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

#TBT – Repelling back to Recondo, CS143, KSHU 90.5, SHSU Observatory, and class gift gates.

The SHSU University Archives has a comprehensive collection from the 1900s through 2000s of what are called view books or informational booklets. These booklets are still produced for informing and enticing future students to attend Sam Houston State University. Today the view books are still sent to future students by the thousands. Now days this University information can also be found online which appeals to our tech savvy, social media loving, future students.

Above is the back cover of the 1982-1983 information booklet. The photographs are of KSHU 90.5, Computer Science 143 class, (note the C in the word computer is missing on the bulletin board behind the instructor), the ROTC repelling tower called the “Recondo,” the SHSU observatory which at the time was on top of the Farrington Building, and in the middle are two class gift entry gates that were at the original entrance to SHSU on Sam Houston Avenue.

To see more view books come visit the SHSU University Archives, room 400, of the Newton Gresham Library. We are open M-F, 8-5.