The Community House, Part II

It’s a measure of how strange my job is that the least interesting things to me in these photos are the cross-dressing women in blackface. In truth, I barely looked at them. Both cross-dressing and blackface were quite commonly done in entertainments in the late teens and early ’20s. These pictures are from an event called a “Stunt Party,” a show that included music, dancing and vaudeville sketches. They were a very popular collegiate amusement across the country. This one was put on by the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society.  The photos, which I found in Pender Turnbull’s things, are dated “circa 1918-19,” but it has to be 1919.

I know that because of the wooden building on the right. You can tell from the background that the girls are across Main Street from campus. That wooden frame building can be nothing except a corner of the Rice Community House that was moved by the Episcopal Archdiocese from Camp Logan in 1919 to serve as a student center for Rice.

Look at how dressed up those folks by the door are!

So a month ago we had one picture of the Community House and now we have three. I am most pleased.

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2 Responses to The Community House, Part II

  1. Edward Summers, BSChE 1960 says:

    Andrew Forrest Muir studied Mr. Rice and was the living expert on him at the time I was a student at Rice – 1955-1960. He critiqued a series of articles in the Thresher (which I wrote) and graciously did not point out my many omissions and errors. While writing those essays, I had access to all the archives and actually held in my hand the forged will and had the chance to compare its signature will authentic ones. They were very much alike. Talk about living history…

    I would suspect that Charles Jones (who was alive and living in Pasadena at the time I was a student at Rice, though I made no effort to contact him), the valet, forged that $600 (Sweeney Todd”) check as practice for the will forgery with Lawyer Patrick. Or, maybe it did pay for the chloroform!

  2. Pingback: Vacation Week 2017: “Will Do Tricks for Tips” | Rice History Corner

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