Off campus: Waldrip, Texas, 1936

This picture was pretty nearly the first thing I encountered when I got back to the Woodson yesterday. It doesn’t have anything to do with Rice except that it was with some photographs that belonged to Rice Linguistics Professor Douglas Mitchell, who passed away in 2015. He was a really interesting and deeply unusual person (here is his obituary from the Chronicle) and I had several unforgettable conversations with him at the Avalon Diner. I don’t have any theory about why he would have this picture but it’s such a beauty I can’t resist posting it:


Waldrip (if it still exists) is east of San Angelo in McCulloch County. There’s not all that much to say about it but if you’re interested here’s a short article.

Bonus: This single card from the old card catalogue was blowing around out on the library loading dock. A more forlorn sight I’ve rarely seen.


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7 Responses to Off campus: Waldrip, Texas, 1936

  1. marmer01 says:

    They used to use catalog cards as scratch paper for the catalog computers. Made me very, very, sad because I well remember that mighty catalog, which filled a large room.

  2. Michael Ross says:

    Should anyone want to peruse/read the 1920 book (in German) on that lonely, discarded catalog card — “Um 1800; Architektur und Handwerk im Letzten Jahrhundert ihrer traditionellen Entwicklung” by Paul Mebes — it can be viewed on the Internet Archive here:

  3. almadenmike says:

    Regarding Waldrip, lists it as a Texas Ghost Town:

    An old postal map on that page shows it being located south of a loop in the Colorado River (while Google Maps ( fingers it as being a little further southeast, at the intersection of farm roads 220 & 324). There appears to be no town left in either locale.

  4. Hanszenite says:

    Dr. Kean – do you have any photos of the owlery that supposedly existed on campus (where live owls were kept) or is this an urban myth? I’d love to see a story on it if it did.

    • Karen says:

      It absolutely did exist. It was over between Lovett and Will Rice. I think it was in the background of one of the casual Friday pictures last December — the one with the people in the tree in pajamas? It wasn’t obvious though, and if you didn’t know it was an owl house, you’d probably think it was just a tool shed. I don’t remember if there were any better pictures of it previously.

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