Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Sulphur Spring, The

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Ohio Wesleyan University
Original/Historic Place Name: Sulphur Spring, The
Location on Campus: Outside of Merrick Hall
Date(s) of Construction: around the spring Unknown
n.d.natural landscape
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1830outdoor space (natural hot spring, resort)
ca. 2004-present (2006)outdoor space (natural hot spring)

In the 1830s, development in what was then the western United States brought unusual prominence to this plot of ground, on which the Mansion House--later Elliott Hall--was built. This "sanitarium" or "White Sulphur Springs property," as it was variously called, was built in the boom period of President Jackson to accommodate the stream of tourists and health seekers the spot was starting to attract. For a while extensive patronage resulted in a cluster of bath houses and framed cottages dotting the rough campus site, and swampy ground around the spring was filled in.

During the process of establishing the university, the trustees received the Mansion House property. (The original proprietors, Henry Baldwin and Moses Byxbe, had already donated four acres of land, including the sulphur spring, to the school.) Throughout the history of the university, the Sulphur Spring has been a tremendous part of campus life, from health seekers to late night dunkings by students. Legend has it that even President Rutherford B. Hayes met his future wife, Lucy Webb Hayes, at the Sulphur Spring.


Hubbart, Henry Clyde. Ohio Wesleyan's First Hundred Years. Hammond, IN: Conkey Company, 1943 .

Murchland, Bernard, ed. Noble Achievements: The History of Ohio Wesleyan University--From 1942 to 1992. Delaware, OH: Ohio Wesleyan University, 1991.

Tull, Barbara Mitchell. 150 Years of Excellence--A Pictorial View of Ohio Wesleyan University. Delaware, OH: Ohio Wesleyan University, 1991.


Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006