|Students Relaxing in Peabody Park|
When the college was founded in 1891, UNCG (known at the time as the State Normal and Industrial School) was situated on ten acres of former farm land. Recognizing the rapid growth in student enrollment and the need to construct future classrooms and student housing, the school’s administration made the decision to purchase 112 acres adjoining the property’s original footprint. In 1895, the North Carolina Legislature appropriated monies to improve the condition of this new area, allowing for “the expansion of the institution on the only side not already occupied by residences.” The Legislature also mentioned that a portion of the new land could be used as a park for open-air exercise, as well as for the study of horticulture. Yet, the Legislature only approved half of the school’s request for $22,000 of improvements. Nevertheless, the College immediately began to use this wooded space. Under the direction of Dr. Anna Gove, the school’s physician, students were required to devote sixty minutes each day to walking in the new park.
|Strolling in Peabody Park|
|George Foster Peabody|
The next installment of “A Noble Idea:” The History of Peabody Park will cover the evolution of the Park from a place of strolling and reflection to one of recreational activities, open-air theatrical performances, and finally, institutional encroachment.