fr. Joseph Kirchmeyer, SJ, teaches Religion to the Scholastics.
On 29 November 1942 the Scholastics sing on the Catholic Hour, broadcast out of the Nelson House in Poughkeepsie. From the earliest years the choir was much in demand. It sang often at St. Peter's, HRSH, St. Francis Hospital, St. Mary's in Wappingers Falls, in Middletown. The midnight Christmas Mass on campus was always packed, and eventually tickets had to be issued to control the demand.
In November the waterwheel breaks again and this time the Brothers repair it.
In June rabbit hutches are built adjacent to the former Juniorate handball courts. [These courts stood immediately east of Gregory House.]
In June also the carpentry shop is reconverted into a chicken coop.
In August Bro. Paul Ambrose Fontaine is named Master of Scholastics, becoming thereby unofficial Dean of the Marist Training School. The Provincial Council gives him the mandate to transform the 2-year college into a 4-year college.
The Student Brothers become for many years the “blood bank” for St. Francis Hospital.
In September the Scholastics pick apples in Wappingers Falls . Obviously these able-bodied, hard-working, and honest Brothers were much in demand for hay-making, apple-picking, and grape-harvesting before the era of illegal immigrants.
On 5 November 1943 St. Peter's Parish in Poughkeepsie acquires approximately 9 acres of land east of Delafield Street from the Poughkeepsie Savings Bank “for general public and community purposes.” On 27 June 1960 St. Peter's sells this land, known as Shamrock Field, to Marist College for $1. In 1967, at the urging of Dr. Daniel Kirk founder of the B.A. and M.A. in Psychology, Marist donates 5 acres of this land on the upper mesa to the county for a Mental Health Center . The land on the lower mesa will become the MDS Labs.
In January the tailor shop is moved from crowded Marian to the old Juniorate.
On February 1, Dr. Roy J. DeFerrari, Secretary General of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC , visits. He reports on February 24 that the Marist Training School has been officially affiliated to C.U. and makes many very useful suggestions for improving the courses of study.
On June 30 9-year-old Thomas Secor from St. Peter's parish drowns in our pool. From the beginning, keeping unsupervised local people out of the pool was a serious problem.
In July, a bumper bean crop (some 200 bushels) is picked in the bean patch on and near the Chapel hill.
In August, Bro. Leo retires to Esopus. He dies in 1962. A committed educator, a visionary leader, founder of the 2-year Marist Training School, forerunner of Marist College. Leo Hall is named after him in 1963.
In September the Postulants and Scholastics pick over 1200 bushels of apples in Charles Beck's orchard on Manchester Road. The working Brothers [assigned to manual labor rather than to teaching or administration] pick 2 tons of grapes in one afternoon.
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom is declared official patroness of the Scholasticate.
Bro. Francis Xavier Benoit raises the roof of the “ Pullman ” to accommodate classrooms.
On 25 June the storage bungalow, built in 1911, burns to the ground.
On September 9 there are 31 Scholastics: 4 in Third Year, 15 in Second Year, and 12 in First year. They are the first students to start the new 4-year B.A. program. The Brothers who graduate do so in 3 years and 3 summers.
On September 20, the Regents in Albany provisionally charter Marian College as a 4-year institution for the training of Student Brothers. This date is now known as “Founder's Day.” The name “Marian” is picked by Bro. Paul as a combination of the Brothers' two main patrons, the Blessed Virgin Mary and her mother St. Ann.
Bro. Paul invites John J. Gartland, Esq., as advisor. He will serve three Presidents. He becomes a member of the new Board of Trustees in 1969 and serves many years as Chairman. He is affiliated [honorary member] to the Marist Brothers in 1973. Marist College awards him a Doctorate of Humane Letters honoris causa in 1980. He retires in Spring 2000 and is elected Life Trustee. As Chairman of the McCann Foundation from 1969-2000, he is deeply involved in the development of the physical facilities of Marist College and in establishing the McCann Scholars program for needy Mid-Hudson high school and college students. He dies on 24 August 2003.
Dr. John Schroeder, Ed.D., Quaker, is hired part time to teach English. He comes fulltime in 1949. He is the first fulltime lay professor at Marist. His house in Pleasant Valley suffers a serious fire in November 1946, and the Scholastics and Bro. Paul Ernest clean up the debris and water damage and rebuild the house for him. Dr. Schroeder receives a Doctorate of Humane Letters honoris causa in 1973 and retires in 1975. He dies on 26 March 1996.
On January 30 Dr. John S. Allen and Mr. Fred Morse of the Regents in Albany visit for two days.
The second bungalow, built in 1911, is removed to make room for the new gym.
