Todd House (1887)

Mabel Loomis Todd (1856-1932) and her husband, astronomer David Peck Todd, erected the house at 90 Spring Street in Amherst, the first Queen Anne-style house in town, in 1886-1887. The house was built on land the Todds acquired from Austin Dickinson, brother of the poet Emily Dickinson. Mabel Loomis Todd, who had an affair with Austin Dickinson, is remembered for her editing of posthumously published poems by Emily Dickinson. The first volume of Poems by Emily Dickinson, edited by Todd and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, was published in 1890. Later, there was a legal battle over property owned by Austin Dickinson and given to the Todds by his sister Lavinia. In 1898, the Todds sold the house and moved to another home in Amherst. That same year, Senator George B. Churchill came to teach rhetoric at Amherst College. He moved the Todd House from its original location to the other side of Spring Street and in 1907 built on the site his own house, called “The Dell” (a name that had also been given to the Todd House).

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