Tree Planting Group
- Tree Planting Group
This photograph depicts a group planting a tree in the Cathedral of Living Trees on East Campus of Springfield College, at the time known as the International YMCA College. The group featured in the photograph consists of fourteen people including former Springfield College President Laurence L. Doggett, his wife Olive, Frank Seerley, George Affleck, Elmer Berry, Edgar Robinson, and, grabbing onto the the tree, Minnie Taylor Mallory who donated the trees. This image is not the original print, but a scan of a copy. On the back, also a scan of the original, is the following text, "Trees to Form Living Cathedral / Springfield, Mass. --Nature's own rival to man's most magnificient religious monuments is the Minnie Taylor Mallory Cathedral of Living Trees at Springfield College Freman Camp here. Although it will be ten years before the cathedral attains full maturity, more than 50,000 persons from all parts of the country, have visited the outdoor sanctuary. Sixty Elmas form the pillars
November 17, 1935
- Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
- Collection (local):
College Archives Digital Collections
- East Campus Records
International Young Men's Christian Association Training School (Springfield, Mass.)
International Young Men's Christian Association College
Doggett, L. L. (Laurence Locke), 1864-1957
Affleck, George Baird, 1876-
Berry, Elmer E.
Doggett, Olive E.
Seerley, Frank N.
Robinson, Edgar Munroe, (1867-1951)
Massachusetts > Hampden (county) > Springfield
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The Cathedral of Living Trees was donated to the school by Minnie Taylor Mallory in memory of her parents. It was erected under the guidance of Edgar W. Robinson on November 17, 1935. According to an Olean Times-Herald article published on July 20, 1938, “It will be ten years before the Minnie Taylor Mallory Cathedral of Living Trees at Springfield College freshman camp attains its full stature, [and] more than 50,000 persons from all parts of the country already have visited the outdoor sanctuary. The Gothic arches of the cathedral, its tall, rugged pillars, will be live trees. Sixty elms will form the pillars, and the natural curve of the branches will form the ‘interior’ arches and dome. Cathedral wall will consist of 123 bush plants, spruce, hemlock and pine. A huge natural stone alter eventually will be erected, and cedar-wood pews will be placed in the interior. Electric candles will furnish the lighting. Three large Gothic arches, of elms, will comprise the front exterior. The cathedral is in the shape of a cruciform. College students are making a 12-foot clearing round the exterior of the natural cathedral. The first tree, the chancel tree, was planted Nov. 17, 1935. At the time it was estimated that lights, alter and pews could not be placed for 10 years.” An article published in the December 2, 1963 issue of Sports Illustrated claims that “the college did away with worship in the Cathedral of Living Trees, which is located in an 86-acre campsite adjacent to the campus, because there were murmurings about paganism.” The Cathedral of Living Trees can still be visited today on East Campus.
On the back is the following text, "Trees to Form Living Cathedral / Springfield, Mass. --Nature's own rival to man's most magnificient religious monuments is the Minnie Taylor Mallory Cathedral of Living Trees at Springfield College Freman Camp here. Although it will be ten years before the cathedral attains full maturity, more than 50,000 persons from all parts of the country, have visited the outdoor sanctuary. Sixty Elmas form the pillars and the natural curve of their branches meet to make the arches and dome. 123 bush plants, spruce, hemlock and pines form the walls. This picture, taken on Nov. 17, 1935, shows Springfield City and College officials as they attended tree-planting ceremonies. Mrs. Taylor Mallory has her hand on tree. Cridit Line (ACME) 7/13/38 (Bur #1B CL)"