The Beloit College Coughy Haus was founded in 1974, 1972, or earlier, depending on who you ask.
A brief history
Prior to the establishment of this classic campus haunt, 708 Clary Street served as the location of the infamous Senior Drink, a sorority chapter house, and likely wore many other hats over the years.
According to most sources, the C-Haus as we recognize it today came into being over the course of the 1973-74 academic year, an effort spearheaded by Coleman Hoyt’74 and Steven Welch’73 along with several of their peers.
We have this first generation of C-Haus leadership to thank for many of the building’s most iconic murals, the basement bar, and the building materials that went into this transformative project (much of which is still on permanent loan from various local sources).
Since its inception, the C-Haus has hosted many a notable musical act, including but of course not limited to: the Violent Femmes, Koko Taylor, Frank Zappa, Soul Asylum, Modest Mouse, Manwolves, Babe the Blue Ox, Absinthe Blind, Percy Hill, Buttafly, Low, J. Davis Trio, Antibalas Afro-beat Orchestra, The Drovers, Reed Foehl, Zoo Animal, Des Ark, Stepdad, and the Aaron Katz Band.
It also served as a starting point for countless student bands and solo acts, many of which still perform to this day and have returned to play the C-Haus over the years. Several student musicians have gone on to manage the C-Haus after graduating as well.
From the 1970s to the present day, the C-Haus has certainly had its fair share of re-vamps. As a primarily student-run space, this is in some ways a good thing; as the student body and their needs evolve, so does the C-Haus. It’s also become a cause for students to rally around.
When everything from liabilities to staff departures to global pandemics have led to leadership transitions or temporary shutdowns of the space over the decades, students have continued to work to maintain (and, when needed, revive) this much-loved campus space.
Share your own piece of C-Haus history
As is to be expected of a space as infamous and oft-mythologized as C-Haus, we’re certain that there are many details and stories this page has left out or gotten altogether wrong.
Got a piece you’d like to add to this puzzle? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to share your recollections.
It’s our hope that students, alums, and our campus archivists can work together to document the story of the C-Haus with the depth and completeness it deserves.