Kevin D. Beichner has self-published a runaway best seller for the holiday season in Clarion County. His A Clarion County Collection: Post Cards & Photographs sells for $20 at locations scattered through out the county. By soliciting help from many residents he has images of every town and township. There are great shots of buildings and bridges, rivers, streets and stores, and Clarion University through its early years.
On page 167 he claims to have an early photograph of the Wayside Inn but if you use a magnifying glass the third man from the left looks like Chris Kurtzhal. Judge for yourself.
On page 75 he has a great early photograph of Seminary Hall, perhaps earlier than the post card reproduced here. When I came to the campus Seminary Hall was still in use. I didn’t teach in the building but I did administer final exams there. When the dunderheaded administration decided it was in the way, appeals did no good as administrators know best because they are administrators. Al Pfaff made a great photographic record of their effort over several unscheduled days to bring down the “unsafe” building. What they put on the site was and remains ugly.
A later administration erected a faux bell tower near the site but even students’ whose parents were not born when Old Seminary came down can sense that the faux tower neither stands nor rings in a league with what was lost. The faux tower will serve a purpose if it reminds the present and future administrations that heritage is not a commodity and that savaging heritage is antithetical to the being of a university. Charles Marlin