The tale of the present Greylock Quadrangle complex begins as far back as the incorporation of Williamstown. In its earliest years, the plot of land was involved in a scandal concerning the local minister. It was subsequently transformed from the town meeting hall into a tavern owned by the infamous Massachusetts Treasurer, T.J. Skinner. In 1830, the tavern was purchased by Williams College, which expanded the establishment and renamed it the Mansion House. However, the College’s entrepreneurial drive was fleeting and the business changed hands a number of times before it was ultimately destroyed by fire. Rebuilt in 1872, the new Mansion House was soon dubbed the Greylock Hotel. Under this moniker it became a significant part of Williamstown’s booming summer vacation trade until the trade began to wane in the 1930’s. The College purchased the failing venture over the objections of President Tyler Dennent who felt compelled to resign his position over the disagreement. The College chose to raze most of the structure, leaving only the newest wing to serve as a dormitory called Greylock Hall. Notable for housing both married WWII veterans and staunch non-fraternity men, the structure was finally demolished in 1964 to make room for the buildings of the present Greylock Quadrangle.
By Jaime Margalotti (Williams Class of 2000)