Caroline’s love for the land stemmed from both her childhood years in rural Iowa and her four years at Mount Holyoke. In South Hadley she began to create an herbarium, a collection of carefully preserved plant specimens. Pages from her herbarium are shown here with her handwritten cards identifying each flower.
Making an herbarium was a required practice for botany classes at Mount Holyoke until about 1910, and students were expected to identify at least 300 specimens. Mary Lyon herself created one, which became the nucleus around which the College created its original herbaria collection. Today these historic student plant specimen books are found in both the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections and in Clapp Hall.