The old P.S.C. cafeteria was originally located in the Administration Building and was opened April 26, 1920. It looked very different compared to our modern cafeteria now. It could seat 400 people, and could serve 1200 meals in an hour which was made possible by their up-to-date equipment that was described as “modern in the extreme”. Something they would have needed, as many of Palmer’s students ate all of their meals there. At the time, the cafeteria served three meals a day that were conveniently timed around the students’ class schedules.
The cafeteria was open all week, including Sundays when “many of Davenport’s business men” would enjoy a meal with their families because back then, the cafeteria was open to the public! They even had a soda fountain added to it and held ice cream parties which were apparently “extremely popular”. It was said that there was “nothing in the Tri-Cities equal to it”.
One of the most remarkable things about the old cafeteria was the epigrams that were on Roycroft carved wooden signs that filled the space, something I wish they would have kept and added to the cafeteria we have now. (It’s not too late to add them! ;)) They also had quite a few faculty member’s names on the tops of the supporting columns in the cafeteria that were “in order as they took unto themselves our burden of carrying the Chiropractic load”.
One of the most notable epigrams that graced the walls of the cafeteria was in the ladies’ restroom: “Beauty is only skin deep — and many people need peeling,” as you can see in the image below from B.J. Palmer’s ‘As a Man Thinketh‘, which is chock full of epigrams and fun facts.
One last notable thing about the P.S.C. Cafeteria is the well that sat near the kitchen. It was originally dug in 1840 and was closed in 1881, but B.J. reopened it in 1920. In A Tour Thru the P.S.C. it says that the well was 90 feet deep and held 80 feet of clear spring water. You get a sense of B.J.’s humor when you looked around the well because he had those same Roycroft carved signs saying things like, “‘Tis Well” and “This is well water”.
If you want to learn more about the P.S.C. Cafeteria or anything else about the history of the Palmer and/or it’s buildings, please check out our Digital Collection or you can email or stop by the Archives with your questions Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00pm!