Sunday, November 3, 2013


After leaving the Natchez Trace Parkway near Jackson, Alabama I headed east with a couple of days to make it to Andersonville. It's not many miles and a detour on day two to Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, seemed like a good idea. It was.

The Institute is a National Historic Site (another one crossed off the list) and the Booker T. Washington home on campus, called The Oaks, was open for a tour. Washington was the first teacher and the principal of the Institute from its founding in 1881, as a Normal (teachers' school), until his death in 1915.

University students made the bricks and built the house. It was too dark inside to take more than a couple of pictures, but this is from the floor of his bedroom. Students did all this work, including making the nails that fasten down the boards.

He had a sauna in his bathroom, the likes of which I've never seen before. Light bulbs reflected off the mirrors and built up heat. That's the two whole pictures I was able to get of the inside of the house.

The Ranger (the house is part of the Historic Site) heard I was an archivist in another life (it was not me who told her), and called the University archivist, who said to come on over. I got a tour of their very nice facilities and an itch to open boxes and see what was in them. It was Homecoming weekend, though, and his time was short so no box-opening for me.

On the way over to the archives I passed the cemetery, right in the middle of campus,

where Washington and George Washington Carver are buried.

I admit to knowing next to nothing about either of these men but they have been added to the list of biographies I want to read. They were both born into slavery yet went on to  remarkable achievements.

The campus chapel has a gorgeous stained glass window that is based on old Spiritual hymns. It was my final stop before getting back on the road to Andersonville.

Thought of the day:

I have observed that those who have accomplished the greatest results are those...who never grow excited, or lose self-control, but are always calm, self-possessed, patient, and polite... (Booker T. Washington - Up from Slavery)