On March 16, 1944, Carmichael wrote to Elma Ferguson confirming Vanderbilt’s receipt of all of the various parts of the donation, including the mirror and mountings. Seyfert joined the physics and astronomy department of Vanderbilt University in 1946.Although, Seyfert was charged with building an observatory to house a telescope using the donated twenty-four-inch fused quartz disk, correspondence regarding the terms of his employment indicated that the endeavor would prove challenging: “We foresee some difficulty in this undertaking and simply want to be sure that you understand the situation in order that you will not be too disappointed if this project does not materialize at once.contributed the telephone line, and Nashville’s Rock City Construction Co.
Newly refurbished in 2007, the Barnard Telescope is now at the Dyer Observatory.Bricks from the Barnard Observatory were used in the construction of the director’s residence at the Dyer site.For nominal fees, Carl and Eileen Gardner contributed 7.8 acres and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company contributed 1.2 acres on a secluded hilltop in southern Davidson County for the observatory site. As originally intended, the setting was important to the functioning of the facility.Located 1,131 feet above sea level, the shade of the wooded site protected the observatory from direct sunlight, which could negatively impact the clarity of the telescopic image.As Seyfert once joked, “This was probably the most expensive sundial ever built, since Mr.
Dyer, for whom the observatory is named, and his bridge company became our largest contributors” to the construction of the observatory. Together, Dyer and Seyfert found the ideal location for the new observatory about ten miles south of the main campus.A year after admitting its first students in 1875, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, established its first astronomical observatory in the third building to be erected on the growing campus, suggesting the high priority of the department for Vanderbilt’s first Chancellor, and Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Landon C. The observatory was equipped with a six-inch aperture refracting telescope built by the firm of Thomas Cooke of York, England, and a four-inch Merz meridian circle telescope also acquired in Europe.Despite being well-equipped, however, the observatory did not have an astronomer and was not well utilized.Seyfert, Dyer, and their supporters took what was thought to be an unusual tactic in developing the observatory.Instead of asking for money to finance the construction, they requested in-kind services and donation of materials.Dyer contacted Seyfert to request his assistance with building a sundial at his home.