McKim Observatory

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McKim Observatory
Organization DePauw University
Location Greencastle, Indiana
Coordinates 39°38′44″N 86°51′08″W / 39.64556°N 86.85222°W / 39.64556; -86.85222
Altitude 259.08 meters (850 feet)
Warner & Swasey-Alvan Clark & Sons Refracting Telescope 0.242-meter /9.53-inch
McKim Observatory, DePauw University
McKim Observatory, western side.jpg
Front of the observatory
McKim Observatory is located in Indiana
McKim Observatory
McKim Observatory is located in the US
McKim Observatory
Location DePauw and Highbridge Aves., Greencastle, Indiana
Coordinates 39°38′44″N 86°51′9″W / 39.64556°N 86.85250°W / 39.64556; -86.85250Coordinates: 39°38′44″N 86°51′9″W / 39.64556°N 86.85250°W / 39.64556; -86.85250
Area less than one acre
Built 1884
Architect Marshall,Joseph
NRHP Reference # 78000051[1]
Added to NRHP December 22, 1978

McKim Observatory is an astronomical observatory owned and operated by DePauw University. Built in 1884, it is located in Greencastle, Indiana (USA).

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[1]


The observatory is named after Robert McKim, who presented to the observatory a complete astronomical outfit at a cost of over $10,000.[2][3]

McKim was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, on May 24, 1816, and died in Madison, Indiana, May 9, 1887. After completing his apprenticeship as a stonemason in Ireland, he emigrated to the United States, worked for a time in Philadelphia, and moved to Madison, Indiana, in 1837. In 1855, he left stone masonry and established himself in the coal business. Income from investments in real estate enabled him to make investments in manufacturing enterprises which did well.[2]

McKim was always a lover of astronomical studies, and, after his investment income was sufficient, he purchased one of the best telescopes in the United States for a private observatory adjoining his residence. Besides De Pauw, public charities and other institutions of learning also benefited by his bequests.[2]

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  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "McKim, Robert". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton. 
  3. ^ "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-06-01.  Note: This includes L. Charlotte Dudley (October 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: McKim Observatory, DePauw University" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-06-01.  and Accompanying photographs.
  1. "McKim Observatory Homepage". McKim Observatory. Archived from the original on May 21, 2005. Retrieved December 14, 2005. 

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