As I approach Herring Cole during each one of my campus tours, I see family members' eyes trail over to the majestic sandstone building with copper detailing. “This is one of our two buildings on the National Registry for Historic Buildings," I say. I talk about the “historic feel," the first edition books, the oldest University crest and the once-shattered crest that the building holds. What I do not tell the families is that countless students claim to have seen vectors, figures, and even old men sitting in rocking chairs while studying there. “Thank goodness I’m here in the middle of the day," I think to myself as I walk by the stairs allegedly leading down to catacombs and secret tunnels. If you’re a student at SLU, you’ve most likely heard ghost stories about Herring Cole. After all, any old building comes with its own set of stories.
Although knowing stories like these gives me chills, I take it upon myself to learn more about our campus. Upon closer research, asking around, and even tracking down our dear President Fox, I discover even juicier stories about our beloved alma mater. Hold onto your hats!
First, after some research, I find out that the famous ghost-hunting couple Ed and Lorraine Warren visited campus in the 1970s but they did not go to Herring Cole; they were actually led to 1 Lincoln Street or The Hub - one of our campus theme cottages. This famous couple has been connected to The Amityville Horror, countless possession cases, and even have a museum in Connecticut that holds the once possessed Annabelle Doll. The couple allegedly saw the daughter of one of our University’s past presidents haunting the butler's pantry in this old cottage.
One rainy afternoon, I met with President Fox after a dinner we had with Carefree Black Girls and he tells me two stories that have left me thinking for days. He tells me that the school’s student-run radio station started in 1945, KSLU that plays around St. Lawrence County, once stretched even farther. Specifically, it reached a U.S. Navy Seal Ship off the northeastern coast. President Fox continued by saying that the Federal Communications Commission was notified of this and immediately took action, limiting KSLU to only the immediate area around the University!
Now, if you are a student at St. Lawrence, you have probably heard about the Chapel fire of 2013. You may have noticed the majestic rooster that sits atop the spire of this beautiful building. But what only few know is that both the rooster and the spire are not the originals. The original spire was destroyed during the fire but (here is where it gets interesting) the rooster was not replaced because it was destroyed. There is a new rooster because when the original one was taken down as reparations were made, FIVE BULLET HOLES were found in the rooster that had been put up in 1926. No one knows how or when this happened but the original now lays in storage somewhere on campus.
With this small compilation of stories and legends, I am left wondering what other amazing stories the walls, gardens, and mazes of St. Lawrence University are hiding. It is amazing how much I could find out about my four year home by just asking a few questions! I am now left with an arsenal of interesting bits to say to families trying to get a little closer to the rich history of our University.