John taught for only one school year at Shimer College, back when it was stationed in Mount Carroll, Illinois. The college left the small community in the 1970s for bigger pastures and the grounds became home of the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation (not quite the place to go if you want to find out how to get that century-old tobacco stain out of your Civil War-era floor rug).
This post discusses what it was like living in one of the old dorms on the Campbell Center campus. We wonder if it was McKee Hall, John’s old stomping grounds?
When taking a course at the Campbell Center, you are also given a room in one of the old dorms on campus. I must admit it has been many years since I've had to walk down the hall with a shower caddy to use the communal bathroom. Staying there wasn't luxurious by any means but I enjoyed it for the nostalgia of it all. It brought back so many memories of living in a dorm with hundreds of other people. I think back on that and am amazed at how well it works. Sure, there are some horror stories but for the most part you come out of that dorm with friends that you will likely keep for the rest of your life.
The dorms had new carpeting and bed linens but other than that most of the furnishings were exactly as they’d been left in the 1970s, which makes you feel like you’re in a bit of a time warp. Oddly enough, there was an overwhelming amount of Eames furniture. And of course, the requisite cinder block walls with posters poster-puttied to the walls.