A trip to most of our early college campuses can also be a wonderful way to learn history. One such campus is the campus of Hamilton College.
Founded originally as the Hamilton – Oneida - Academy in 1793 as an educational facility for both white and Indian boys. The Rev. Samuel Kirkland was the originator of the idea and this school continued until 1812 when it became Hamilton College. The college was named for Alexander Hamilton who served on the board of the college and was happy to lend his name I am sure.
The stately Hamilton College Chapel that takes a prominent spot on the green is the only three story chapel still standing in America. The famous Phillip Hooker designer of many of New York’s historic structures including Hyde Hall, Albany City Hall, the New York State Arsenal and more - designed the buildings façade!
The cottage where Samuel Kirkland lived and ministered to the Oneida Indians has been preserved and sits in a prominent spot on the grounds. Just up from the Chapel lies the Cornerstone for the college laid by General Von Steuben who took the place of Alexander Hamilton who could not attend.
Also of interest is the Butterick House, once called the Root House and the birthplace of Elihu Root a Nobel Peace Prize winner and once the Secretary of State.
A quick walk from the green is the Hamilton College Cemetery. Within in its grounds are many of the famous of the college including the grave of Samuel Kirkland and his great friend Chief Skanendoah. The two were originally buried at the Kirkland Cottage Rose Garden. The cottage and the graves were later moved to the campus grounds.
So for a beautiful walk and an interesting stroll into history, a drive the Clinton, New York and a visit to Hamilton College is a great way to enjoy a historic piece of Central New York History!