Postcards from SHSU’s Past

Postcards have always been a great way to remember places that you have been. The SHSU University Archives owns hundreds of postcards from all over the world.

The two postcards pictured above are recent additions to the SHSU Postcards Collection. (Click on the image to make the postcards easier to view)

The top postcard features the Center Motel and Chef Restaurant before the motel, restaurant, bowling alley, and the entire block was torn down in 2003/2004 to make way for the first new SHSU dorm in over 40 years, Sam Houston Village. Printed when SHSU was Sam Houston State College, this postcard would date from 1965-1969. Purchased for the view of the spires of the Old Main Building in the foreground it is a great addition to the collection.

The bottom postcard is a view of the SHSU President’s House from around the early 1950s or 1960s. The President’s House was located where the Alumni Garden, Clock Tower, and Presidents Tree are now. From 1912-1963 the various presidents of Sam Houston State lived in this house in the middle of campus. In 1963 after President Lowman died the house stood empty until 1964 when the Home Economics Department used it as a Demonstration Home. In 1970, the house was deemed unsuitable for the university and demolished. Later a park named President Park was dedicated on the site.

To see more postcards from SHSU and Huntsville,Texas visit the Special Collection Department and SHSU University Archives. These departments are open Monday-Friday, 8-5, and are located on the fourth floor of the Newton Gresham Library.

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1943 Library Stamp, POWS, and SHSU’s Country Campus

#TBT – In recent months the Newton Gresham Library has started to weed through the collection of books in the library.

This 1943 library stamp found in a book called, Stories for Men an Anthology by Charles Grayson, 1925, played an important part in the history of Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, and Walker County.

The seventy-four year old library stamp was used to identify books that were from the library of the Station House Hospital in the Enemy Alien Internment Camp, Huntsville, Texas. Commonly known as the Huntsville Alien Internment Camp or the Huntsville Prisoner of War Camp. Built in 1942 the camp held German POWs and later on Japanese prisoners of war. POWs and servicemen who were there were allowed to borrow books from the library while they were in the hospital.

In 1946, the camp was closed and then SHSU President Dr. Harmon Lowman acquired the camp, later reopening it to house returning veterans who would receive the G.I. Education Bill that enabled them to go to college or vocational school. Renamed, “Country Campus,” in 1946 the camp became a small city and housed classes for the Josey Vocational School. The “CC” had its own post office, church, baseball diamond, and food facilities.

The University owned the, “Country Campus,” until 1993. Country Campus was than purchased by a SHSU alumnus whose family was one of the original landowners who sold the land for the internment camp to the US government in 1942. A small plot of land donated by this same family to SHSU holds the university’s observatory used by students to observe the stars and night sky events. #SHSULibrary