After every Auburn athletics win, the trees across from Toomer’s Corner are adorned with toilet paper in celebration. This tradition of rolling Toomer’s Corner dates back to the 1890s.
The well-known drugstore, Toomer's Drugs, on the corner of Auburn University’s campus lies at the intersection of College Street and Magnolia Avenue. The Auburn Tigers website mentions the famous establishment first opened in the year of 1896. The store is named after a halfback that was on Auburn’s first football team in 1892.
The website also told the story of the tradition of toilet paper and oak trees. It began when news of Auburn football wins would be broadcasted to the University, but instead of toilet paper, it was telegraph paper. This initial tradition began when Toomer’s Drugstore had the only telegraph in the city. When the employees would receive news of a win, they would throw the telegraph paper, or ticker tape, over the nearby power lines
“I like the tradition; it makes me feel like a real and true Auburn student,” said Mary Kate Stanford, junior in finance.
When the telegraph paper transitioned to toilet paper remains unknown, but the tradition lives on. The use of toilet paper was inspired by former player Terry Henley, a teammate of the 1972 football team. Now, the toilet paper celebration has moved across the street to the oak trees on the corner instead of the power lines.
"We're going to beat the No. 2 out of Alabama," Henley said when entering a football game with Alabama.
Per the Auburn Tigers website, this quote sparked the idea of using toilet paper for the celebration.
The tradition has been put on pause on multiple occasions throughout the years. In November of 2010, the oaks were poisoned after the 2010 Iron Bowl. New oak trees were planted on February 14, 2015. Rolling the trees was subdued until 2016 in order for the trees to grow and become healthy.
The tradition was also paused due to the absence of football games during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, tradition has resumed and students are enjoying celebrating football wins and participating in their beloved tradition again.
“It feels like freshman year again," said Eliza Krodel, junior in public relations.
Despite tragedy, the tradition stands firm. Many students and Auburn sports fans have commented on the nostalgic feeling that comes from throwing toilet paper rolls over the oak trees.
“Every Saturday we roll Toomer's it feels like the first time every time,” said Laurie Wakefield, sophomore in journalism.
Some students even say it feels like Christmas morning when they see the white paper fill the air the next day.
According to the City of Auburn website, Toomer’s Corner is a historic landmark, anchor and center where the campus meets the city. It is common to see a flood of orange and blue filling the streets as people gather to celebrate another Auburn victory.
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Becca Benner, senior in public relations with a minor inmarketing, is a culture writer at The Auburn Plainsman.