The Campus Court Apartments, known as “Tin City,” were where WWII veterans and their families lived after the war. Due to the G.I. Bill, there was an influx of students at colleges across the nation, the University of Evansville being one of them. There are lots of written records about the lives of the veterans as students at the university, but not much can be said about the archaeology of these students at the Tin City site. There are little to no artifacts that can be traced back to belonging or being used by a male. But, even though it is a bit disappointing to not have any physical evidence from the ground, the written records do a very exemplary job of showing what day to day life was for the students who lived in these apartments.
The campus was made up of both regular students and veterans, but everyone was mixed together and very friendly. A very large majority of the veterans were male, since there were little to no women serving in the army in the 1940s. There was also the Veteran’s Counseling Agency, which veterans went to when things got hectic and they needed someone to talk to. They did just come back from a war, so there was bound to be some psychological after-effects present in some of the veterans.
Most classes were held in the Science and Engineering Building, which is now called Olmsted and is an administration building. There was a vet’s lounge that was like game room. In there, the men could play cards and ping pong and get some food at the snack bar. There was also a recreation lounge, similar to the vet’s lounge, that included pig pong tables and piano among other commodities.
Student life was extremely busy. Veteran’s using the G.I. Bill to go to college had to do well in classes and take approved courses to keep getting the money to be able to attend school. While taking classes, the student also had off campus jobs, like working at gas stations, etc. Most of students worked until late into the night, because that was the time that they were not in class. In addition to class and jobs, some were involved in campus clubs and sports.
Image 1: Diana Alane, Jene, Bob, and Dennis Duvall, Campus Apartments 1949.
Image 2: Gene Bachman graduates, June 2, 1952.
Bachman. Personal interview by Muriel Anderson.
Duvall. Personal Interview by Muriel Anderson.
Kaiser, A. (2005). “Rediscovering Tin City,” UE Magazine 100, 2: 4-5. “Veterans” Linc 1947