Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton, to whom Wheaton College owes its existence, was born on September 27, 1809 in Northbridge, Massachusetts. She was educated at the Young Ladies High School of Boston and Uxbridge Academy and moved to Norton following her… Read More »
Built in 1829 by Laban Morey Wheaton for his bride Eliza Baylies Chapin, the house became the College President’s residence upon the death of Eliza Wheaton in 1905.
1830 - 1910Mary Lyon
Mary Lyon was a pioneer in American education who acted as a consultant to the Wheaton family at the founding of the Seminary and established the curriculum.
Built in 1834 on the site where the north wing of Mary Lyon Hall now stands, Seminary Hall was the original classroom building for Wheaton Female Seminary. It was moved and re-purposed several times. In 1933 it was moved to… Read More »
1834Wheaton is born
Eliza Wheaton Strong, the only daughter of Judge and Mrs. Laban Wheaton, dies at the age of 39, on March 25. Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton, daughter-in-law of the Judge, convinces him to found a female seminary in memory of his… Read More »
1835 - 1837Eunice Caldwell
While developing Wheaton Female Seminary’s original academic plan, Mary Lyon also recommended the school’s first principal. She chose her colleague Eunice Caldwell, a fellow teacher at Ipswich Female Seminary, a school that followed a rigorous academic plan similar to the… Read More »
On January 23, the first public announcement of Wheaton Female Seminary appeared in the Boston Recorder. On April 22, the doors opened to fifty pupils, and a 22-week summer term commenced.
1835 - 1965Wheaton Inn
Built in c. 1750, Judge Laban Wheaton, founder of Wheaton Female Seminary, purchased the house in 1819 for his home. Formerly located on the southeast corner of Routes 123 and 140, the house was used as an inn (the “Mansion… Read More »
1836 - 1934The Boarding House
The first, and until 1901 the only, dormitory at Wheaton, the Boarding House was begun in 1836, “talked into existence” by Mary Lyon, encouraged by Eliza Baylies Wheaton. Until its construction, students boarded with the Wheaton families and with other… Read More »
1837 - 1838Susan Palmer
Susan Palmer, the one remaining full-time teacher at Wheaton following Eunice Caldwell’s departure for Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary, served as head teacher during the winter term of 1837-1838.
1838 - 1840Eliza R. Knight
Eliza R. Knight, from Ipswich Seminary, became the principal of Wheaton Female Seminary in 1838, remaining until 1840. Miss Knight chose the Seminary motto, “Who drinks will thirst for more” (John 4:13), and designed a related seal containing a fountain.
Childless after nine years of marriage, Eliza Baylies Wheaton and Laban Morey Wheaton adopted his young cousin Laban Wild (1835 – 1853).
Fanny Morey Wheaton, wife of Judge Laban, donates the Seminary’s first piano.
Judge Wheaton presents the Seminary’s first degrees to four graduates.
1840 - 1903Martha E. W. Vose
New Principal Martha Vose advised her pupils that “one thing well learned, is better than a dozen, half committed and not half comprehended.”
Fanny Morey Wheaton established the Seminary Library with a gift of $100.00. The money was used to purchase Harper & Brothers newly established and pioneering publisher’s series, the “Harper’s Family Library” of titles in travel, history, and biography.
1842 - 1912Martha C. Sawyer
A member of Wheaton Female Seminary’s first graduating class in 1839, Martha Sawyer remained at Wheaton to become a full time teacher. After three years of service, Miss Sawyer replaced Martha Vose as principal in 1842.
In 1844, a small gymnasium was built between Seminary Hall and the Boarding House (Old Metcalf Hall). It is believed to be the first freestanding gymnasium built at any women’s college in the U.S. In 1878, Mrs. Wheaton donated the… Read More »
Judge Laban Wheaton, founder of Wheaton, died at the age of 92. His funeral oration was given by the Rev. Sylvester Holmes, Wheaton Female Seminary Trustee and pastor of the Pacific Congregational Church of New Bedford, MA.
1846 - 1965Holmes Cottage
Laban Morey Wheaton built this home for his mother, Fanny Morey Wheaton, after the death of his father in 1846. Originally built on the southeast corner of Howard and Main Streets, it was moved across the street in 1856 when… Read More »