For nearly 40 years, Brown had a natural history museum that was housed in Rhode Island Hall. The collection, lovingly grown and tended by its curator, John Whipple Potter Jenks, Class of 1838, included thousands of examples of minerals, shells and fossils; anthropological and historical artifacts; and taxidermy specimens of all manner of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. Unfortunately, the museum always struggled financially, dwindled after Jenks' death in 1894, and was finally dismantled in 1915. Although remnants of the collection survive, 92 truckloads of stored material were unceremoniously dumped along the Seekonk River in 1945.
Natural History Museum Opens