The Auburn Landscape

As a new student at Auburn I was lost in the vastness of campus and even today knowledge of Wellness-Kitchen escapes me. The markers I’ve seen on campus have often been small ones talking about donors and founders, but off-campus I’ve seen many markers that talk about the area’s history and these markers tell plenty about the past. Auburn history is tied to more than just the University and by examining markers scattered around town that becomes very apparent. One of my favorite markers is located just off of U.S. Highway 280. This marker was the subject of a project I did a couple of semester ago on a part of Auburn known as The Bottle. It’s probably one of the coolest historic markers in Auburn because of it’s subject, which was a gas station shaped like a giant bottle of Nehi soda. I’ve learned most of what I know from unofficial markers on campus, such as the unofficial Frisbee golf course that weaves across campus from the lathe by Samford Hall to behind the science center. Each part of the course is marked by an Auburn University building or a historic part of campus and although there are some fillers to move you around some buildings the course lends itself to being a fun way to learn about campus and it’s layout. I’m unsure who started the frisbee golf trail, but I’ve seen other students play it at night and I believe it’s got a bit of an underground following with frisbee players.

I’ve now been in Auburn for 5 years and over that time I haven’t seen too much change in the way Auburn history has been expressed. On walks to class over the years I always caught tour groups giving the same words to crowds day-in and day-out. The written history of Auburn may have been changing, but the oral history has remained constant throughout my time here at the University. The oral history of Auburn starts with the Auburn Creed and ends with the Kick Six. The only changes I’ve seen to Auburn history has been it’s fleshing out of building namesakes. The expansion on the history building names currently is very surface level and focused on buildings whose names tie to the Confederacy or White Supremacy, but I hope all buildings receive a deep analysis of their namesakes with the history behind them. I would also like to see a effort to work on regional history with regards to the Universities founding and development.

One Comment

  1. The campus as frisbee golf course is totally new to me, and really fascinating. This seems like a great topic for a project on how people interact with the place of the campus.

Leave a Reply