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UCM’s 150th Year Includes Historic Campus Tour and Ghost Buildings of the Great Fire

By Jeff Murphy, March 22, 2021

Old Main Fire in1915
A massive fire on March 6, 1915 destroyed Old Main and other educational buildings on the University of Central Missouri campus, then known as the State Normal School, Second District. In a ceremony that includes images projected onto current facilities, the Historic Campus Tour and Ghost Buildings of the Great Fire March 25, will provide a look at the campus footprint during that time in the university’s history. This is part of UCM’s sesquicentennial celebration.

WARRENSBURG, MO – Part of the University of Central Missouri’s great history is linked to the many buildings where members of the campus community live, learn and work. As the university continues its sesquicentennial celebration, all who are interested are invited to join in the Historic Campus Tour and Ghost Buildings of the Great Fire program planned for Thursday, March 25.


This special educational and fun evening will include a free campus tour that begins at the McClure Archives and University Museum in the James C. Kirkpatrick Library at 7 p.m. Sesquicentennial Planning Committee Chair Amber Clifford-Napoleone, Ph.D., professor of anthropology and director of the McClure Archives and University Museum, will lead this program providing an opportunity to enjoy a March evening viewing many of the university’s buildings while learning more about their history.


The tour will conclude by 8 p.m., where the evening continues with a program at the quadrangle coordinated by Mick Luehrman, Ph.D., professor of art and a member of the Sesquicentennial Planning Committee. The presentation includes a “footprint” installation plotted by Jeff Yelton, Ph.D., professor of anthropology, and his students, with photo projection by Luehrman that will show the audience how the university appeared in 1915.  Light refreshments will be available.


In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 6, 1915, a massive fire destroyed Old Main along with the Science Annex, auditorium and Training School at what was then known as the State Normal School, Second Normal District. Dockery Gymnasium and the Normal’s Powerhouse were the only two campus buildings spared from the flames. Despite this setback, classes were back in session by Monday morning, March 8 in borrowed rooms across town.


This program is sponsored by UCM, Warrensburg Main Street, the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce and the Warrensburg Visitors Bureau. To register, go to



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