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Throughout Purdue’s history, students, faculty, and staff have enjoyed recreational activities on all parts of campus.  This photograph shows one of the more popular activities that was enjoyed throughout the year.  Can you tell what is happening here, when, and where this picture was taken?  Share your theories in the comments and we’ll reveal the whole story on Friday.


This mystery photo shows students enjoying the old horseshoe pitch that stood outside Memorial Gymnasium.  According to a 1927 booklet on “Purdue in Athletics” published by the Department of Physical Education for Men, horseshoe pitching was a popular activity between class sessions and in the evenings, enjoyed by both students and faculty.

Following its dedication in 1909, the Memorial Gymnasium served as a space for various athletic and recreational events, commencement ceremonies, and later as a gymnasium for women.  In 1985, the facility was renovated into the Computer Science Building.  Since 2006, it has been known as Felix Haas Hall in honor of Felix Haas, a former faculty member and administrator who helped develop Purdue’s computer science program.

The location of this photograph is now the site of­ Honor Tracks, the newest monument on campus, which spells out the words of the student honor pledge within a railroad track.  Honor Tracks is visible in this photograph with Haas Hall in the background.

Please join us again on Monday, October 23, for our next From the Archives mystery challenge.

16 Responses to “From the Archives: Student Recreation”

  1. Logan Jordan


  2. Jamie

    Pitching horseshoes on the mall in front of the Psychology Building.

  3. Ryan B

    Horseshoes! There were horseshoe pits still over by the co-rec until a few years ago. I think they finally got nixed when they expanded the co-rec parking lot after tearing down Alexander Field.

  4. K. Allen

    Looks like they are playing horse shoes on the Engineering Mall.

  5. J. Adams

    Looks like a game of Jarts.

  6. Ethan Chitty

    Horse shoes in front of the Gymnasium building. Sits across from Pierce and Psych, where the Math Building is.

  7. Carol Houston

    I think it’s Horseshoes but not sure where it is.

  8. Brittany

    Horseshoes in front of Felix Haas Hall

  9. Emily

    Horseshoe on the mall. 1930-1940 (ish)?

  10. David Musi

    Horseshoes in front of Memorial Gym. (Haas)

  11. Josh

    Looks like Haas Hall (Memorial Gymnasium) to me.

  12. Mary Sigman

    Horseshoe tournament in front of Haas Hall. i recognize the building I work in!!!

  13. Anthony M

    Pitching horseshoes in front of the Felix Haas building, originally known as Memorial Gymnasium.

  14. Holly

    Playing horseshoes in front of the Memorial Gymnasium, now known as Felix Haas Hall. Circa 1920.

  15. Marta read

    Horseshoes! My grandfather Joseph Miller graduated in engineering from Purdue in the early 20’s and told me stories of playing horseshoes while in college.

  16. Anne

    If that is Haas, is that an early incarnation of Beering to the left?
    I thought for sure they were playing cornhole since that is and Indiana thing, but it definitely looks more like horseshoes. Did cornhole evolve out of horseshoes?

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