Craven County Digital History Exhibit

Need of an Auditorium, ca.1908

Title: Need of an Auditorium

Creator: Oliver, William H.

Subject: Education--North Carolina--New Bern
              Schools--North Carolina--New Bern
              Auditoriums--North Carolina--New Bern
              Griffin, Moses

Description: One page flyer detailing the need for an auditorium while building a new school building in New Bern (1908).

Publisher: Oliver, William H.

Date: About 1908.

Type: Text

Format: 1 page.

Identifier: Miscellaneous Collection

Source: Donation.

Coverage: New Bern (N.C.)

Rights: Permission to use this item must be obtained from the New Bern-Craven County Public Library, 400 Johnson Street, New Bern, NC 28560.

Click on an image below for more detail.

Need of an Auditorium.

When a large number of citizens and pupils had assembled at the Opera House for the closing exercises of the New Bern Graded School it was found that on account of the want of windows to furnish necessary light the pupils could not read their essays and for want of air all suffered from heat and the services had to be suspended.  This certainly should be a lesson in contemplation of the erection of the proposed New School Building.  If a building fronting on Hancock street with its handsome front of red brick taken from some design to be selected should be erected.  A two-story building seventy-five feet long and sixty-five feet wide in a beautiful grove of elm trees, surrounded by an abundance of ground, immediately opposite the Methodist Church, with at least forty windows in each story, which will afford an abundance of Sunshine, Light and Air in every room in the building and nothing can cut off this sunshine, air and light from penetrating every room in the building, with no building near enough to burn it, with a ten foot set of stairs leading into a broad passageway with a large door both in the front and rear, with the door hingeing on the outside, with no lock or any fastenings on the near door except a wooden bar, so that no danger could possibly happen to those assembled in the auditorium if a fire and panic should ensue.  Remember the fearful catastrophe which recently took place in Pennsylvania when two hundred and fifty children were burned to death in a school building.

This building would be a fitting monument to the memory of Mr. Moses Griffin whose estate furnished every dollar used in erecting it.  On the contrary if this building which is to cost Ten Thousand Dollars should be jammed to the blank wall of a building, the front wall of it to be jammed to the rear wall of another building in the most obscure corner of the Academy lot, with a passageway to be cut through a brick wall for a passageway from one building to the other would make a Fire Trap for both buildings and would entirely cut off all light and air from the front of the rear building and from the rear of the front building.  It would cast an indignity on the memory of Mr. Moses Griffin whose funds are expected to be used in building it.

I have for near fifty years been the Trustee of the Griffin estate[,] also one of  the Trustees of the New Bern Academy and have at heart the interest of the Academy as any one of the other trustees, and in my earnest desire to see a building free from any danger from fire or from any catastrophe which might happen I am guarding the interest of the griffin estate and doing my full share of duty to the interest of the New Bern Academy.

On my petition to the Court as Trustee of the Griffin Estate I was directed to place Ten Thousand Dollars to the credit of Wm. H. Oliver, T.A. Green, Judge H.R. Bryan, M. DeW. Stevenson and A.D. Ward to be used by them in erecting a Memorial Building to the memory of Mr. Moses Griffin founder of the Griffin Free School.


For Fifty Years Trustee of the Griffin Estate, and for near fifty years a Trustee of the New Bern Academy.


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Images scanned by John B. Green, III.  Text prepared by John B. Green, III and Victor T. Jones, Jr.
This page last edited on August 21, 2018.

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