River Campus Starts 5th Season

Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus is kicking off its fifth season from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. Here’s the schedule from The Southeast Missourian.

First handball court west of Mississippi

I’m pretty sure I was never inside St. Vincent’s College Building. The thing I remember most about it was the handball court that you’d see on your way to the Mississippi River Traffic Bridge. A report filed with the National Register of Historic Places said the court was constructed in 1843 and was supposed to have been the first handball court west of the Mississippi River. (Ever notice how many things bear that moniker – First Whatever West of the Mississippi River?)

I know there was a lot of controversy about the University acquiring the property, but in the long run, I think this is the highest and best use of the land and buildings. It’s better than letting it sit idle until it had to be demolished. It’s a nice way to introduce travelers to the city when they come across the bridge, too.

River Campus Gallery of Photos

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.


5 Replies to “River Campus Starts 5th Season”

  1. I worked for a painting company over a summer break while in high school and helped paint all the windows in the old seminary. I still hate to paint windows to this day, but it was a way to make some money over the summer. On the second floor, the priest had a hallway with curtains covering one wall. Behind the curtains was a very large slection of wine. The also had beer-on-tap in their lounge. Today, I bet they would also have a large screen TV.

  2. Please remember that it was Bill Harrison who “donated” the money in order that the University might purchase this property. Bill and Hazel Harrison are part of my family. I hope that I can keep their memory alive in Cape Girardeau even though the University has seemingly put them on a shelf. This is not anger that I am expressing. It is profound hurt. Lynn Beaudean Hoffman

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t delve deeply into the history of St. Vincent’s College other than posting the link to the pdf National Registry application (which is really interesting, by the way) and I certainly didn’t go into the sparring that took place over the River Campus.

      It was an incredibly generous act on your family’s part. I was disappointed to read the story recently that The Harrison House, which should have been preserved by the university, has been allowed to deteriorate and has been sold.

  3. i am glad SEMO took over.i can see a big change in the neighborhoods around it.what did surprize was SEMO kept the crosses on the building..strange in this day of being PC

  4. Those windows that Steve worked on were upgraded which will help with heating, cooling and future maintainance. It also caused the stained glass windows to be removed. But they were saved and remounted inside the new windows. I get to brag that I was the person to repair and reframe them for the University. It’s a good feelin, like Lynn must also have, to have a connection to preserving the community’s past and improving it’s future.

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