Daily Archives: November 9, 2011

Duckett House (1810)

Duckett House is a dorm on the campus of Smith College in Northampton. The house, located at the corner of Elm Street and Bedford Terrance, was built as a private residence for the Clark family about 1810. It was sold to Mary L. Southwick in 1886, who ran a boarding house for Smith students in the building until 1918. It was next owned by the Alumnae Association and in 1921 became part of the Burnham School for girls. The building was acquired by the college in 1968. As a dormitory, it was named for Eleanor Shipley Duckett, philologist and medieval historian, who was a Smith College professor and author of such books as Alfred the Great and his England (1957) and The Wandering Saints of the Early Middle Ages (1959). Additions to Duckett House were constructed in 1973 and the mid-1990s. Both of these modifications included connecting Duckett to neighboring Chase House, another c. 1810 residence (with later mansard roof) that is now a Smith College dorm. Chase House was named for Duckett’s lifelong companion, Smith College professor and novelist Mary Ellen Chase. Chase House had also served as the main building of the Burnham School and was known as Burnham House.

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