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The Story of the Mountain
Mount Saint Mary's College and Seminary

Mary E. Meline & Edward F.X. McSween

Published by the Emmitsburg Chronicle, 1911

Chapter 67 | Chapter Index

Chapter 68: 1891-1892

Among the diversions of the boys none perhaps was more enjoyed than the sleigh ride. The vehicles were of a very primitive character and the steeds remarkable rather for their staying power than their speed, but the cheers and songs and banter of the excursionists were a delight to the observer. Imagine twelve teams successively, each with its band of boys stopping in front of Prof. Mitchell's house in Emmitsburg and cheering the beloved professor. And then think of Mr. Hartkopf prefect and his seven young charges spilt into a ditch! The memory of it must refresh him now in the heats of Pensacola.

On the 9th of January, 1891, the question of introducing water was discussed and inquiry ordered into the expense of the project. It was reported on Feb. 24 that a stone reservoir, eighty feet above rear terrace, and sixty feet long, thirty wide and nine deep would not cost more than seven hundred forty dollars, and piping the water thence into the house etc., not more than eight hundred dollars more.

April 7, Father Michael Hayes '70, once Treasurer of the College, died at Hot Springs, Ark.

Andrew Hull Baker '45, like George H. Miles, became a Catholic and received his First Communion at the College. He established Calvert College in 1850, but the War of '61 ruined it. He sold it in 1873 and came to the Mountain where he remained till '76, when he resigned to prepare his mathematical series. He died this year on his farm at Germantown, Montgomery Co., Md. aged 73.

Rev. James Dunn '63 placed a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Rock Grotto. The boys gave several excellent plays at this period such as The Merchant of Venice, The Colleen Bawn and Julius Caesar. Indeed there is no question but there was in the early nineties a very happy combination of taste, enterprise and devotion to literature, science and art. Not to mention other members of the Faculty, those who remember Prof. Kochenbach never do so without a feeling of respect for his talents, gratitude for the interest he took in the students' events and love for his amiable Catholic character.

Professor of music that he was, however, he had nought to do with the college cries or "yells," as they were called, these being of spontaneous production and a development evidently of the soil, for of all things they recall the war-whoops of the vanishing aborigines of this continent. The curious will find the words of those of the various colleges set down in the New York World Almanac at this period, though indeed every class had its yell and these and the general college ones were subject to change without notice. One of them ran like this:

"Boomera! Boomera! Mount Saint Mary's! Ha! Ha! Ha!" and it was one of the shortest and most modest.

At this time a "science club," founded at the suggestion of Thomas McTighe, Sr., '72, and C. A. Grasselli, Sc. D., of Cleveland, was very successful for a while, under Father Tierney's direction, all the more because its membership was limited to twelve students, and the waiting list was large and respectable. The quiet selectness and reserve were fascinating, while the name and the sponsors too made it attractive.

After the crash of '81 the boys used to advertise and sell tickets for their entertainments, but it was now decided to invite certain guests instead, and as the College prospered there was less and less room for strangers in the music hall.

Prof. Jourdan, who had been teaching in Mexico, proposed to return to the College.

It had been mooted that we apply for an army officer to teach military tactics and certain branches of literature, and also to ask fornecessarv accoutrements. Our accommodations and income, however, did not warrant such a move at the time. The rates in the minim department were restored to equality with those in the senior.

Right Rev. John L. Spalding, D. D. Bishop of Peoria

The Mountain Cadets had a dress parade on Thursday morning, May 1, in their handsome new uniforms, which were gray with black trimmings and cap to match. They had been reorganized through the efforts of Thomas S. Grasselli. of Cleveland, and William F. Casey, of Pittsburg.

Those scholarly priests, Patrick Hennessey, '59, and John Baxter, ex'70, presented books to the library.

May 14. Father Lessman. S. J., and a party of Tertians, came up from Frederick on a visit and recalled the happy days of the '50:s. The young men went up to Indian Lookout, but Father Lessman had seen the Himalayas and remained quiet at the College.

