Colby College Improvements – Waterville ME


Founded in 1813, Colby College is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the United States. It moved to its current location in the 1930s with significant help from the New Deal:

Former Colby student Leonard C. Cabana (class of 1933) wrote recently that “by the time the Great Depression was sweeping the country, ‘the new Roosevelt administration began implementing a hail of New Deal agencies to create jobs for the unemployed. It was my privilege to work under one of these, the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It poured in a million dollars (worth probably over $20 millions today) into the Mayflower Hill project, building roads and sewerage foundations. It is unknown when Colby could have moved if it had not been given this boost. Benefactors do not normally make donations for roads and sewers! Mayflower Hill is located on a rocky ledge, which thousands of years ago was almost covered by ocean waters. They left their residue of sea shells, and the retreating glaciers, in their turn, left massive boulders scattered across the Hill. As part of a work crew, it was my job to roll these two-ton boulders into the prepared road beds that are the foundation of the road network surrounding the College buildings today. In my treasured memory, I am reminded that I was part of all this, as a native of Waterville, an alumnus and one who physically labored in the establishment of the Rock upon the Hill.'”   (

Source notes

The New York Times: "COLBY COLLEGE SEEKS A NEW CAMPUS," May 17, 1936 (pg. 182)

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on April 19, 2014.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Colby College
Waterville, ME 04901

Coordinates: 44.564, -69.662

2 comments on “Colby College Improvements – Waterville ME

  1. Michael E. Williams Sr

    Very good information. My father, Malcolm Williams of Waterville, a lifelong resident, and CCC member, never mentioned this, or never knew.!!

  2. Susan Feiner

    I read somewhere that part of the WPA work was dragging one of Colby’s big buildings up the hill from where it had been?

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