Four Student Brothers graduate on August 9? This is the first graduating class.
Dr. John Christie from Vassar College is hired as Adjunct Professor to teach American Literature.
Bro. Francis Xavier Benoit directs the building of the Old Gym. Estimated cost: $214,000; but built for $90,000. Besides the gym it houses a classroom in the NE wing, the print shop on the NW wing, the steam laundry on the west, the carpentry and plumbing shops on the SE wing, and garages in the SW wing. The building is heated by the boiler in Marian, which also heats Greystone. This gym is renovated in 1983 as Marian Hall and becomes a student residence.
To raise money Bro. Paul asks Bro. Francis Xavier to write a novel, but he declines.
In March the Scholastics observe classes in Poughkeepsie HS and Violet Avenue Grammar School . They also observe classes in St. Ann's Academy and Mt. St. Michael Academy in NYC.
In the Summer the Novitiate is moved from Poughkeepsie to Tyngsboro MA and the Tyngsboro Juniorate is transferred to the Novitiate property in Poughkeepsie. This Juniorate is closed in 1951.
Marian College receives its “absolute” charter from Albany . At the same time Albany reminds the Trustees that the college is authorized to admit lay students as well.
On October 14, the Provincial Council [Board of Trustees] votes 4-1 against accepting outside students into the college. The Council members at that time are: BB. Thomas Austin [Provincial], Henry Charles, Louis Omer, Linus William, and John Lawrence.
Dr. Mooney of Albany asks the Trustees to reconsider, in light of the serious need locally.
Bro. Nilus Vincent Donnelly comes to Marist to teach Physics and to direct the expansion of the physical plant. Donnelly Construction Company will be the contractor for the Seat of Wisdom chapel, the old Fontaine Hall, Adrian Hall, and Donnelly Hall. Bro. Nilus is College supervisor for Sheahan, Leo, Champagnat, and the first Townhouses, and Consultant for the Gartland Commons , Lowell Thomas, and Dyson. He leaves Marist in August 1988 to retire in Florida ; he dies in Miami on 19 December 1990. Donnelly Hall is dedicated to him on 19 October 1991.
St. Ann 's Hermitage is turned over to the Scholasticate, and the Provincial House moves to Esopus. It is such a firetrap that Bro. Paul names 2 Scholastics a night to patrol it until they relocate to the old Fontaine Hall in 1957. The Hermitage is burned down on 23 October 1958. The 15-acre Way Estate north of campus is bought in 1996[?] and, at the suggestion of Dean Cox, it is also named St. Ann's Hermitage.
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom chapel is erected. Estimated cost: $216,713; but built for $75,000. The altar with the relics of the martyrs SS. Urban and Felician is consecrated by the Most Reverend Thomas J. McDonnell, coadjutor bishop of Wheeling on Saturday October 24. The chapel is dedicated by Cardinal Spellman on Sunday May 2, 1954. Its circular design was most probably inspired by the Catholic chapel at Logan airport, well known to Bro. Nilus. Another circular chapel existed at Auriesville NY in honor of the North American martyrs. The Scholastics carry the huge laminated beams from the railroad spur at Duso Chemical on Fulton Street to the Chapel hill , stopping all traffic on Route 9. Because of Bro. Paul's deep devotion to the missions, he installs statues of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Francis Xavier in two of the chapel's niches. [The statue of St. Francis Xavier will be replaced by that of Blessed Marcellin Champagnat after his beatification in 1955?]
Cardinal Spellman dedicates Our Lady Seat of Wisdom chapel on Sunday May 2. The chapel was built in 1953 by the Brothers to commemorate the Marian Year in 1954, Centenary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
On November 12, the Provincial Council [Board of Trustees] vote 4-1 to accept outside students into the college. The decision is approved by Cardinal Spellman on 11 February 1957. At that time, Bro. Linus William Hall was Provincial, and his Councillors were BB. John Lawrence O'Shea, Paul Ambrose Fontaine, and Leo Vincent Wall. Bro. Mary Andrew was Econome, and Bro. Nicholas Mary was Supervisor of Schools. One of the two latter must also have had a vote.
The old Fontaine Hall is added behind the Chapel as the Student Brothers' residence and study hall. Estimated cost: $828,895; but built for $350,000. From September 1971 to Summer 1974 it is a lay student co-ed dorm. From August 1974 until May 1997 it is used to house the Humanities Division offices. It is torn down in 1997 to make room for the James C. Cannavino Library.
