Arts & Culture

Scrolling through a Winter Wonderland

Selections from Archival & Special Collections

By Lara Carleton | Archives Clerk

 

T

he University of Guelph and its founding colleges (Macdonald Institute, Ontario Agricultural College, and Ontario Veterinary College) have a long history of winter traditions. MAC and OAC students in the early 1900s “tramped” across the snow-covered campus in snowshoes, played rivalry hockey games, attended skating and sleighing parties, and started the longstanding tradition of snowball fights on Johnston Green.

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1. Ready for a tramp.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 MAC A0220, Bessie Philp’s Scrapbook (Class of MAC 1912).

2. Snowshoeing on the Campus.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 MAC A0220, Bessie Philp’s Scrapbook (Class of MAC 1912).

3. Various

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 MAC A0220, Bessie Philp’s Scrapbook (Class of MAC 1912).

4. On the Campus.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 MAC A0220, Bessie Philp’s Scrapbook (Class of MAC 1912).

5. Winter Skating Party, 1952.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 UOG A1865.

6. Snowball Fight, St. Patrick’s Day, 1926.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A0833.

7. Snowball Fight, February 24th, 1931.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A1005.

 

You can come and explore all of these photographs and more from the Regional and Early Campus History Collection by visiting Archival and Special Collections on the 2nd floor of McLaughlin Library.

 

 

Besides daily winter activities, one of the first mentions of a winter carnival on campus dates back to an OAC Review article from 1915 which stated that “the ice was in good condition and a good crowd was present,” but it wasn’t until 1959 that the first annual Winter Carnival was held. The Winter Carnival, later dubbed Snobash or the Winter Weekend, hosted events like a snow sculpture making contest, cross country skiing in the Arboretum, and Masquerades on Ice among other winter sports and activities until at least 1987.

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8. Johnston Hall, January 1st, 1932.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A1005.

9. Various [Snowshoes]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A1028, Francis A. Boyd’s Album (Class of OAC 1912).

10. Various [Buildings and trees]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A1028, Francis A. Boyd’s Album (Class of OAC 1912).

11. [Cars in the Snow]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A0986.

 

You can come and explore all of these photographs and more from the Regional and Early Campus History Collection by visiting Archival and Special Collections on the 2nd floor of McLaughlin Library.

 

 

The popularity of the snow sculpture contest on Johnston Green was unrivalled. Students wouldn’t even allow a lack of snow to halt the event. In 1961, the OAC Review reported that students discovered a nearby pond where they “cut and hauled over six tons of ice in zero weather” ­­­— with the help of a tractor, of course. Not only that, the students were protective of their proudly packed sculptures which were on display for the school and surrounding Guelph community to view. In 1968, The Daily Mercury reminded all visitors, especially those with children, to respect the sculptures and called out the “one idiot in the crowd” who would stomp on them — check out the full article in the gallery.

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11. [Snow Sculpture: People gathered around a dragon ]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A0986.

12. Snow Sculpture, January 19, 1960.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A0814.

13. Snow Sculpture, January 19, 1960.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A0814.

14. Snow Sculpture, January 19, 1960.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 OAC A0814.

15. Snow Sculptures Face Attack, January 27th, 1968.

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 UOG A0183.

16. [Snow Sculpture]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 UOG A0183.

17. [Snow Sculpture: Gryphon]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 UOG A0183.

18. [Snow Sculpture: The Greatest Gift]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 UOG A0183.

19. [Snow Sculpture: ’67 OAC]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 UOG A0183.

20. [Snow Sculpture]

Regional and Early Campus History Collection, Archival & Special Collections, University of Guelph Library. RE1 UOG A0183.

 

You can come and explore all of these photographs and more from the Regional and Early Campus History Collection by visiting Archival and Special Collections on the 2nd floor of McLaughlin Library.

 

Whether it is borrowing trays from Creelman Hall to use as toboggans, freezing in a tent overnight to stake a claim on painting the campus cannon, Old Jeremiah, or attending the recent Winter Homecoming hockey games at the Sleeman Centre, the Guelph community, alumni, and current students alike contributed to these Gryphon traditions.

 

 


The Ontarion has invited writers from the Library, Archival & Special Collections to share stories about the unique pieces housed in the collection. Join us as we explore these fascinating, beautiful, scandalous, and weird bits of history. You can come and explore all of these photographs and more from the Regional and Early Campus History Collection by visiting Archival and Special Collections on the 2nd floor of McLaughlin Library.

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