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Alexa D’Amelio

Jason Johns
18 September 2018
GBA 145
The Gorgas House is the oldest building on campus, built in 1829. The Gorgas family,

Amelia Gayle Gorgas and Josiah Gorgas, moved into the house in 1878 when Josiah eventually

became the 8​th​ President of the University of Alabama. The primary library at the University is

named after Amelia Gorgas because of her 25 years of work as a librarian there. The library was

the first academic building at the university named for women. She also was a nurse patron for

students where she took them into her care in the rear bedroom charging $3 per day. In the

master bedroom a cradle was still there from 1854, which was used by all six Gorgas children

over a ten-year period. Amelia’s prayer bench was at the foot of the bed, which was used every

night by her. While I was there taking a tour of the museum, I was still able to see her knee

impressions on the chair when I took a closer look. When we reached upstairs to the formal

entryway, I learned that the entryway was reserved for slaves only. From the entryway, I was

lead into the formal parlor, which was also used as a hospital room during the civil war. When

we reached the downstairs area into the dining room, I learned that it used to be a student-dining

hall when the campus opened in 1831. The campus post office in the back area of the house was

where Amelia also worked as a postmistress. William Gorgas, son of Amelia and Josiah, joined

the U.S. Army in 1880 as an assistant surgeon. He successfully got rid of malaria and yellow

fever in Cuba and he also got Honorary Doctor of Science and LLD degrees from national and

international universities.

While visiting the Gorgas House Museum, I was surprised to hear and see how they lived

on the campus years go. It made me really open my eyes and think about life before me and life
especially before the University. It’s interesting to learn and finally know the history of a school

that I’ll be attending for the next 4 years.

My visit at the Paul W. Bryant Museum was unbelievable. It was so amazing to see how

dominant Alabama football was years ago and how it still is to this day. Paul W. Bryant is one of

the most legendary college football coaches in history. He retired from The Tide after 25 years at

the Capstone with a record of 232-46-9 and an overall career record of 323-85-17. Our football

stadium, obviously named after Paul W. Bryant, now holds more than 101,000 people. The

University of Alabama is famous for the football because of how good they were back then and

how good they are now. One of the exhibits in the museum, The Tide Through Time, really

caught my eye. The exhibit managed to do this because it showed images and had writing to

explain the history and tradition of the Crimson Tide. The history is told through people, places,

players, games, milestones, trophies, and achievements. The museum didn’t just show and brag

about the football, but it also explained the history of how Alabama got its “elephant” mascot,

how “roll tide” started, and how they got the name “Crimson Tide.” Alabama got its elephant

mascot because as the team took a trip, Rosenberger’s Birmingham Trunk Inc. gave every player

a new suitcase with the company logo, which was a red elephant. After that, at an intense game

once, the stand started to “rumble” and a fan shouted, “hold your horses, the elephants are

coming.” The museum shows in one of the cases, Tide laundry detergent with a roll of toilet

paper on top, which displays “Roll Tide.” Hugh Roberts used “Crimson Tide” describing the

Alabama-Auburn game, which was played in a sea of mud.

Alabama is one of the greatest football schools with many legendary coaches and players.

Paul W. Bryant, Nick Saban, Derrick Henry, Julio Jones, Shaun Alexander, Mark Ingram,
DeMeco Ryans, Joe Namath, etc. and the list goes on. It’s an eye-opening and amazing

experience to see what’s at the museum and to understand how Alabama got its name, mascot

and famous “roll tide” catch phrase.