Tours provide Pacific history

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On the first Wednesday of every month, Old College Hall is open to the public for tours from 1 to 4 p.m. The museum holds a mass amount of history about Pacific and Forest Grove, , the docents who hold the tours supply just as much information.

Head Docent, Mary Jo Morelli drops by when tours are held, but said that usually she only has to stay for a short time because of little foot traffic. There are five or six docents who help with Old College Hall. George and Lavern Williams are also docents and welcome anyone who is willing to listen to their stories of the people and places that shaped Pacific.

Morelli said the museum can appeal to any age group, from kids to adults; there is something for everyone.

Before Pacific was a university, it was an academy, with only two classrooms to start. After World War II, one of these became a room for worship and still stands as it was. The upstairs portion of the museum holds memorabilia from old yearbooks and footballs, to a flag made by Tabitha Brown in 1855, which Morelli and George Williams both agree is their favorite part of the museum.

Many other names are recognizable, such as Sidney Marsh, the very first president of Pacific in 1853. Another well-known name seen in the museum is Harvey Scott, the first graduate at Pacific and his sister Abigail Scott Dunaway, the first woman to cast an Oregon vote. All of these names can be seen while walking through the museum, but combined with the experiences of the docents, the history comes alive though memory and passed down stories.

The museum is mainly busy during Homecoming weekend and when the faculty has its retreats over the summer. Morelli encourages everyone to visit the museum at least once, and hopes to see more people as the year progresses. Private tours are held upon request with a docent to lead.

Along with learning facts and history about Pacific, the docents provide funny stories; like the fact that a restroom was never built in Old College Hall and the staircase was a different style before it was restored.

Morelli hopes to have a lot of visitors for homecoming weekend and plans to be in Old College Hall with a couple other docents to continue tours.


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