Historic Postcards Illustrate the early 20th Century Landscape at Sweet Briar College

Figure 1: Sweet Briar House, undated. Probably circa 1940s. Note the placement of the boxwoods, the awnings, and the wooden grille work to the left of the stairs. Image 134.1
Figure 2: For the observant, compare the image above with the one below. What are the subtle differences? Image 134.2.

If you guessed: a fountain, flagpole two urns, and partially closed shutters, you're on the right track.

Figure 3: The grounds of Sweet Briar House. This is a hand-painted black and white photo, creating an almost jungle-like atmosphere. Notice the yucca planted at the base of the tree and the copious number of boxwood hedges. Image 129.

Figure 4: In the past, May Day was cause for a large celebration. Image 132.1.

Figure 5: The "train station," moved to this location several decades ago and today the home of the Environmental Studies Program at Sweet Briar College. Image 126.

Figure 6: The "lower lake" (today the site of the boathouse). A canoe lies in the foreground, while an island lies in the background (on the right). The note reads: "We are having a fine time on the lake & climbing." Image 130.

Figure 7: House 1 on Faculty Row. Image 146.1

Click below for more information on historic Sweet Briar:

Historic Sweet Briar postcards
Photos of Historic Sites on campus
Excerpts from Elijah Fletcher's letters
History of Sweet Briar House (1MB)


The original postcards are stored in the Sweet Briar College Museum. They were scanned by Professor Christian Carr's Museum Management students in 2007. All rights reserved.

While the postcard below illustrates a familiar site - Sweet Briar House - you have to look more carefully to see the groundskeeper, standing off to the left. The handwritten note at the bottom reads: "I saw you Sunday but you would not wave at me."