Bittersweet House

This house, along with Elms House and Lindens House, was used as a dormitory by the private girls’ school, The House in the Pines. Founded in 1911 by Miss Gertrude Cornish, The House in the Pines was a secondary and finishing school. President Cole had suggested establishing the school to replace Wheaton’s college preparatory program, which would disappear when the Seminary became a college in 1912.

Miss Cornish, a Middlebury College graduate, taught Mathematics, Physics, and Logic at Wheaton Seminary from 1903-08, as well as having charge of the Missionary Society and teaching the Psalms and Poetry of the Bible on Sunday mornings. Cornish was known for her remark, “That isn’t right, is it? Now think.”

As enrollment at The House in the Pines grew, additional buildings were needed to act as dormitories and classrooms, especially when the school expanded to include a Junior College program. At that time, The House in the Pines purchased existing houses on Pine Street and named them Lindens, Elms, and Bittersweet.

Riding was part of The House in the Pines’ program from its inception. Later the school owned a stable across the street from Bittersweet and school horses, and its equestrian team competed with Wheaton’s twice each year.

When the school closed in 1972, Wheaton purchased the three houses from Middlebury College, which had inherited The House in the Pines from its founder. Wheaton uses Bittersweet for student housing.