Upper Parade Ground

Following the 1866 fire that destroyed the Old South Barracks in Norwich, Vermont, Norwich University rose to the seminal challenge of moving, rebuilding, and starting anew. That included leveling a significant portion of land for a parade ground, a traditional facet of any military institution. Given Northfield’s general topography, it comes as no surprise that today’s Upper Parade was not a natural part of the landscape, but rather, a hilly slope. When the cadets began the fall term of 1866, they lived and studied in the Old Paine Block in downtown Northfield, while General Alonzo Jackman, Class of 1836 and the university’s first formal graduate, scouted and surveyed the site. Farmers from Northfield and the surrounding area played a key role in clearing and moving countless tons of earth to grade the hilly terrain over the next two years. By 1868, students were finally able to train and study on “The Hill.”

Upper Parade Ground
Upper Parade Ground View map

158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vermont 5663

Following the 1866 fire that destroyed the Old South Barracks in Norwich, Vermont, Norwich University rose to the seminal challenge of moving, rebuilding, and starting anew. That included leveling a significant portion of land for a parade ground, a traditional facet of any military institution. Given Northfield’s general topography, it comes as no surprise that today’s Upper Parade was not a natural part of the landscape, but rather, a hilly slope. When the cadets began the fall term of 1866, they lived and studied in the Old Paine Block in downtown Northfield, while General Alonzo Jackman, Class of 1836 and the university’s first formal graduate, scouted and surveyed the site. Farmers from Northfield and the surrounding area played a key role in clearing and moving countless tons of earth to grade the hilly terrain over the next two years. By 1868, students were finally able to train and study on “The Hill.”

  • David Steen

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