President Peavy (front row, right), Governor Charles Sprague (front row, center) Chancellor Frederick M. Hunter (second row, second from left) and members of the State Board of Higher Education attended the dedication of the building – one of a handful of buildings built at any public higher education campus in Oregon in the 1930s. Board member Beatrice Walton Sackett is in the front row, left. Linus Pauling (not pictured) was also at the building’s dedication.
The old armory and gymnasium building was converted to a playhouse for Oregon State’s excellent theatre program around 1951. It was later named Mitchell Playhouse, in memory of C. B.Mitchell, longtime chair of the Speech Department and director of the Theatre program. The building was used as the playhouse until 1990, when fire safety concerns closed it for that purpose. In 1992 it reopened as the Valley Gymnastics Center.
This delivery truck from the Corvallis Lumber Company unloads wood chips. The lumber company’s mill was located at the confluence of the Marys and Willamette Rivers in Corvallis, and its mill waste was an important fuel source for the college. Wood chips, which also arrived by rail car for many years, were used as fuel for the steam plant into the 1970s.