The University Club is housed in two colonial era New England farmhouses. The Boltwood-Stockbridge House, built in 1728, is on its original site and is the oldest house in Amherst. The Homestead House, built in 1735, was moved to its present location in 1973 and attached to the Boltwood-Stockbridge House to enlarge the Club’s facilities.
Much of the history of the Boltwood-Stockbridge House attaches to its named rooms:
Daniel Chester French Room
Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), sculptor of the statue in the Lincoln Memorial, and of the statue of the Concord Minuteman, lived in this house as a boy when his father, Henry Flagg French (1813-1885) served as first President of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (1864-1866). Daniel worked on the College farm before students enrolled at the College and his father referred to him as “the first graduate of M.A.C.” A bust of President French, sculpted by Daniel, is in the collection of the University. *
Levi Stockbridge Room
Levi Stockbridge (1820-1904) was influential in persuading the first Trustees of the Massachusetts Agricultural College to locate the College in Amherst. He later became the first full-time officer of the College, serving as Farm Superintendent (1867-1869), Professor (1867-1879), Acting President (1876) and President (1880-1881).
A pioneer of scientific agriculture, he patented early formulas for matching chemical and organic soil fertilization to specific crops. He contributed his first royalties ($1,000) in 1877 to pay the College debts when the annual state appropriation to the College was only $14,000.
The name of Levi Stockbridge continues to be familiar on the campus. Stockbridge House where he had his office now serves as the University Club. Stockbridge Hall on the west side of the campus is the headquarters of the University’s two-year Stockbridge School of Agriculture. *
This long room is named to recall to mind the nine Royalists who were briefly “confined altogether in the house” at the time of the American Revolution. **
Named for Hugh Potter Baker (1878-1950), President (1933–1947) when Massachusetts State College became the University of Massachusetts, this room was added when he renovated the Stockbridge House for use as the Faculty Club.**
The Homestead House
The Homestead House, built in 1731, was acquired by the Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1928 and used for many years as a residence for women who were taking the practical homemaking course required of students majoring in Home Economics. In this house is the Chancellors Room. Prior to 1970 the Presidents of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, the Massachusetts State College and the University of Massachusetts were located on the Amherst campus. With establishment of the Boston and Worcester campuses, the current multi-campus University System came into being and the University President’s office was moved to Boston. Since 1970 the Chief Executive Officer of the campus has carried the title of Chancellor. This room is named in honor of the Amherst campus Chancellors and displays photographs of each. * and **
*Frank Prentice Rand, “Yesterdays at Massachusetts State College”, 1933
**”The Village of Amherst a Landmark of Light”, 1958 by the same author.