April 2015, Allston


24 and 26 wadsworth street, allston  (sonya kovacic)

24 and 26 wadsworth street, allston (sonya kovacic)

The Wadsworth House at Harvard University is the second oldest standing building at Harvard. It is named after Benjamin Wadsworth (1670-1737) who was the first Harvard president to live in the building.

George Washington used the house for two weeks in 1775 as a headquarters for the Revolutionary War.

According to Harvard, “Wadsworth was no disciplinarian, and the young men resented a puritan restraint that was fast becoming obsolete. The faculty records, which begin with Wadsworth’s administration, are full of ‘drinking frolicks,’ poultry-stealing, profane cursing and swearing, card-playing, live snakes in tutors’ chambers, bringing ‘Rhum’ into college rooms, and ‘shamefull and scandalous Routs and Noises for sundry nights in the College Yard.’“ (Samuel Eliot Morison).

Does the name Wadsworth sound familiar? Henry Longfellow's middle name was Wadsworth. His grandfather, Peleg Wadsworth, was a general during the Revolutionary War.

Take a look at a 1909 photo of the Wadsworth House and read a 1955 Harvard Crimson article about it.