Who were the Wheatons? How did this family become an integral part of Norton? Why does a college bear their name? The answers to these questions can be found within this exhibit.

The exhibit celebrates the 175th anniversary of the founding of Wheaton Female Seminary. The founding was remarkable for numerous reasons that are explored here.

The Seminary opened its doors to its first class of students in April 1835. The Seminary’s original purpose was as an institution dedicated to the higher education of older girls. Looking back at the origins of the present-day Wheaton College honors the the legacy created 175 years ago.

But note: The answers found within this exhibit are not only of interest to members of the Wheaton College community. Rather, anyone who enjoys New England history, family histories or a satisfying love story will find the time spent perusing this exhibit worthwhile. These pages describe the characteristic work ethic of early New Englanders; bear testament to the love and devotion of a nineteenth century family; and relate the surprising romance and successful marriage between Eliza and Laban.

Exhibit by Kelly Caswell Metzger
Graduate student, University of Rhode Island

Read more about Wheaton College’s history.

Wheaton Female Seminary, Norton, Massachusetts; G.H. Bailey & Co. Lith & Pub. Boston, 1891