May 20, 1891. President Alien assisted at the corner-stone laying of the New York Seminary, Dunwoodie, which Abp. Corrigan, '59, was undertaking. This was the fifth seminary founded exclusively or maintained by Mountain bishops of New York, the previous ones being, as we have seen, Nyack, Lafargeville. Fordham and Troy.

On June 12 Fathers Powers, of Peoria, '75, and Callaghan, of Chicago, 'S3. were authorized to represent the College at the Educational Convention in the World's Fair of 1893. Bishop John Lancaster Spalding, ex'58, was President of the Catholic exhibit at that great exposition.

On the day before Commencement the natural science students delivered lectures with experiments, and sent up a small balloon which a bird followed until both were out of sight.

President Alien had collected to raise a monument to Dr. McCaffrey, and on Aug. 5 the largest piece of marble ever brought to Emmitsburg arrived for the purpose. The monument was erected the following June, in form a Celtic Cross, designed by Prof. James A. Mitchell, with an inscription running as follows:

Almae Memoriae JOANNIS McCAFFREY SACERDOTIS, S. T. D. Emmitsburgi Anno MDCCCVI Satus Coll. S. Mariae ad Monies ubi Educatus fuerat ptime Annos XXXIV praefuit Episcopale Decus Bis Kecusavit Simplicitate Constantia Keligionis Cura Illustris Eloquentiam et Eruditionem Kactus Est Singularem Pie Decessit VI Kal. Oct. Anno MDCCCLXXXI Araici et Discipuli Maerentes Posuerunt.

The United States weather station was reestablished this fall and the returning students found a steel ceiling in the study hall, and a door opened in the north wall making an indoor passage to the refectory. Thus for the first time in its history did the conservative Mountain College rescue its inmates from the necessity of going out into the rain to pass from one building to the adjoining one.

In September Father O'Hara, '83, who had great taste and skill in photography and the like, gave the first of a series of illustrated lectures, which were very instructive and entertaining, covering foreign countries as well as our own, and presenting to the students the highest and noblest works of art.

On December 17 it was decided to charge five thousand dollars for a scholarship (the first time that one is mentioned in the history), Rev. John Doherty, LL. D., '92, of Honesdale, Pa., offering to found one.

Prof. Nicholas Harper Maguire, '33, long a prominent schoolmaster in his native city of Philadelphia, died this year. He had conducted private and public schools, being in his last years principal of the Horace Binney School. "During his boyhood there were no public schools," says a local paper, "and so he went to Mount St. Mary's."

A reply returned on January 12, 1892, from the Sisters at Nazareth, Kentucky, informed us that those ladies would not be able to resume the services in this house which they had given up in 1881.

On February 15, 1892, it was decided to hold Commencement on the fourth Wednesday of June instead of the last as heretofore. With increasing wealth and luxury the vacations everywhere began earlier and closed later, so that where a century before one month sufficed, today three months are taken, and wealthy parents recall their children from school sometimes weeks before they close, utterly indifferent to examinations, prizes, etc., and detain them in like manner when the fall opening comes. This however is not so distressing to the management as might be thought, for your good students stay late and arrive early and they are the ones that count.

So simple were the manners of the place and so straitened the finances that scarce anything of the furnishing, now considered indispensable, was known about the Mountain. Now, however, things began to look up ; means of recreation for the seminarians, such as a ball alley, etc., were broached, and it was even agreed to propose to the Faculty the wearing of academic robes.

The Chronicler feels that he must call attention to the spirit of the boys who gave very good plays this year, such as the "Heir-at-Law," the "Pirates of Penzance," and the year after " Hamlet." Messrs. Wm. Kerrigan, Win. T. Cashman, Denis Behen and others showed much ability.

