Much has changed on campus over the past 125 years, but Minthorn Hall has remained a constant presence. In fact, the building is older than the university itself. Constructed in 1887 and moved to its present location in 1892, one year after the university was founded, it has served as a gymnasium, dining hall, dormitory and academic building.
This photo, taken in 1895 or 1896, according to a handwritten note along the bottom, leaves many mysteries to be solved. What is certain is the building was called “Kanyon Hall” at the time (it was originally dubbed simply “Boarding Hall”), and the main entrance shown in the photo faced west, rather than south as it does today.
As for the people, only one is identified: A “Mrs. Chas. Johnson,” noted as “Matron” at the time, and also appearing in archival records as a student. The others are likely students and faculty of Pacific College (the forerunner to George Fox), with the children perhaps belonging to a professor.
How do you recreate a photo from 1895? Very carefully. To begin, university photographer Joel Bock selected current students, professors and employees to stand in for their 19th century counterparts, taking into account present-day gender and ethnic diversity.
Next, each individual was given a specific pose to recreate, with a good deal of leeway given for 21st century sensibilities, including fashion choices and smiling for the camera. The end result was a fun, informal photo that will hopefully be enjoyed for generations to come.
Left to right, front row: Melanie Springer Mock, Jake Thiessen, Caitlin Corning, Matea St. Cyr, Jack St. Cyr, Rusty St. Cyr, Stephanie St. Cyr, Nehemiah Heye, Gary Buhler. Second row: Ashley Meyer, Catherine McMahon, Hongyang Yin. Third row: Devin Olson, Markayla Shattuck, Caleb Barlow, Michael Peterson. Fourth row: Jenny Elsey, Samantha Biever, Noelle Ho, Neal Ninteman, Jalen Hall.
Visit georgefox.edu/125 to view more then and now photos.