Kellogg House, located north of Stetson Hall, has a long and varied history of uses and is recognized by the Williamstown Historical Commission Inventory. It was built in 1794 for the first president of the college, Ebenezer Fitch, on the present site of Hopkins Hall. The land was donated by David Noble, an original trustee of the college, who also gave the bell that first hung in West College. From 1794 to 1858, Kellogg House served as the home for the first four presidents of the college: Ebenezer Fitch, Zephaniah Swift Moore, Edward Dorr Griffin, and Mark Hopkins. President Fitch entertained in his home quite often, and it became the social center of the town and college. While Kellogg served as the president’s house, various modifications were made to it, including painting and the addition of a porch and a study. In 1843 the Board of Trustees voted not to charge the presidents rent for the use of the house.
When Mark Hopkins moved to the Sloan House (the current President’s House) in 1858, Kellogg House became faculty housing. Professor Paul Ansel Chadbourne and Mr. Bardwell lived in the house in its original location. In 1872, the house was moved north to the present location of Stetson Hall, and its former location was turned into a lawn. “The improvement to the appearance of the grounds by removal [was] considerable.” The gable in the front of the roof was probably added at this time. On November 23, 1872, someone attempted to set fire to the building, but the fire was halted quickly. In the Vidette, Mr. Bardwell offered $100 to anyone who could give him information regarding the fire. When Rev. A. G. Sewell moved into Kellogg House in 1873, the entire building was renovated. Professors Truman Henry Safford, Frederick Hollis Howard, M.D., and James Lawrence Kellogg each lived in Kellogg House in succession. The house changed location once again in 1919 to make room for Stetson Hall. It was moved northward down the hill and turned ninety degrees.
It is unclear after whom the building was named. It may have been Ebenezer Kellogg, a professor of ancient languages, but more likely it was the house’s resident, James Lawrence Kellogg, a professor of biology.
Kellogg House served as faculty housing until 1978, when the Center for Environmental Studies (CES) moved in. At this time, there were massive renovations of the building, and the porch was enclosed to hold the CES library, adding 670 square feet of space to the building at a cost of $40,855. In 1982, the library was dedicated to Matt Cole, Williams Class of 1980. His parents also offered to renovate and restore the reading room. The most recent addition to Kellogg House was a new wing that was completed in 1995 and, until 2007, housed the CES library collection. This addition was funded by a 50th reunion gift from the Class of 1943.
Because of the many additions to Kellogg House and changes in its use, the building displays architectural styles of many periods. When the building was being painted in 1992, Professor Sheafe Satterthwaite hired Morgan Phillips of Phillips Architectural Conservation, Inc. to analyze the building’s architecture and paint in an architectural history report, to make sure it was being painted in a historically accurate manner.
By Allison Jacobs (Williams Class of 2000)
Harmon, Mac. “Construction begins on Studio Art Building, Kellogg House.” Williams Record. 1 November 1994.
Perry, Arthur Latham. Williamstown and Williams College. Norwood, Mass.: Norwood Pr., 1899.
Phillips, Morgan. Letter to Sheafe Satterthwaite regarding the painting of Kellogg House, 8 September 1992. In “Kellogg House” file. Williams College Center for Environmental Studies.
President’s house photograph file. Note on the back of a photo labeled “President’s House #5, 5a, Gift of #D Nims 98.” Williams College Archives & Special Collections.
Rauscher, Marcella. A History of Matt Cole Library, An Environmental Library at the Center for Environmental Studies. Williamstown, Mass.: Williams College, 1993.
Stories of old Williams from the Williamsiana Collection in the College Library. Typescript, 1945. Acc. # 0-150. Williams College Archives & Special Collections.
Vidette. Vol. 7.
Williams College report of the Treasurer for the year ended June 30, 1978. Williamstown, Mass.: Williams College, 1978.