President's House (First : 1821-1834)
On 18 September 1821, three major events were celebrated as the Collegiate Institution in Amherst opened its doors. The college building (later known as South College) was dedicated, the Rev. Dr. Zephaniah Swift Moore and other officers and trustees were sworn in, and the cornerstone was laid for the President's house. Located about a quarter-mile (400 m) north of the college, it stood in the village of Amherst, on the west side of the town common at the corner of South Pleasant St. and Sellen's Lane (Sellen St., today). The house was finished by the summer of 1822, and was then occupied by President Moore and his wife, Phebe (Drury) Moore. After President Moore's unexpected death in 1823, Mrs. Moore moved to a neighboring house, where she provided room and board to Amherst students.
President Rev. Dr. Heman Humphrey, his wife Sophia (Porter) Humphrey, and their children lived in the house until about 1833. Poor health among the Humphrey family, believed to be related to the house's location and dampness (the town common was frequently swampy), prompted the Trustees to sell the property and use the proceeds towards a better house on higher ground closer to the college. The property remained in private hands until 1880, when the Psi Upsilon fraternity purchased it for use as a residence. During the 1880s, the fraternity updated the original Federal style building with Victorian design, adding a third story and large porches. The first President's house was razed when Psi Upsilon built the residence known today as Seelye House (Putnam and Cox, architects) in 1911-1912. Lawn and shade trees cover the original footprint of the first President's house.