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Learning from Lewisburg
2. University Avenue – connecting the parts
3 Walk down University Avenue:
  Note as you pass: Cooley Hall (the 1890's Italianate mansion on the right at the corner of University Ave. and Malcolm St.) and surrounding buildings in which the machines of University Relations (e.g. alumni relations, fund raising) hum away at a safe remove from the academic programs.
  Bull Run (running under University Avenue) a quaint, but periodically, deadly creek which flows into the Susquehanna River just out of sight to the right. Some of you are familiar with its dangers from the September flood of 1999.
  Bull Run, acting calm. Draining agricultural and suburbanizing land, the creek carries a heavy load of eroded soil almost year 'round.
  The Civil War monument at the end of University Avenue on the right which commemorates the town's terrible losses, typical of those suffered by small towns all over during the Civil War.
   The Civil War monument, built ca. 1902 . This was the era of the poorly-justified imperial "Spanish War", when the nation needed to remind itself of the virtue of military sacrifice.
  Monuments commemorate the commemorators, too; monuments are tales of the virtue of the creators.
4 Turn right down Barton St. (the little one-way road) cross over to the Historical Marker on Brown St.:
  If you look to the right (east) you see Mill St. headed toward the river and, tracing it back the way you have just come, you may see that you are on the path of the old mill race for a grist mill, which took its water from a weir on Bull Run.
Beginnings of Lewisburg.
  The Derr House was originally the home of Ludwig Derr, founder of Lewisburg in 1785. He purchased a large parcel of land on the banks of the Susquehanna where he built a profitable grist mill, surveyed the parcel for settlement using the grid plan with which we are familiar, but died while early plans for the settlement were going forward.
  Like many of the towns in central Pennsylvania, Lewisburg was founded by a German. Ludwig Derr laid out the town in 1785 as Derrstown. The "Lewis" in Lewisburg is an anglicization of Ludwig; the street names — St. Catherine, St. Mary, St. George—are misreadings of the signs for streets named after his children — "St." was "Strasse" for Strasse Katrina, Strasse Maria, Strasse Georg.
  The original Derr house stands somewhere within this structure
  Mill Street is laid on the head race (incoming flow of water) for Derr's mill
  The early Derr house was beyond the town's grid pattern that Derr laid out ... and Derr died before more than a few houses were built
5 Walk up Brown St.:
  The typical college town combination of student, faculty, and other local resident housing.   Brown & St. George mark the transition of the street pattern from the casual point-to-point course of the river road, to the compulsively rectilinear grid pattern of a typical Pennsylvania German town ... the town is built to a Platonic ideal of town shape, with each block built to a precise size.
  1868 map showing Mill St. head race, and Lewisburg grid pattern connecting ungracefully to non-gridded regional roads.
< Previous/ 0 Main/ 1 Campus/ 2 Connections/ 3 Susquehanna/ 4 Preindustial town/
5 Read a house
/ 6 Deindustrializing/ 7 Downtown/ 8 Lower town/ 9 Highway/ 10 Past & future / Next>