Adrian Hall is built alongside the campus road just west of Donnelly Hall as a Student Lounge. Estimated cost: $75,100; but built for $30,000. In 1967 it will serve as the first Computer Center . The Registrar's Office and Business Office are relocated there as well. It is named Adrian Hall after the death of Bro. Adrian August in 1960 in honor of this former Master of Scholastics and long-standing Professor of Chemistry and Music Master. It will be removed when the Champagnat quad is redesigned and repaved in 2001 [?].
The water tower near the old barn in the NW corner [now approximately Townhouse “C”] of the former Juniorate property is dismantled.
Marian College admits 12 fulltime male lay students. Those who complete the course of study will be the first non-Brother graduates in 1961. The Provincial Council allows the College to add lay Trustees.
On Monday May 12, after blessing the old Fontaine Hall, Cardinal Spellman breaks ground for Donnelly Hall, named after Bro. Nilus Vincent Donnelly. Estimated cost: $1,719,034; but built for $800,000. Cardinal Spellman donates $15,000 for the library there. Donnelly opens as an academic building in Fall 1960. It is dedicated in 1962 by Bishop Edward Dargin, former student of the Brothers in NYC.
On October 23, the old St. Ann's Hermitage is “accidentally” burned to the ground.
Bro. Paul Ambrose Fontaine, President of Marian College, is elected Assistant General in Rome . On November 28, Bro. Linus Richard Foy, doctoral candidate at the Courant Institute at NYU, is appointed to replace him. At age 28, he becomes the youngest college president in the United States . That semester there are 256 students, 62 of whom were laymen.
Dr. Ewall Nyquist of Albany urges Bro. Paul to review the objectives of the college, so as to better serve the growing number of lay students. In 1958 also IBM asks that the college establish an Evening Division for their workers.
An Evening Division is started in the Fall with Dr. John Schroeder as Dean.
The first resident male students are admitted. They are housed in King's Court Motel on Cannon Street in Poughkeepsie in the Fall, then move to St. Mary's in Spring 1960.
Because Marian College connotes a women's college to most prospective students, Bro. John Malachy, Director of Admissions, suggests we change the name. The Brothers consider such names as “ Poughkeepsie College ,” “ Mid-Hudson College ,” etc. Bro. John Malachy proposes “Marist,” known throughout the world. The name-change is approved by the Provincial Council, then by the Regents in Albany.
In Fall 1960 the south side of Donnelly Hall also becomes a student residence. In Fall 1962 Sheahan Hall is opened, but St. Mary's and Donnelly continue to house students who then live in Sheahan in 1962, Leo in 1963, and Champagnat in 1965. After Spring Semester 1965 resident facilities in Donnelly Hall are eliminated.
The Brothers purchase a property in Cold Spring NY . “Marist Hall” is used as a Juniorate from 1960 to 1968. In Summer 1968 the Juniorate is closed and the Novitiate is moved from Tyngsboro MA to Cold Spring NY . The Novitiate students there take Marist College-accredited courses. This Novitiate is closed in August 1969.
North-South arterial highway construction south of campus fills the South field free of charge. In Fall 1965 Prof. Brian Desilets opens a ski slope, together with a ski tow, in the gully behind the Novitiate where the Sheahan and McCann parking lots now stand. The ski slope disappears shortly after 1970[?] when the cemetery is covered over and the gully begins to be filled for the construction of the McCann Center , which opens in 1977.
On 25 April 1961 the Brothers transfer the Sheahan Hall lot to the Marist College Educational Corporation to facilitate obtaining an HHFA mortgage.
A fire on 27 January kills some 20 suckling pigs. The last livestock on campus are removed in the Summer of 1962.
Sheahan Hall is built. It is named after Msgr. Sheahan, civic leader and longtime pastor of St. Peter's Parish [now Mount Carmel] in Poughkeepsie .
The old Juniorate barn is torn down.
The Novitiate building (Bech homestead) is demolished.
Marist buys 3.23 acres from New York Central for $7000 to increase the McCann Center construction site.
Byrne Residence, the William H. Martin Boathouse, and Leo Hall are built. Byrne is named after Bro. George Francis Byrne, recently deceased Professor of History, and the boathouse after William H. Martin, prominent local Catholic who led the fund-raising for the boathouse and who died 18 October 1963. Leo Hall is named after Bro. Leo, former Provincial who started the 2-year Marist Training School in 1928, accredited in 1929, which becomes a 4-year college in 1946.
The Leo Hall lot is transferred to the Marist College Educational Corporation for mortgage financing purposes.
Middle States accredits Marist College.
The campus sewer lines are connected to the city systems on Route 9.
The first lay Trustees are appointed: Harold Spencer, Alexander Aldrich, and John Roosevelt. Orin Lehman is added in May 1965 and Joseph Dean Edwards in June 1965. Three more are appointed in June 1967: McMullen, Griffin , and Garrahan. The Board now has 8 Brothers and 8 laymen. By 1968 lay Trustees outnumber the Brothers and Harold Spencer is named the first layman Chair.
