Alumni Guest House

Built in 1931 by college workmen under the direction of Mr. Cutler in cooperation with the education and psychology departments, the Alumni Guest House, Wheaton’s original Nursery School, cost $10,400.

Founded by Elisabeth Amen, professor of psychology, after she had studied such schools in Great Britain, it was one of the first laboratory nursery schools in the United States. It opened with 24 children, ranging in age from 3 to 5½ years, from the towns of Norton, Barrowsville, Chartley, Attleboro and Mansfield. One dollar per month was charged, to cover the cost of the mid-morning snack of crackers and milk.

The Nursery School was enlarged in 1937, when a one-way vision observation screen was installed. After the modern Elisabeth Amen Nursery School opened in 1966, the History Department offices were housed in the old school until they moved to Knapton Hall in 1971. At that time, the former nursery school was converted into the Alumni Guest House. The building is currently used for housing students or language associates.