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100 Years Ago

This week’s installment serves to (re)introduce The Northfield Star to readers of this column. For nearly thirty years The Hermonite newspaper had served the interests of both Northfield Seminary and Mount Hermon School, but as time went on the paper seemed to serve Northfield interests less and less well. By 1916 the young women at The Seminary had decided that enough was enough, and started a paper all their own.

from The Northfield Star, vol. I, no. 1; pp. 3-4 (October 1916).

Out for the Paper

Much suppressed excitement was felt all over the Campus on the evening of September 16th, at about seven-thirty. At Marquand it was marked by weird sounds made with combs, continued running up and down of stairs, and occasional pounding of a hammer. Something was on foot that much was evident to the most casual observer.

            At eight-thirty the girls had assembled in the lower halls ready to go out. A drum-major appeared, organized her scattered ranks, and led forth the motley crew to the tune of “Yankee Doodle”, played in ten different keys and sung in as many more. These ranks filed out, met those of East Hall at the door, and together started up the hill. East more than made up for the Marquand Band by her wondrously wrought transparencies which proclaimed shining truths such as “It pays to advertise,” “The truth and nothing but the truth,” “All the news that’s fit to print,” and many more sage sayings…

            Song followed song until the walls fairly rang with the echoes. Not for a long time had Stone Hall seen such a large and enthusiastic gathering of faculty and students alike. The editor-in-chief finally succeeded in making herself heard and announced to us that four different titles had been proposed: “Laurel Leaves,” “The Seminary Shuttle,” “The Northfield Monthly,” and “The Northfield Star.” Paper was hastily torn up; pencils were borrowed; the ballots cast and collected. The girls were dismissed with the promise that they should know the result as soon as possible on Monday morning.

            On Monday morning the announcement that the new paper would be christened “The Northfield Star” was accompanied by much show of enthusiasm and satisfaction. These bits of conversation were heard: “I am so glad.” “I guess that I’ll subscribe, after all.” “I just can’t wait until the first issue comes out.”