Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spring Hill College

Spring Hill College, founded in 1830, is the oldest Catholic college in the South. Cardinal Joseph Fesch, Napoleon's Uncle and said to be the only member of the Clergy trusted by Napoleon, was a major benefactor of the college. In addition to funding the school, Fesch, known for his art collections, provided important works of art to Spring Hill. Unfortunately, these were lost when the original building burned. The current administration building was designed by William Freret of New Orleans, a Spring Hill Alumnus. The school was strategically located by Bishop Portier midway between the large catholic populations of Saint Augustine and Pensacola to the east and New Orleans and other towns of Louisiana to the west. The location on the hill about eight miles west of Mobile was also said to be free of yellow fever. In the early years, the school was attended by the well-born Creoles of the Gulf South as well as the Caribbean and Central America. Paul Morphy is one of the famous early attendees of the college and, during the Civil War, children of prominant families such as Semmes, Maury, Taylor, Beauregard, and Bullock attended the school. Two brothers from Cuba, Ernest and Nemesio Guillo, attended Spring Hill in 1860 and later introduced baseball to Cuba. I've also heard that at one time during the early 20th century, a majority of the members of the Mexican Supreme Court were Spring Hill Alumni. To this day, most of the students come from the old French and Spanish colonial towns from Florida through Louisiana and along the Mississippi River up to Illinois. Spring Hill will always be close to my heart because it was one of my first experiences with study abroad. It was here that I studied English as a Foreign Language for a Summer Course during high school.

Original Building (1831) Designed by Claude Beroujon

Administration Building (1869) by Freret

St. Joseph's Chapel

Stewartfield (1842) with Avenue of Oaks

Byrne Hall and Soccer Field

Sodality Chapel (c. 1850)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Roses of Old Mobile

The Vineland Nursery was established by C.C. Langdon in the 1850's. It was located north of Mobile near Citronelle, Alabama and, I am told, ancient camellias can still be found on the site. The 1858-59 Vineland Nursery catalog included a listing of a dozen varieties of roses that were sold that year. They were as follows:
  • Augusta Climber
  • Cornice  De Marseilles
  • Cloth of Gold
  • Duchess of Sutherland
  • Giant of Battles
  • La Marque
  • La Reine
  • Luxembourg
  • Octavie
  • Pope Pius
  • Solfataire
  • Souvenir de la Malmaison
I have found what I believe to be eight of the varieties listed in the catalog and have included a few of them in the  photos below.

Duchess of Sutherland with St Joseph's Lilly

Geant de Batailles

Souvenir de la Malmaison

La Marque, Climbing