June 18. Rev. Thos. L. Kelly, 79, of Providence, R. I., was admitted to the Council. Prof. Kochenbach had attained some success in the training of a glee club, but it was very difficult to keep it up owing to the constant coming and going of the members, and the extreme rareness of young men able to read music. Boys moreover sing spontaneously and well, but when one tries to make it class-work they avoid it, unless the time be taken from Greek or such. In the late 70's Messrs. Delaney, Oeink, Callahan, '83, O'Hara, '83, and others, showed taste and capacity in this delightful and most useful line, while Thomas W. Kenny, '65, and Patrick L. Duffy, '75, wrote "Genevieve" and "Singing on the Terrace," songs that appeal to every boy with "music in his soul."

Cardinal Gibbons addressed the graduates and said: "... I would charge you to take an interest in political affairs. It is wrong for young men to stand to one side and let demagogues and charlatans and tricksters control the political affairs of the country. ..."

The alumni election took place the same day. The same officers were reflected, but Father O'Hara declined the office of treasurer, which the President agreed to take, with that of prefect of studies in addition. On the 5th of October Rev. Bernard J. Bradley, '88, entered the Faculty. He was a native of Massachusetts and had been on the mission in Brooklyn.

Right Rev. Edward Fitzgerald, D. D. Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas

1892. This year is notable for the Episcopal Jubilee at Little Rock of Bishop Fitzgerald, '57, which recalled the missionary exploits of Marquette two hundred years before, and was brimful of interest. Bishop Fitzgerald was one of the two bishops who voted in the negative when the infallibility of the Pope was defined at the Vatican Council, the other being the Bishop of Ajaccio, Corsica, the birthplace of Napoleon.

The lands of the College were reported at 845 acres, though they may have been much more extensive formerly. Father Grogan's library reached the College. Father Edward Young, S. J., '45, died in California. President Alien and other members of the Faculty gave illustrated lectures, a custom that lasted for many years.

The Catholic Mirror, of Baltimore, commented on the advantages offered by Emmitsburg as the location for a summer school similar to that on Lake Champlain and that at Madison, Wisconsin. "A summer school there would attract great numbers, and it would be easy to provide a first-class course of lectures. . . . The very name of Emmitsburg is an inspiration; it is truly a Catholic spot, and the region around it, the annals of which yet remain to be faithfully written, is Catholic. Here it seems to us the Southern Catholic summer school should be."

Another topic again brought Emmitsburg to the fore: A Baltimore paper quoted in the Emmitsburg Chronicle, speaking of the proposed official residence for the Apostolic Delegate which had been initiated by certain ecclesiastics of New York and vicinity, Bishop Ryan of Buffalo being the Treasurer, says that New York, Washington and Emmitsburg were put for­ward for this location. This was the statement of Charles Thoron of the Catholic Club of New York, who continued : . . . . "Washington would scarcely be the appropriate place for a number of reasons. Emmitsburg has been looked upon as the most unexceptionable point that could be agreed upon. . . .''

December 8. Cardinal Gibbons administered confirmation today in the old Mountain Church. He advised the boys to take the pledge till they were twenty-one, and said: "The fact that so many persons with Catholic names and professing the Catholic faith are engaged in the liquor traffic forces us at times to hang our heads with shame."

January 28, 1893. Rev. Dominic Brown entered the Faculty. He was from Connecticut, and had been educated and ordained in the house, but went on the mission for a while. On the 28th of February photographs of the College and of the Faculty were ordered for the World's Fair at Chicago, and scenery for the play of "Hamlet."

On April 21, in the evening, Abp. Satolli, first Apostolic Delegate to the United States, visited the College, coming in a special train from Baltimore, and being drawn in a barouche by six black steeds from Emmitsburg. The boys received him with cheers at the pike, and escorted him with their own band of music up the avenue to the terrace, which blazed with lights. Next day, besides musical selections, there was a theological and a philosophical disputation, as well as an address of welcome, all in Latin. The Delegate replied to the address and delivered a dissertation on the subjects discussed. He also complimented the musical performers, and referred to their leader's being a countryman of his own. In the evening Chinese lanterns and colored lights, red and green fire, etc., enlivened the scene, while the band and the Glee Club serenaded the visitor, who presented gold medals to Messrs. Peter Walsh, William Bourgeois and Denis Behen, and silver ones to Messrs. John Codori, Peter Goad, William McConnell and William T. Cashman, the students, clerical and lay, who had taken part in the literary and scientific exercises. With all the excitement, decoration and so on, there was the usual absence of formality noted at the Mountain which, as a visitor said, " made the whole thing a matter of infinite delight." Next day Abp. Satolli, with several members of the Faculty, climbed up to Indian Lookout. After leaving the College he visited St. Joseph's and dined with the Vincentian priests at Emmitsburg, Rev. Henry F. White, the pastor, playing the host in his own inimitable way.