Champagnat Hall is opened. Built in 1964-1965. It is named after St. Marcellin Champagnat (1789-1840), the founder of the Marist Brothers in France in 1817.
The Novitiate wall along Route 9 is removed, at the suggestion of Mr. John Dougherty, then Director of Development, for greater neighborliness.
Women are admitted to the Evening Division. Women commuters are admitted to the Day Division in 1968, and women residents in Sheahan Hall and Leo Hall in 1969.
The first mainframe computer is installed in Adrian Hall. The Registrar's Office and the Business Office are also relocated there.
Two cluster houses are built for the Student Brothers. The Student Brothers occupy both houses in Spring 1969. They are named shortly after construction. Benoit House honors Bro. Francis Xavier Benoit, professor and builder, and Gregory House is named after Bro. Joseph Gregory Marchessault, professor of Physics who died of cancer on 26 May 1969. Benoit is occupied by the Student Brothers from Spring 1969 to Summer 1970. It then becomes a lay student residence hall. From Fall 1969 to Summer 1972 Gregory House is occupied by the faculty Brothers, then it also becomes a lay student residence.
Leonidoff Field is dedicated. It is named after a distinguished local psychiatrist, Dr. Aleksei A. Leonidoff, our first significant lay benefactor who donated $25,000 for the field.
The Marist Brothers' Novitiate is transferred from Tyngsboro MA to Cold Spring NY.
Marist College-accredited courses continue to be offered in the new Novitiate.
On the recommendations which two professors at Columbia School of Law made to Fordham University , the Marist Brothers transfer ownership of the rest of Marist College to the Marist College Educational Corporation with an independent Board of Trustees. This was prompted by various reasons: to free Religious for mobile apostolic activity, to promote the role of the laity asked for by Vatican II, to qualify for Bundy money, to disengage the Brothers from financial liability, etc. The Provincial was Bro. Kieran Thomas Brennan, and his Councillors were BB. Patrick Magee, Conan Vincent Dinnean, David O. Kammer, Bernard A. Garrett, Linus R. Foy, and Richard A. LaPietra. The Bundy Report had been preceded by the “Land of Lakes Conference” held in 1967 in Michigan, at which time the Men and Women Religious Orders had agreed to separate themselves from the direct control of their bishop in order to facilitate state and federal funding.
At that time, lay trustees outnumber the Brothers on the Board, and Harold Spencer is named the first layman Chair.
In 1973 Marist College will start to reimburse the Brothers $25,000 a year for forty years for a total of $1,000,000 for their Retirement Fund.
Because of the Blaine Amendment on the separation of Church and State, Marist College is refused Bundy money, passed in 1968 and funded in 1969. Marist will again be turned down in January 1970, but approved in 1971.
The east and west wooden additions to St. Peter's are demolished. The “Pullman/Marian” building is also demolished. [?]
On 15 June 1969 the Marist Brothers purchase the house at 2 Eden Terrace as a residence for faculty Brothers. It is rented to Dr. & Mrs. Anthony Cernera, Vice-President for College Advancement, in 1982 and sold to them in 1984. The Cerneras sell it to Marist College in 1988 when Dr. Cernera is named President of Sacred Heart University, Bridgeport , CT.
The Marist Brothers officially end the Scholasticate Formation stage. Candidates to the Brotherhood will now be admitted only after post-college age. The Novitiate will follow college and at least two years of candidacy spent in apostolic work. The last Student Brothers on campus are BB. Eugene Birmingham, Daniel Cronin, and Gerard Geoffroy, from the Profession Group of 1968. The first two graduate in 1971, and Geoffroy in 1972.
The Annals of St. Ann's Hermitage, 1904-1944.
The Bulletin of Studies: “History of the United States Province ” by Bro. Joseph Robert.
The Bulletin of Studies: “Chronicles.”
The Poughkeepsie Journal.
Fairview Fire Department records.
Dutchess County Historical Society records.
Business Office records.
Various articles, notes, and memories by Gerard A. Cox, Brian Desilets, Richard Foy, Fred A. Lambert, Adrian N. Perreault, BB. Nilus Donnelly, Cornelius J. Russell, Richard Rancourt, and Leonard Voegtle.
Major sources not consulted: Provincial Council minutes, Trustees minutes, Institutional Self-Study for Middle States Accreditation in 1963.
After 1969 Marist College affairs are readily ascertained in official College papers in College Archives.
PLEASE SEND ALL CORRECTIONS TO: Joseph.Belanger@Marist.edu