Thursday’s Doors ~ Perkins Observatory in Delaware, Ohio



I had hoped to post this so

you would be pleasantly surprised

by the location of the first door

photograph displayed on the

back garage building behind

the observatory.

My original post and photo

were taken in May, when my

friend Anna and I had been walking

around Delaware, discovering the

pointillism wall art I posted awhile ago.

This new photograph which

my good friend Anna captured,

replaces my own which

somehow got lost

in my WordPress files. . .

Here is a little history and I hope

you will enjoy this along with

the front door picture that

I will follow with this

Thursday evening.

~ The Perkins Observatory ~

“The Place for Space,”

was a dream of the founder of

our Ohio Wesleyan University,

Hiram Perkins.

He started this project in 1921,

worried as he was already in his 90’s.

He had considerable savings and

contacted the construction company,

Warner and Swaysey,

who also constructed the

Yerkes Observatory in

Chicago, Illinois.

When he ordered a large mirror

for the telescope, he asked for

a 60″ mirror. TheΒ  National Bureau

of Standards made the mirror

larger than expected,

a whopping, 69″ big!

This 1923 Observatory

became the third largest

telescope in the World,

once it was built,

at the time!

Unfortunately, Hiram  Perkins

died before he was able to

see the view through the

telescope and see the

opening view of the planetarium~




and the Milky Way.

Some of the workers, scientists and

Professors believe

a ghost of Hiram Perkins still

roams the observatory and grounds.

There are past connections

with the OWU Physics and

Astronomy Departments,

Including research,

educational facility,

used by faculty and students alike,

sadly only up to 1998, when budget

cuts at university stopped funding

to Perkins Observatory.

There are Friday Night Summer

evening programs and also,

available for groups such as

scouting, 4H or adult organization

or club meetings which wish to

provide ticket payments for

special programming.

One interesting note to all

who enjoy writing and reading,

the Perkins Observatory

founding director published an

informative newsletter and

magazine which was highly regarded

by physicists, astronomers and

educational specialists.

It was called,

“The Telescope,”

which nine years after it

opened the small magazine

came out in 1932.

This follow-up post is a late,

Thursday’s Doors connection

to all those well planned

and wonderful door


which if you

haven’t checked

the following link out yet,

you are in for a treat!

Norm Frampton hosts at:

Thank you to all who guessed

and imagined about the garage

behind Perkins Observatory,

Delaware, Ohio.

You may like to

see the website

which includes

the unique

construction of

the building.


43 responses »

    • I feel that the main feeling of seeing this building in progress in his lifetime, probably was enough for Hiram Perkins. Seeing it come into fruition, kept him going. I like history, so glad many seem to appreciate it, too. Thank you, Dan.

  1. Thank you for sharing the great story behind the building of this observatory. If you like a fanciful end to your story, you could say Hiram Perkins has a better view of the heavens now than he would have had with the use of his observatory telescope. – Mike

    • You know, Mike, this is certainly a fine way to look at Hiram Perkin’s current view. I also wished to let you know that the Warner and Swaysey construction company also built a Conservatory in Seattle, Washington. πŸ™‚

      • I believe that is the one on the University of Washington campus. It was mostly for show as a historic landmark since it was built in 1892.

    • The garage door was on a building behind this one, where I imagine they store materials and equipment. The front building is definitely kept in good state of repair. I am glad it surprised you, as that was my reaction, as well as my friend, Anna’s! Thank you, Derrick for verifying our incredulous reaction. πŸ™‚

  2. Fascinating story on the Hiram Perkins observatory Robin, what a fantastic adventure for someone in their 90s.
    Thanks for sharing more of your intriguing historical researches.

    • I imagine Mr. Perkins was motivated and trying to stay alive for this completion. It was surprising how they said this building cost Hiram Perkins during this time period, $250,000. That was quite a hefty amount for a minister who founded Ohio Wesleyan University!

    • Timi, what a lovely way to describing Hiram Perkins dream being seen over and over in his heart.<3
      Thank you for reading this story about a minister who managed to live frugally, founded Ohio Wesleyan University and then, managed to have a large amount of money to build this still great observatory. These things impress and inspire me!

    • It was sad, Drew. I am sure Mr. Perkins saw the privilege of building it come to fruition with groundbreaking and the construction of the observatory started. Hopefully, he felt excitement for the stages it had gone through before he passed away. Thank you! πŸ™‚

    • Hiram Perkins was the founder of Ohio Wesleyan University and must have had a dream of the observatory for quite some time. He was a minister who looked towards helping his community. I admire his commitment to the project! πŸ™‚

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