On May 16 the College was invited to send delegates to the Catholic Congress at the Chicago Fair and at the Cardinal's suggestion, made a contribution to the Catholic Exhibit. The students proposed starting a College paper, and this was agreed to, provided that it did not exceed twelve pages, royal octavo, and that it be under the direction of a member of the Faculty. Father Byrne, ex-President, offered to pay for a thousand copies of the first number. Here the Chronicler halts to pay some need of praise to the memory of those brilliant youths who revived the Mountaineer and under Father Tierney's censorship, carried on its early numbers, to which we are so much indebted for the legendary and historic lore they enshrine, as well as for their literary treasures in prose and verse. It has been drawn on freely in this history. Giving place to the departed, he names first that model student and priest Father John McCloskey of Harrisburg, Pa. whose life and death were filled with the sweet odor of Christ, and that charming poet, the late Father John C. Connelly of Bethlehem, Pa. To these he adds Denis Egidius Behen of Pittsburgh, Francis P. Guilfoile of Waterbury, Conn., and William T. Cashman of Boston, whose verses in Englishing the Attic choral odes and Tiburtine lyrics have not been surpassed, while their original work also delights the reader.

May 16, 1893. Today Father Tierney, of the theological department, was granted leave of absence for research work and travel in Palestine and elsewhere ; complimentary resolutions were passed by the Faculty and Georgetown bestowed on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity.

On June 5, James R. Randall, author of "My Maryland," came to see us, and on the 25th, Prof. Ferrata left the musical department.

Commencement took place June 28th and was honored by the presence of Rev. Edward Dyer, S. S. and many other friends.

1893. At the annual election to-day the same officers were chosen. It was decided to teach the philosophy classes every day, dropping one hour a week Latin in senior, and one hour Greek in junior class.

August 29, 1893. Twelve years after the departure of the Kentucky Sisters, the Sisters of St. Francis, from Glen Riddle, Pa., came to take charge of the domestic department. They were Sisters Christina, Florian, Itha, Syra, Daria and Theonilla. Later they were increased to 10 and more.

Sept. 24. Father Henry F. White, C. M., the beloved pastor of Emmitsburg, leaving for Germantown, came to say good-bye. He had been our neighbor and friend and model for sixteen years. The relations of the College with the Emmitsburg house of the Mission were very cordial and the professors frequently accepted invitations to aid them in the pulpit or at the altar, and delighted to make their hospitable mansion the objective point of a Thursday morning's walk.

Oct. 13. Meetings of the Faculty had been very rare, though the by-laws prescribed them, and it was decided to call one for the first Monday of November.

Dec. 13. The boys had a great treat today in listening to Rev. Kenelm Vaughan, an English priest, who came up with Cardinal Gibbons and entertained the community with his adventures as a missionary in South America. The priest was one of six brothers who all entered the sacred ministry.

Mention of Indian Lookout in connection with Archbishop Satolli's visit recalls a legend that has evidently taken its present shape from a woman's hand. We let her tell it.

The Legend of Indian Lookout.

Around the dear old Mountain clings a legend that may lend an increased attraction to one of its pleasant and much frequented resorts.

