CHAPTER XIII
WINTER OF 1898-1899

IN OCTOBER, I attended the conference of astronomers held in connection with the exercises of dedication of the Yerkes Observatory at Williams Bay, Wisconsin, on the shore of Lake Geneva. As the summer camps around the lake had been closed some weeks before the date for the formal opening of the observatory, provision was made for many of the visiting scientists by placing bunks in the basement. The meridian room served as a kitchen for the caterers who provided the meals. I was hospitably entertained at the house of Professor Wadsworth, little thinking that this was to be my own home for six years, beginning in the summer of 1899. October 21 was a beautiful autumn day at Lake Geneva. A special train brought the trustees and many guests of the university. Dr. William R. Harper, the energetic organizer of the University of Chicago, was inclined to follow somewhat the English formalities in academic celebrations. The principal addresses were made on the floor of the large dome with the presentation by Mr. Yerkes and the acceptance by Mr. Martin A. Ryerson, president of the Board of Trustees. The main scientific address was by Professor James E. Keeler, Director of the Allegheny Observatory. He spoke on the subject, 'The Importance of Astrophysical Research and the Relations of Astrophysics to other Physical Sciences.' After the exercises the official party and guests returned to Chicago for a dinner in honor of the occasion. Some demonstrations were given by Professor Michelson and his associates at the new Ryerson Physical Laboratory, one of the first buildings erected on the campus for scientific research and instruction, and a gift from Mr. Ryerson.

The astronomical conference of visiting astronomers and physicists during the two or three days preceding the formal exercises of dedication on October 21 was a great success, many papers being presented and some demonstrations of apparatus and methods being given. I reported upon these meetings and upon the formal inauguration of the observatory in the issue of Science for November

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