In the spring following a 1932 cholera epidemic, a skeleton surfaced “in the pond from which ice for the pavilions and hotels was obtained,” which was recognized as “an anatomical cadaver that had been dropped into its waters for preservation, or mischief’s sake, at an unknown date, by medical students.”A few other sources indicate the use of the reservoir as a common place to find cadavers and it seems that is was known across campus that the space may have been used for these purposes. 

Photo, Estelle Burthe at the Old Reservoir, date unknown, Special Collections, UVA. 

1. Philip Alexander Bruce, History of the University of Virginia, 1819-1919, v.2. (1920): 245.