Fires on Elon's Campus Collection
There have been more fires at Elon University than represented in the historical note (see below) and in the collection itself. However, a list is available within the collection where all fires are listed along with dates of their occurrence. (folder title: General-1977-Correspondence and General-1977- Research Notes) This collection contains materials relating to fires that occurred in the following buildings at Elon College: Old Main Administration Building, Carolina Dormitory, Virginia Dormitory, the Temporary Kitchen, and the Annex of West Dormitory. The collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the building, then chronologically, and then alphabetically by type of material. This collection includes newspaper clippings, reports, correspondences, and other printed materials.
- 1923 - ongoing
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
The nature of the Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Archives and Special Collections of Belk Library claims only physical ownership of most materials. The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to the U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research of otherwise should be fully credited with the source.
Biographical / Historical
On January 18, 1923, the Old Main Administration Building was destroyed by fire. It is noted as the most dramatic event in the history of Elon College. The Old Main Administration Building is also known as "Old Main", and "The College." It held the administrative offices, library, chapel, and most classrooms. All was lost in the fire except a few typewriters and the college bell. At the time, there was an estimated $125,000 loss. The fire was first noticed by college sophomore, William B. Terrell, who was in another building and saw a small flame in a second story window in the Old Main Administration Building. Later that night, the Alumni Building (also known as North Dormitory) caught fire due to excessive heat from the Old Main Administration Building. This fire was quickly controlled and there was not much fire damage. The cause of the fire in the Old Main Administration Building is unknown. There was a fire in the Carolina Dormitory on the evening of April 9, 1976. It was caused by burning candles that were left unattended in a student's dorm room. The resulting damage was a small amount of fire, water, and smoke damage on both the second and third floors. The Annex of West Dormitory, which included the campus dining hall, went into flames on January 17, 1942. The fire started at about 4:00 in the morning from an undetermined cause. At the time, there was an estimated $30,000 in damage. Later in 1942, a temporary kitchen was built and it was connected to the east side of Mooney Religious Education Building. The Virginia Dormitory went into flames on October 26, 1977 on the third floor in a student's room. The fire started due to a cigarette lighting a mattress on fire. The fire resulted in $4000-$5000 in damage for the student's bedroom while the rest of the dorm remained undamaged.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 archival box)
Language of Materials
The collection is arranged alphabetically by the name of the building, then chronologically, and then alphabetically by type of material.
The collection is located in the Carol Grotnes Belk Library Archives and Special Collections at Elon University. Please contact the Archives and Special Collections staff for further details about the location.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Unknown. Materials collected and assembled over many years to form collection.
Processed by Rachel Stas, April, 2012
- Encoded by Katie Nash, April, 2012
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script