This article is from the Hartwick Bulletin from June 1960 Vol 33 No 5 -posted with permission

Pictured on these pages are typical scenes of a way of college life which departs the campus this June.


original photo is located in the Paul F. Cooper, Jr. Archives, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY.

Established in 1946 through the Federal Housing Authority, the six temporary multiple-apartment units for married students have exceeded their limited lifetime.

Jim Russell, his wife, Mary Ann, and son, Danny, are representative of the student families who made use of the housing units which became known as "Splinterville."

Designed to accommodate the veterans who swelled enrollment from 108 in 1943 to over 500 in the early 50's, the apartments have been in constant demand ever since.

For many a family, the availability of low-rental housing was the deciding factor in being able to afford a college education.

At its height, the campus village had its own mayor and city officers. Projects for improving shared services were undertaken and rarely a summer passed when paint supplied by the college was not applied by vigorous hands to renew the temporary dwellings.

Unimposing on the exterior, the apartments interior decoration depended on the versatility of the occupant. Bohemian predecessors to the beatniks found egg crates and bare floors economically helpful and presumably intellectually stimulating. Other enterprising wives, when not working, had carpeted pleasure domes, until the children came.

Definitely a period of rather rugged pioneering, the fourteen years of Splinterville living are more gently remembered than they were experienced.

Not many who were cliff-dwellers in the cardboard jungle will regret the passing of the struggle in which intellectual pursuit vied with crying children and the sound of neighbors brushing their teeth.

Although the physical remnants of Splinterville will not survive the month, the presence of married students in Hartwick classes will continue.

Individual rental apartments in the City of Oneonta have been increasingly used in recent years.

While the "esprit de corps" of campus housing may never be revived, the maturity brought to his studies by the older student will continue to favorably influence professors to keep a reasonable balance between flights of idealism and practical application.

There will be many like Jim Russell who will graduate from riding flying saucers in the snow to become students of flying missiles in space.

Jim, who completed his work in February of this year, is in a six-month training program with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Silver Spring, Md.

At Hartwick from 1953 to 1955, he interrupted his studies to join the U. S. Armed Forces Special Weapons Project in New Mexico and Texas.

He returned to Hartwick College in the summer of 1958 to complete work for the B.A. degree in physics. Typical of those who inhabited Splinterville, Jim led an active family, student and working life simultaneously.

Working for the College maintenance department and the art department, he was on the Dean's List for academic excellence while participating in band, orchestra, physics club, Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and intramural basketball and baseball.
Upon completion of his present laboratory training period, Jim will enter a program in which four days are spent in laboratory work and the fifth day each week in classroom advanced study in space physics and electrical engineering.

For Jim, the Splinterville Era is over, as it is for Hartwick College.

Future collegians will park their cars where former students parked their families.