After the end of World War Two, soldiers were coming home to return to their normal lives. For some, this meant starting or returning to college to receive an education. The G.I. Bill was established after the Second World War to help aid those men who did want to go to college. At Muskingum College, housing was provided for these soldiers. Trailers were provided by Muskingum College and they received money from the G.I. Bill. It was common for soldiers living on campus to have their wives and children live with them in their trailer. The people living in the trailers became their own community within Muskingum College. The group of trailers became known as “The Trailwood Heights.” They even began to hold elections for mayor, council and other positions within the community. They also held social events such as dances, cookouts, and charity events. The Trailwood Heights is an interesting time in the history of Muskingum College that is fascinating to look back on.
Backstory and Context
Many articles about aspects of life at the Trailwood Estates can be found in the Black and Magenta newspaper. One article titled “’Trailer Wives’ Make Happy Homes Despite Hardships” talks about the struggles the trailer wives faced. The article was published in the Black and Magenta on Tuesday, November 5th, 1946. The wives had to transform the “small ‘blocky’ trailers into roomy, comfortable living quarters.” Along with trying to make the trailers homely, the trailer wives and their husbands faced financial trouble. The checks that they received from the government failed to arrive promptly. This created a stress on the families to meet ends with the high cost of goods. The article also talks about the living conditions. The Trailer camp number 2 lacked “telephone facilities and adequate amounts of hot water for washing clothes.” Articles like this one showed the differences between those living in the Trailwood Estates and those living in the dormitories. Other students that lived on-campus would not have to worry about these issues with living in dormitories. This illustrates the sense of responsibility that they had compared to a typical college student, especially since many veterans had their spouses and children living with them.
Fisk, William L. A History of Muskingum College. New Concord, Ohio. Muskingum College, 1978.
"Trailer Wives’ Make Happy Homes Despite Hardships." The Black and Magenta Newspaper. November 5th, 1946.
Muskingum University Archives. Box 5, Photographs N6.