In what has to be a bit of an upset, I discovered today that contrary to all my expectations there was no “e” on the end of “Old.” I had assumed that if you’re going to go with “Ye” you’d might as well go the whole nine yards. I suppose this is why I don’t work in marketing.
I went back this morning looking for interior shots of Ye Old College Inn and I found several good ones, some from the early 1920s and others from the 1940s. I was also reminded of what an interesting artifact the scrapbook really is. It’s quite a substantial thing, with wooden covers and nicely labeled photographs and articles. It seems to have been assembled by George Martin, the restaurant’s owner and a huge supporter of Rice athletics, sometime in the early 1960s. (I think I’ll add a post about him next week. Or maybe tomorrow. Who knows?? I’m unpredictable like that.)
The first thing I’d like to talk about today is where the building was located. I found this wonderful aerial shot taken in 1933 that lets us get a decent look. Directly across Main Street from the football field and the field house, you can see first a bunch of billboards and then the structure back in the trees. That’s it–just a smidge east of where Smith Tower is now.
And here’s one of the billboards, circa 1922, for Ye Old College Inn itself. They apparently got a lot of traffic from Rice sporting events.
Finally, here are a couple of interior shots from the 1920s. I love the guy in the Rice letter sweater at left in the top one. Very casual.
I was a little surprised to note that the two pennants on the back wall are for North Dakota and South Dakota.
Bonus: Here’s something I’ve never seen before–these lights on in the daytime.