East College (1798-1841)

The original East College was so named because of its placement on the "eastern eminence" of the village in 1798. Funds for the much-needed building came from the sale of two Maine townships granted to the college by the Massachusetts legislature. The four story, 104' x 28', brick building was similar to West College but had two halls going through it east to west instead of one, and there were two bedrooms to each study room whereas West had no distinct bedrooms. On the second and third floors there were recitation rooms for the Junior and Senior classes. The Philologian and Philotechnian literary societies held their meetings, debates, etc. in those rooms but their library remained in West College. On a Sunday afternoon in 1841, while the students were in church, fire was discovered in the north end of the building. It spread rapidly due to the construction of the building and no readily available water source. An eyewitness account by a member of the Class of 1843 states "nearly all that was valuable was saved, except one small library (theological) consisting of about one hundred volumes and the furniture in two or three rooms." Bricks from the old East were used in the next year's construction of the present East and South (now Fayerweather) dormitories, but for inner walls, not fireplaces.