Related Sites at Other Minnesotan Schools

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Table of Contents

Introduction and Methods

Carleton was not the only school in Minnesota that had veteran housing after World War II. While Pine Hill Village was uniquely interesting in some regards, a couple of Carleton’s neighboring private liberal arts schools also built or brought in temporary student housing for GIs and their families.

The aim of our project was to provide a broader historical and archaeological context for Pine Hill Village, comparing the implementation of the village at Carleton with other known villages at Minnesotan colleges. In an effort to understand and learn about the G.I. bill in a broader context, we investigated the cases of both Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and how they implemented their villages to provide housing to veterans and their families. We started out with some basic internet research to gain a better understanding of the G.I. bill and how that was implemented at both colleges. We got most of our information from St. Olaf and Macalester’s archives. We obtained scanned images of Macville, Macalester’s village for veterans and their families, from Macalester’s archives as well as information from catalogs and yearbooks from that time. The archives of the student newspapers were also a source of information. We obtained most of the information on St. Olaf from the archivist’s articles on the village which was named Viking Court. Most of the information obtained was also from books about the history of liberal arts colleges in Minnesota and some of our findings were from a few oral accounts from published interviews. We learned quite a bit about the G.I. bill and veteran housing as well as how each was implemented at different Minnesota colleges, particularly Macalester and St. Olaf colleges, that is, in addition to Carleton.

All of these institutions had a lot of similar qualities regarding their veteran housing, including that they were all for students and functioned around the same time period, but each was different from the others in some way.

Featured below are a chart and a Venn diagram that explore some of these differences and similarities.

Chart of Pine Hill Village, Viking Court, and Macville

College and Location Carleton College (Northfield, MN) St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN) Macalester College (St. Paul, MN)
Name of Housing Site Pine Hill Village Viking Court Macville
Dates in Use 1947-1955 1947-1961

  • Was only planned to last five years but lasted longer
  • The last remnants were removed in 1961 in anticipation of two new dormitories

  • 1961-62 college catalog has information about Macville, but the 1962-63 catalog does not mention it
Types of Housing Temporary student housing Temporary prefabricated housing complex and a nearby trailer camp Married student housing
Location on Campus Located across from Lyman Lakes and behind the Rec Center Below Old Main Hill facing Lincoln Street Near St. Clair Street

  • Used to be where the Mac Woods were
Number of Units 46 units Four dormitory units and six trailer homes 32 units
Number of People/Couples Housed around 50 married couples 15 apartments for married couples, 87 rooms for single men 64 married and single GIs
Interesting Facts
  • 1946-47: returning servicemen was about 70 percent of the male student population
    • Two years later, it was 40 percent and continued to decrease
  • Not significantly published about in the Carletonian
  • Archaeological excavation and survey work has been done at site
  • May 5, 1947: Gas explosion
    • Three families temporarily homeless
    • Four people injured
  • Veterans’ wives could audit courses at Olaf, free of charge
  • In May 1947, there were 26 babies in Viking Court
  • The Manitou Messenger said that Viking Court was removed to discourage students from marrying
  • Many Oles enjoyed living there
  • Sometimes described as ‘primitive’ housing
  • Other times it was described as ‘handy’ or ‘convenient’
  • Large class sizes due to increasing in veterans
  • Not significantly published about in student and college newspapers
What is There Now
  • Lacrosse field
  • Part of the Carleton College Cowling Arboretum
  • An open space at the base of Old Main Hill
  • Softball field and south end of track/football field

Venn Diagram of Carleton, Olaf, and Mac

Screen Shot 2017-05-23 at 4.27.56 PM

Explanation of Chart and Venn Diagram

As shown in the chart and venn diagram, Pine Hill Village, Viking Court, and Macville had similarities and differences. All of the sites were part of the GI Bill, on the outskirts of liberal arts campuses in Minnesota, and were meant for students and their families. They also all were functioning in roughly the same time periods (after WWII). However, as shown in the chart, the units were of different sizes and each housed a different number of individuals or families. Additionally, Macville was the only site that did not have temporary housing like Viking Court and Pine Hill Village. Viking Court also was unique in that it was generally looked at as pleasant by the inhabitants and by the students staying at the college (this is shown through babysitting jobs and parties). The accounts we looked at that described this positivity clearly do not constitute for all opinions about Viking Court and the veterans and families, but in comparison to oral accounts about Macville, they were significantly more favorable. Pine Hill Village, a site closer to home for many of us, was unique in that it is now the only one of these three that has had archeological work done on it! Our work at the campus site through this class is unearthing a wealth of new knowledge about Pine Hill Village, information that is lacking when we look at Viking Court and Macville. These are just a few examples of the similarities and differences amongst these Minnesota colleges as more are explored in the chart and diagram. Featured below are photographs and drawings of each of the sites and, as we can see, they all look somewhat similar though their different locations are quite interesting (Pine Hill Village is on a hill in a field, Viking Court is at the bottom of a hill, Macville is in the woods).

Pine Hill Village Photos

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Viking Court Photos

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Macville Photos

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Pine Hill Village, Carleton College

Jarchow, Merrill E.

1973 Private Liberal arts colleges in Minnesota: their history and contributions. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.

Spencer, Dana

2016 “Pine Hill Village: Carleton’s Forgotten Veteran Student Housing”. Carleton’s Sesquicentennial Celebration Weekend, Northfield, Minnesota.

Materials in the Archives:

Maps, Drawings and Architectural Plans 1872-2006 04/021.

Folder 306: Housing For Veterans.

Viking Court, St. Olaf College

Sauve, Jeff M.

“Viking Court”. Electronic Document., accessed May 16, 2017.

Shaw, Joseph M.

1974 History of St. Olaf College 1874-1974. The St. Olaf College Press, Northfield, Minnesota.

Shaw, Joseph M.

1992 Dear Old Hill: The Story of Manitou Heights, The Campus of St. Olaf College. The St. Olaf College Press, Northfield, Minnesota.

Shaw-Olsen Center for College History (at St. Olaf College)

“Getting Back to ‘Normalcy'”. Electronic Document., accessed May 16, 2017.

St. Olaf Magazine

2016 Almanac: Home Sweet Home. Spring: 54.

Macville, Macalester College

Jarchow, Merrill E.

1973 Private Liberal arts colleges in Minnesota: their history and contributions. Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.

Morell & Nicholos Inc. A. R. Nichols & Geo L. Nason

“Macalester College Campus Expansion Map 1949″. Electronic Document,, accessed May 12, 2017.

Zeccardi, Laura

2007 Interview With Yvonne Dierenfield, Class of 1949. Electronic Document,, accessed May 12, 2017.

Zeccardi, Laura

2007 Interview with John Schue, Class of 1953 and Professor of Mathematics. Electronic Document,, accessed May 12, 2017.

Zeccardi, Laura

2007 Interview with Richard Dierenfield, Class of 1948, Professor of Education, 1951-1988. Electronic Document., accessed May 12, 2017.

Credits–Amie Bigirimana and Randa Larsen