Did You Know (Babson College)

Roger Babson gravesite, Sir Isaac Newton apple tree, Babson Globe

Photos by E.J. Lefavour

That Gloucester’s Roger Ward Babson is buried at Babson College between his two wives (Grace Knight Babson and Nona Dougherty Babson); and that the second wife, Nona, was his mistress until Grace died and he married her?  The second photo is of a fourth generation apple tree that was grown from a sprig of Sir Isaac Newton’s apple tree – you know the one the apple fell from and allegedly caused Sir Isaac to discover the Universal Law of Gravitation.  Roger Babson had a great fascination with Newton and in 1937, his wife, Grace, purchased for Babson College, the original pine-paneled walls and carved mantel from the parlour of Isaac Newton’s house on St. Martin’s Street, Leicester Square, London, where he lived from 1710-1725.  The Grace K. Babson Collection of Newtonia includes a library of over 1,000 volumes of English and foreign language editions of Newton’s works (many of which are autographed and annotated in Newton’s hand), manuscripts, engravings, artifacts, and other Newton memorabilia, including a death mask that originally belonged to Thomas Jefferson. The collection is the largest source of Newton materials in the United States.  The third photo is of The Babson World Globe, originally dedicated in 1955, refurbished and rededicated on October 2, 1993, which is one of the world’s largest free standing globes (28 feet in diameter, weighing 25 tons) capable of revolving on its base and spinning on its axis.  The last photo is of me standing next to my exhibit of Babson Boulders Photos at Olin Hall. 

The Babson Boulder photos have created great interest at Babson College.  A number of faculty that I spoke with during the event expressed interest in setting up field trips to bring Babson students to Cape Ann to see the Babson Boulders for themselves.  I gave them Seania McCarthy’s “Walk the Words” site info as a possible tour guide for their field trips.  Babson has a student body of 1,900 and faculty of 50+, not all of whom would take the trips, but it could potentially bring a bunch of new young people and academics to Cape Ann to investigate Roger Babson’s roots and become Cape Ann lovers in the process.  I got these shots and bits of info during my Founder’s Day tour of the campus yesterday. 

E.J. Lefavour


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