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This house was originally built in 1801 as the residence of Samuel Sloan, a wealthy general, tavern owner, blacksmith, and farmer. It passed through several hands before 1858, when Nathan Jackson, a generous Williams benefactor, donated the funds to purchase the home to serve as the college's President's House. Mark Hopkins (1802-1887) was the first of the college's presidents to live here, and all have resided in this home since.
In addition to its fine overall Federal styling, this house features a lovely piece of applied decoration in a panel above the door. The panel, picturing two hearts connected by a chain, was carved in Boston and shipped via river and cart to Williamstown. Because of this decoration, many believe that Sloan built the house as a wedding gift for one of his daughters.
Major renovation of this home included alterations and enlargements made in 1881/2, and other renovations and restorations undertaken in 1907 and 1961.