Archive for Sunday, May 7, 1995

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May 7, 1995

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Where did the name Oread, as in Mount Oread, Oread Avenue and Oread Neighborhood Assn., come from?

Oread, according to a student in the Kansas University classics department, was a mountain nymph in Greek mythology.

Robert Taft, author of "Across the Years on Mount Oread," writes that the name was first given to the ridge on which Kansas University now sits in 1854. A band of New Englanders named it, likening it to another school that occupied a commanding site overlooking its town -- Oread Institute in Worcester, Mass.

Two books on the history of Worcester provide more information on the Massachusetts connection.

In May 1849, Eli Thayer opened the Oread Collegiate Institution for women. At that time, Oberlin College was the only college open to women.

Oread was an imposing structure that resembled a castle and sat on a hill known as Goat Hill in Worcester. The name Oread didn't stick long, and it became known as the Castle. In 1881, the school closed because of lack of students.

Before it was torn down in 1935, the Castle was used as a domestic science school and a riding academy.

Worcester also has an Oread Street and an Oread Place, which took their names from the Castle.

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