The Ghosts of Carnivals Past

Halt! Who goes there? What? A Dartmouth student you say? Well, come, sit down. You want to know the history of the snow sculptures? Well, I’m not sure whether you can call what you make these days “sculptures.” Back in my day, of course, our sculptures stretched twenty, sometimes thirty feet skyward. Turn off that damn cellphone!

Where was I . . . ah, yes, Carnival. Back when the moonshine shone brighter than the spirit of Wheelock himself and when we weren’t afraid to give those Havard boys a good lickin’. . . some of my fondest memories —or lack thereof — are from Carnival. Of course, in those days, we elected Carnival Queens and shipped over gals by the thousands for the weekend! And we didn’t just have one sculpture, in fact, every fraternity and dormitory made sculptures. And we didn’t take those things lightly! Over 2,000 man hours went in to the constuction of the “Wunder Bear” in 1950 . . . yes, my boy. Very impressive indeed. Astonishing what a good bit of elbow grease and snowfall can put together. Pass that mustache comb from the side-table . . . quite good.

Well, I must be going now, I am needed urgently at Occom Pond. You may rifle through my personal photo collection, next to my Keystone Light.

Gleaming with her trophy, Marjorie Carlin celebrates being named 1940 Carival Queen.

Gleaming with her trophy, Marjorie Carlin celebrates being named 1940 Carnival Queen.

The Drunken Dog and Outdoorsman take their post for the 1960 Carnival.

The Drunken Dog and Outdoorsman take their post for the 1960 Carnival.

Soaring upward, Pegasus carreis two students into the 1983 Carnival.

Soaring upward, Pegasus carreis two students into the 1983 Carnival.

The Grinch puts the fun back into 1992 Carnival.

The Grinch puts the fun back into 1992 Carnival.

With an arrow notched and loosed skyward, The Dartmouth Indian lives on in this epic 1940 sculpture.

With an arrow notched and loosed skyward, The Dartmouth Indian lives on in this epic 1940 sculpture.

“The Wunder Bear,’  the brainchild of a student, graces The Green with its dynamic presence in 1950.

“The Wunder Bear,’ the brainchild of a student, graces The Green with its dynamic presence in 1950.

 

This set piece to the Review‘s Winter Carnival coverage was written by Henry C. Woram and Samuel O. Glick. All photos from Rauner Library.