One Space Many Stories: Front Campus History
A Walking Tour of the Historic Front Campus at the University of West Georgia
Welcome to the "One Space, Many Stories" Tour!
"One Space, Many Stories" is a tour created by UWG's Center for Public History. Here, you will learn about many experiences of people who lived in this region to show what history hides behind the campus and beneath the surface of this land.
Built around 1843, the Bonner House is a Greek Revival house that was originally owned by Thomas Bonner and his family. Bonner enslaved around 20 Black individuals, who worked on the farm, growing crops such as wheat, cotton, oats, potatoes, beans, and corn. There would have also been a distillery, a smokehouse, a commissary, slave quarters, and a cemetery on the property, none of which still stand. The Bonner family lived at this house until they sold it in 1865 after the Civil War and moved to Alabama. The house is now located on the property of and is owned by the State of Georgia's Board of Regents.
Melson Hall was constructed in 1907 for the Fourth District A&M School in Carrollton, Georgia. Originally, it was built as a dormitory to house white male students at the A&M School. Named for A&M School principal John Holland Melson, Melson Hall now houses the Psychology Program at the University of West Georgia. Melson Hall also sits atop of what is believed to be a cemetery where the bodies of deceased enslaved laborers on the Bonner plantation property were buried in the mid-1800s.
Originally built in 1938 as the Rural Arts Building, Martha Munro Hall was named in 1956 for Martha Munro, the wife of President Irvine S. Ingram. She was heavily involved in the school here, notably through her dedicated gardening on campus. This edifice was initially named the Rural Arts Building and housed departments such as the Rural Arts (i.e. home economics, rural life survey classes) and the administration of the Rosenwald Fund rural teacher training program, at West Georgia College. Today, Martha Munro houses the Theater Program at the University of West Georgia.
The Anthropology Building was built in 1954 as the Science and Student Activity Building, on what was previously West Georgia College's campus. It also stands where the Fourth District A&M School-era building Aycock Hall (1908-1944) used to stand before it burned down in 1944. The Anthropology Building is built in the International Style that was popular in the mid-twentieth century. This building has also housed the student center, the post office, and the college bookstore.
Miller Hall, also known as the Business Building, was completed in 1959. The building was originally built to house the Education Department. The school built a facade on Miller Hall in the 1990s or early 2000s, but originally it would have looked more similar to the Anthropology Building with its stark, International Style. The University of West Georgia renamed the building Miller Hall in 2014, after Dr. J. Mark Miller, the first dean of what was called the West Georgia College School of Business.