The annual Eastern Washington University Friends of the Library walking tour of the campus on Monday offers a leisurely narrated stroll through the campus of the university that developed alongside the rest of the region, growing from a small academy in 1882 into the institution that EWU is today.
“This year I especially want to draw attention to Eastern’s traditional teaching mission,” said Charles Mutschler, archivist at EWU and tour host. “Not only do we have an historic one-room schoolhouse that was moved to campus in 2000, but this year marks the closing of Reid Elementary School, the teacher-training school that has operated on campus for the past 50 years.”
On the 90-minute narrated tour, Mutschler will share facts and figures, along with vignettes and interesting historic tales as he guides the public through the EWU Historic District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The tour will begin with a slide presentation at 6 p.m. in the second-floor lounge of Monroe Hall (water will be provided to take along on the tour) and concludes there with light refreshments and a reception. There is no cost, but Mutschler said the Friends of the Library always appreciates donations to support its activities.
It is always his desire to paint a picture of the times and events that took place at the site from 1882 to the present by weaving together stories about the people who built, rebuilt and at times saved the university, along with background about the buildings and history of EWU, Mutschler said. There are tales of fire and about a unique married student housing area that developed after World War I, known as “Trailerville,” in which there were no toilets or showers.
The EWU Friends of the Library, a group supporting the EWU libraries and its services that helps with library programming, has for the past 11 years been presenting the walking tour as a public service to the community. Information is available at www.ewu.edu/library.
Mutschler reminds all who will be attending that comfortable walking shoes and perhaps a sun hat might be in order.