Libby Reuter and Joshua Rowan
Lewis and Clark Community College
China Creek is named for the broken pieces of dinnerware found in the creek bed on the Godfrey, Illinois, campus of Lewis and Clark Community College. The broken ceramics incorporated into the Cairn and seen in the water have their origin in the college’s history, which began as the nation’s second college for women in 1838.
Benjamin Godfrey established the Monticello Ladies’ Seminary for his five daughters and other young women. He started the school because he believed that “when you educate a man, you educate an individual; when you educate a woman, you educate a family.” The curriculum included courses in advanced mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, mineralogy, logic, political economy, arts, music, and needlework. The school’s traditions included throwing any china broken in the campus dinning room or kitchen into the creek. Please don’t try this at home!
Monticello closed in the 1970s and the campus became Lewis and Clark Community College, a two-year, public institution serving students in the seven surrounding counties. The College is committed to “greening” the campus, reducing the campus’ carbon footprint, and offering sustainable-practices education. The College is a partner in the Great Rivers Research and Education Center in Alton that is dedicated to the great river systems and the communities that use them.