College Hall

Constructed in 1872 by H.B. Curtis, College Hall was located on the current site of Stetson Hall and served as a college boarding house until it was razed in 1912.

It was a “squat edifice” featuring 22 bedrooms — with priority given to financial aid students — and a Mansard roof in an architectural style that was termed “early North German Lloyd school.” Known as the “hash” house, College Hall’s infamous reputation for serving the worst food on campus was refuted by F.F. Thompson (Class of 1856) when he visited there in 1891:

“Mr. Thompson found a seat at the freshman table and was served the same food as the students. The bill of fare consisted of oatmeal with fresh milk from the college farm, beefsteak, well cooked and tender, two kinds of potatoes, four kinds of bread, coffee, etc. The millionaire trustee was well satisfied with his breakfast and thought it compared well with average hotel fare. The cost to the student is $3.25 a week.” ( Williams Weekly 5:165, p. 165)

College Hall was also the scene of various hazing rituals “which rivalled (sic) the Spanish Inquisition for the ingenuity of their barbarity”.

Some lamented, when the building had outlived its usefulness, that it was not set afire to serve as practice for the student fire brigade.