William & Mary

Crim Dell

  • Crim Dell Bridge
    Crim Dell Bridge  The most photographed (and romantic) spot on campus.  
  • Great Blue Heron with Marsh Wren and Turtle
    Great Blue Heron with Marsh Wren and Turtle  By David H. Turner '83, donated by Ben Field '57.  
  • Kalmia latifolia
    Kalmia latifolia  The mountain laurels show off spectacular open flowers and buds in May.  Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
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Plant Tour stop #3 Plans in the early 1960s called for building a new library on the site of Crim Dell. Fortunately President Paschall intervened (Swem Library was instead built at the center of the "New Campus") and later presided over the official dedication of Crim Dell in May 1966. The area is named in memory of John W.H. Crim '01, "who loved the College." The Crim Dell Bridge was a gift from the Class of 1964. According to campus lore, two people crossing the bridge while holding hands will be lifelong friends; and if they kiss, lifelong lovers.

The 4-foot sculpture "Great Blue Heron with Marsh Wren and Turtle" was made by David H. Turner '83 and donated to the College by Ben Field '57. It features cattails and a turtle on the base. Originally installed on land beside the water, the statue went missing after Hurricane Ernesto (2006) and was found at the bottom of Crim Dell. Biology Professor Mathes, consulted on the statue's re-installation, recommended a location in the water at least "one student's-body length from the shore."

Pathways around Crim Dell are planted with varieties of rhododendron, azaleas, and spring- and fall-blooming camellias. The eastern end has a stand of bamboo -- Phyllostachys. Carvings on beech trees (Fagus grandifolia) near the bridge attest to generations of student romances. Large stands of Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) present a spectacular display of blooms in May.