1904 Detroit Photographic Company image showing man filling water jugs from The Spring.

Mirror Lake (or The Spring as it used to be called) is a hub of campus life.

According to campus lore, the spring was a deciding factor back in the 1870s in choosing to locate Ohio State where it now stands. A "baptism" in the lake was part of the initiation for many campus fraternities and clubs in the university's early decades. Back before global warming, it was thronged with ice skaters every winter. In the spring & summer, its banks are covered with sunbathers. The lake is the backdrop to numberless snapshots of just graduated seniors. Mirror Lake has been the location of hundreds of weddings and a few suicides. One of the campus ghosts is said to haunt it on lonely winter nights. In recent decades, a pre-Michigan Game plunge in the lake has become a tradition for students.

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around 1910

Model T Ford parked at the top of the hill, presumably driven by the folks visiting The Spring.

 

mirror Lake fr the east

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around 1910

Here we have a view from the eastern side of the lake, showing the several islands and peninsulas that used to grace it. A party of women and some local children can be seen seated near the grotto, enjoying a sunny summer afternoon.

The lake has changed considerably since the 1910s. For one thing, the eastern edge of the lake has moved to about where the first island is in this picture.

 

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around 1910

Families with children enjoying the spring on a sunny day. I like the little kid at left sporting the Huckleberry Finn look.

That's a big difference between the University District these were made in and the one today. Families. If you took these pictures today, you'd only see 18-24 year old students and just an occasional parent, staff member, or professor walking through. Very few children.

 

 

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around 1910

Vividly colored image of Mirror Lake.

Judging from the long shadows, this image was made near sunset.

Note the female member of the party's plumed hat.

 

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around 1910

This little lake extends on out to the spring and is a fine place for the boys to skate in the winter. The observatory is right ahead the spring to your right and Townshend Hall behind you.

 

Footbridges cross Mirror Lake at the western end, near Neil Ave.

 

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around 1910

A bunch of fellows--some of them unusually short--stopping by The Spring for a drink. Note the dipper and pail.

Also noteworthy: Look at the big grove of old trees up where Main Library stands today.

A very sylvan view. Looks like a pool in the middle of a forest.

 

 

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around 1910

Yet another view of Mirror Lake and The Spring. Looking northwest from the eastern edge of the lake.

This is the 30th Mirror Lake postcard view I've found. I've memorized the two trees that stand on either side of The Grotto and several of the boulders.

There are more out there and I'll keep looking for them.

 

 

Mailed to: DELAWARE, OHIO

April 23, 1910

No message.

 

Mirror Lake on a sunny afternoon, looking west. Can't see the island but notice the bridge at the far end. Don't know what the guy sitting cross-legged by the spring is doing.

 

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C. 1910. Real photo postcard image of Mirror Lake.

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C. 1910. Beautifully colored unusual vertical image of the lake.

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