This view of what is now Second Street in Corvallis is one of the first images taken of its business district, and was taken around the time that Corvallis College received permanent designation as the state’s land grant institution. Corvallis’ 1870 population was estimated to be 1,200.
The building was constructed in 1859 and expanded in 1876. It served as the primary bulding for what is now Oregon State University until 1888, when the new Administration Building (Benton Hall) was completed on the west edge of the original college farm.
The building had been remodeled and expanded in 1876 in order to accommodate a year-round preparatory department and an additional faculty member. Much of the lumber for the addition was donated by a member of the board of trustees, R. W. Brock of Corvallis.
Cadets pose after constructing a temporary bridge across the Marys River, ca. 1920. The proximity of the Marys River to the OAC campus made it a suitable location for this type of military exercise. The more permanent 3rd Street bridge is in the background.
Dr. J. R. N. Bell throws a hat into the Mary's river, celebrating the 24-13 victory over U of O 1925. This photo was used in the OAC Alumnus December p 83. Student Body prexy Jenkins also tosses "Oregon Jinx horse-shoe".
This image shows some of the preparatory and college level students enrolled at the time. The 1872-73 college catalog lists ninety-eight students at all levels, including twenty-six “agricultural students.”
"In 1862, Congress appropriated 90,000 acres of land for the support of an Agricultural College, with the condition that the college be in operation in 1867. Under this act a denominational school of the M. E. church (South), already existing at Corvallis, was charged with the management of the Agricultural College. By doing so, the land grant was secured, and the expense of erecting a new building was saved. In this simple old structure, the pioneer students of O.A.C. were introduced into the mysteries of scientific farming. In 1867, the institution boasted twenty-two students."--The Orange, 1909. The Corvallis College building was located near the Courthouse.