The legend refers to Colonial days, before the white man's axe had sounded its merry strokes amid the forests on the mountain and just as the Indian war hoop had raised its last echo there; for colonization was advancing, and the labors of sainted missionaries found a recompense in the conversion of many Indian tribes along the Maryland streams. The legend holds thus in tradition: A young Maryland colonist having stained his manhood with a dark crime, and being touched by grace, fled to the mountain wilds to expiate his error by a life of hard and cruel penance. Providence led him to the spot known as Indian Lookout, and here he determined to remain. Beneath the huge boulder that extends into space a cave is formed, and in this the penitent sought refuge from storms and wintry cold. In this wild retreat he lived and suffered, not leaving it except to quench his thirst at the now far-famed spring on the side of the mountain. After the lapse of a decade of years, want, sufferings self-imposed, and privations of all kinds brought on a premature old age, and the hermit's feeble step and slow breath denoted a rapid decline.

On one of his descents to the spring, feeling unusually exhausted, he cried to God in anguish, "O God, my Redeemer! If I but knew that I have found favor in Thy sight! that Thou art appeased ! Mary, Mother of Mercy, hast thou not been my pleader, and wilt thou not now hasten the hour of my dissolution?'' At that moment a dazzling light shone round, and in its center appeared a lady of transcendent beauty: "Fear not, my son," she said in kindly accents,"! have heard thy many Aves, I have noted thy long and sorrowful penance, and behold I come to console thee. Ere another moon has told its course in high heaven, thy trials will be ended. My Divine Son is appeased ; thou hast merited the crown of life. Even now in yon hamlet the minister of God is breathing mercy, peace and grace to the children of men. Go thither and receive from his hands the sentence of thy forgiveness, and the precious pledge of thy immortality. Ere long on yon open space a temple will raise its humble dome, bearing the name of Mary Immaculate; and near its site will an institution appear, wherein Levites shall be trained who will bear the light of the Gospel and the name of Mary through the length and breadth of the land." At these words the vision disappeared, leaving the hermit in a bewilderment of ecstatic joy, and for some moments he remained prostrate on the ground thus hallowed.

In obedience to the Mother of God, he made the painful descent to the few scattered log-houses of Elder Station, where he found the missionary as he had been forewarned, and to him he unburdened his woes. As may be supposed, the hermit was a cause for wonder and surprise to the simple people, especially as his tears flowed unchecked, and his attitude was deeply devotional. But their curiosity was not satisfied, for he disappeared as mysteriously as he had come.

A month passed by, and the harvest moon boded a season for sport. Two Christian Indians, led to the mountain heights in pursuit of a fox, came upon the Lookout; and as the little animal sought refuge under the boulder, they fearlessly followed the chase. But lo ! before them lay, as in a sweet sleep, the stranger so lately seen at the hamlet. A halo seemed to rest upon his marble brow and to illumine his tear-furrowed cheeks, while a strain of soft melody filled the cave. With sacred gentleness they wrapped the wasted form in a robe of fur, and covering him with his bed of leaves, knelt to pray for the departed soul: but as they spoke, the words that spontaneously rose were, "O purified soul, pray for us to the Father of Mercy!"

No record holds this simple legend, but tradition keeps it, and we are told that for years the simple people were wont to watch for the strange light that appeared above the cave at each harvest moon, and for the mysterious strains that stirred the oaks over Indian Lookout, ever regarding them as proof of God's word, that angels rejoice over the sinner that doth penance.

Indian Lookout.

High-mounted on this pinnacle of stone, I stand and view with unrestricted eye, Far fields and streams and swelling hills that lie That lie below on one vast, sky-rimmed zone. Winds howl about me, with a mighty tone, Hymning the myst'ry of that viewless sky Whose boundless deeps our earth doth lightly ply As yonder wheeling hawk soaring alone Above the woody height. How great is God ?

He made this Earth, so vast and still so fair, The throbbing sky, that sun with blinding ray, And at His word a midnight multitude Of glimm'ring planets thread the fluent air Like glow-worms on a gorgeous night in May 1908, Mountaineer.

Chapter 69 | Chapter Index

Special thanks to John Miller for his efforts in scanning the book's contents and converting it into the web page you are now viewing.