Remembering Beals Hall
By Joe Vogliardo, a 1944 Drumm Graduate
I remember Beals Hall as the West Dormitory building when I arrived at Drumm in
1940. The upper floor was divided by a large marble bathroom in the center,
between the west and east wings. Across from the bathroom on the south side was
another large room about the size of the boys bathroom. This served as living
quarters for the house mother. All the floors, both first and second, were beautiful
terrazzo floors.

The kitchen was on the first floor, in the north east corner of Beals Hall. This led to
the dining area which extended to the south east wall. Adjoining the kitchen area to
the west was a small food pantry. The north entry door, was between the kitchen
and the boys locker room. This locker room included benches and boot storage. The
room was later used as a small recreation room, and had a radio and better furniture
for lounging. Across the hail in the south center of Beals Hall was a small reading
room, referred to as the sewing room. The west end of the first floor was our large
living room and housed a large wood burning fire place and lounging furniture and,
dance floor.

Our basement area consisted of a large coal bin and was located directly under the
kitchen area. Coal was unloaded through a coal chute located just outside of our
kitchen window. A large steam boiler was located west of the coal bin and served
both Beals Hall and the “East”, [or Swinney Building] where Mr. And Mrs.
Berkemeier and other employees lived.

Some time between 1941-43 the health department decided that our dormitory
windows had to remain wide open during the night and that we also needed night
lights. As a result of this ruling, I woke up with a light covering of snow on my
blanket one night. Mrs. Bohanan, our house mother, decided that rule was silly and
put a stop to it. There were some nights when I would sleep on top of the boiler in
the furnace room. The boiler was insulated with about 6 inches asbestos. Directly
across from the boiler room to the south was a low ceiling room that had a barber
chair, and a shoe-last for repairing soles and heels, and miscellaneous storage. This
room did not extend to the east or south walls. I know this because I had the
unhappy experience of cleaning out the kitchen grease trap. I had to crawl on my
belly from the basement hang out room to the trap under the kitchen. (I believe this
low ceiling ran west along the canned food storage which was also partially dug out
when Beals Hall was constructed in 1928.)

The freezer storage and outside staircase were located in the north west corner of
the basement. [Wilbur Todd, class of 1943 recalls starting digging through the
foundation in the summer of 1940, and it was the following summer of 1941 before
excavating was done.] We used a one man slip, pulled by a horse, to haul dirt up a
long slopping trench, to the top. I am thinking that after the ramp was high enough
we dumped the soil in a wagon. (Picture on page 77 of the First 50 Years book.
Page 75 of the same book shows me mixing concrete for foundation, steps and
walls)

I aided the company refrigerator worker in installing the walk in freezer, in the area
we just excavated. We used six inch thick cork insulation that we pegged in for the
wall and ceiling. The freezer would provide more efficient use of the garden
produce, livestock and poultry raised by the boys “in doing something for
themselves”.
Beals Hall
Beals Hall with school building in background
From left - Horse Barn, Beals Hall, Swinney Hall.  
Picture from South Pasture 1940's Era