First Historical Tour Walks through Campus

Armed with anecdotes about the teenage Oliver Wendell Holmes and Andover’s shifting campus blueprint, members of the Phillips Academy Historical Tours gathered on the steps of the Cochran Chapel to give their first tour this past Saturday. Kelsey Phinney ’11 and Margaret Curtis ’12 proposed the idea over the summer, and brought the club to life this year. The club plans on having every other Sunday in the Fall and the Spring, and will continue in upcoming years. The tour began on the Phillips Academy campus, but soon headed towards Abbot campus. The tour guides, Natalee Sohn ’11 and Nora Petrulli ’11 complemented the walk with details about the school’s past. Pointing out the Brace Center for Gender Studies and other several other main buildings in the area, they explained the history of Abbot Academy and union of the two academies. The tour looped around and headed back to Graves Hall. “Graves Hall used to be the science building, and before that, Morse,” said Sohn. Curtis said, “The building looks new, but it was actually just moved around campus a lot.” Graves was once in Flagstaff in the central campus and Pearson once rested between Foxcroft and Bartlet, according to Curtis. Caroline Pisani, an employee at the Addison Gallery, attended the tour after she saw a notice by the post office in downtown Andover. “It was nice to see so much more of the campus,” said Pisani. “I do a lot of walking for exercise, so I’m always walking past all these buildings, but I don’t necessarily know what they all are. I just thought it’d be interesting to learn a little bit more about the school since its right on my doorstep.” The tour also offered students and members of the town of Andover a way to learn more about the history and lives of famous alumni. As the group passed the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library, Petrulli said, “Oliver Wendell Holmes, the guy the library was named after, actually used his pistol barrel to hide cigars. Back then, you were allowed to carry guns, but not cigars.” The tour guides also shared trivia about student life at Andover over the ages. According to Sohn, first movie shown on campus, “Whoopee,” was played in GW during 1930 on a Saturday night. According to the tour guides, the Andover Inn once had a pub where students could drink with their teachers at night and ‘de-stress.’ After 40-minutes detailing of the intricate history of the school, the walk ended back at the Cochran Chapel. Currently, there are only two official tour guides, Sohn and Petrulli. “I saw an announcement on PAnet [looking for tour guides] so I applied right away. I am very interested in Andover history, but I feel like students don’t know much. I don’t think they have the chance to, and I feel that they would love to learn these things,” Petrulli said. The club plans to expand in the near future, potentially adding more tour guides. “We have a whole team behind us. We have a Head of Publicity, an entire Publicity Crew, a Head of Researching and an entire Researching Crew,” said Curtis. “Charles Guan ’12, our Head Researcher, helped a lot of the [other] researchers work over break and look through old books, and talk to faculty members,” said Curtis.