Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
College Archives and Special Collections



  • @ElizaBTweetin: July 4, 1873: Subdued Celebration

    @ElizaBTweetin: July 4, 1873: Subdued Celebration

    In 1873, Wheaton's newest graduates did not flee the campus as quickly as they do today.  On July 4, two days after Commencement, Mrs. Wheaton hosted lunch and tea for several members of the Class of 1873. Her beloved niece Mary brought along Mary Bachelder, Ella Stearns, and Winifred Marvle. Winifred, or "Win" as Mrs. […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: July 2, 1873: Public Examination & Graduation

    @ElizaBTweetin: July 2, 1873: Public Examination & Graduation

    Another warm day as Wheaton Seminary students participated in the day-long Public Examination. The next day, the entire Wheaton community marched to the commencement ceremony.  Many seminaries and colleges required their students to read original essays and poems before an audience of their fellow students, teachers, trustees, alumnae, parents and friends as part of the […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: June 25, 1873: Graduates' Tea

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 25, 1873: Graduates' Tea

    Eliza has been preparing for the Graduates’ Tea for several days. The hot dry weather sent her to Chilson’s Gardens in Mansfield for additional flowers, but the lack of any purchases in her cashbook indicates that the drought had affected their plants as well. She baked a cake, perhaps her favorite Park Street Cake (pound […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: June 15, 1873: Rev. Constantine Blodgett, D.D.

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 15, 1873: Rev. Constantine Blodgett, D.D.

    Once again, Eliza Wheaton hosts a visiting preacher for the Trinitarian Congregational Church in the person of the Rev. Dr. Constantine Blodgett.  Arriving on Sat., Blodgett preached twice on Sunday, and left early Monday morning. Eliza notes that his morning sermon was based on 2 Cor. 8-14, urging forgiveness and repentance. In the afternoon his […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: June 12, 1873: Photograph in Boston

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 12, 1873: Photograph in Boston

    Another busy day in Boston.  Eliza Wheaton took her sister Mary to the city, where, as usual, Eliza visited one of her many banks. This time, she drew on the Merchants Savings Institution for carpeting for the Trinitarian Congregational Church. Then the real work began: choosing the carpeting (for which she paid $200). They met […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: June 3, 1873: Whitinsville, MA

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 3, 1873: Whitinsville, MA

    Eliza B. Wheaton visited her family in Uxbridge in early June 1873.  Her train ticket from Providence to Uxbridge cost $.85, her lunch a whopping $.15, and she gave $.40 to the porter.  On the way back, she paid $.80 for lunch and gave only $.15 to the porter.  Perhaps she brought gifts whenever she […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: June 1, 1873: The Madura Mission

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 1, 1873: The Madura Mission

    Today Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton attended a Seminary concert to benefit the Madura Mission, paying five dollars for her ticket. The Ceylon Mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions founded the Madura Mission in 1834 for the Tamil people of South India (the Tamils of South India and Ceylon [Sri Lanka] share […]
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  • New Exhibits Available Online

    Archives student assistants have been working very hard to make our collections more visible. Because of their effort we have a new digital exhibit available on Mary Louise Miller Spang's, class of 1933, life as a composer, and coming soon "Students, No Longer Dates" a reflection on Wheaton's decision to become coeducational.
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: May 16, 1873: Spring Planting

    @ElizaBTweetin: May 16, 1873: Spring Planting

    Since the end of April, Eliza Wheaton has been purchasing seeds, fruit trees, shrubs, and plants for her garden.  Not satisfied with what she could find locally, she went to Boston in search of shrubs.  What did she buy, and how much did she spend? April 26:   Dan’l Cobb for 12 Peach Trees      $  1.50 […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: May 8, 1873: Trustees' Meeting

    @ElizaBTweetin: May 8, 1873: Trustees' Meeting

    Eliza Wheaton’s laconic diary entries seldom grant more than a glimpse of the back story.  She mentions a visit with a favorite (and favored) Trustee and his wife, the Rev. Alfred and Martha Vose Emerson, and that the Trustees’ Meeting was held in her Drawing Room, but what was the subject of their conversations?  The […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: May 7, 1873: Jackson Lots

    @ElizaBTweetin: May 7, 1873: Jackson Lots

    Over the last few weeks, Eliza Wheaton has mentioned working on the deeds to the “Jackson Lots”, property that she gave to the Trustees of Wheaton Female Seminary on April 28. The deed was accepted at the Registry of Deeds on May 9.  This property had a checkered career of ownership and division, almost as […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: April 24, 1873: Mrs. Celia Burleigh

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 24, 1873: Mrs. Celia Burleigh

    Occasionally, Eliza Wheaton surprises us with her ecumenicalism. A strong Trinitarian, she nevertheless attended a conference at the Unitarian Church on April 24. Perhaps the occasion provided an opportunity to revisit the church to which she belonged before 1832. In that year, a majority of the congregation voted to follow Unitarian theology. The Wheaton family […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: April 9, 1873: Adolphus feeble

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 9, 1873: Adolphus feeble

    When Eliza Wheaton arrived in Uxbridge, she found her older brother Adolphus "quite feeble". Although age may have been at issue (Adolphus was 77 years old and would die in 1875), "feebleness" was a general popular term for illness. During the 19th century, medicine was not as advanced as it is today. Without the many […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: April 8, 1873: Caroline Stickney Creevey

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 8, 1873: Caroline Stickney Creevey

    Spring invigorated Eliza Wheaton, and her activities ranged from cleaning to installing new carpets.  She also entertained a number of visitors, some of whom are obscure, such as Mrs. Frank Richmond and Mrs. Otis, and some of whom were famous in their lifetimes, such as Caroline Alathea Stickney (Mrs. John Kennedy) Creevey Class of 1863, […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: March 22, 1873: Jubilee Singers

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 22, 1873: Jubilee Singers

    Winter was as tenacious in 1872-73 as it has been in 2013-14!  On March 17th, Mrs. Wheaton could not keep her house warm, and on the 22nd it was “cold enough for fur cloaks.”  Brrr!  Despite the bitter weather and suffering a cold, Eliza enjoyed a very busy week, entertaining visitors and attending local and […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: February 4, 1873: Charles L. Congdon

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 4, 1873: Charles L. Congdon

    On Feb. 4th, Eliza reported that she attended Mr. Congdon's "lecture on Journalism." We recently found this report on the lecture in the July 1873 Rushlight, and assume that Miss Wier was suffering from "senioritis" when she dated her article. Here is her article, in full. "Newspapers or Maps of Busy Life." A lecture delivered […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: March 14, 1873: Armchair Traveling

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 14, 1873: Armchair Traveling

    During Mrs. Wheaton’s marriage, she and Laban Morey Wheaton traveled frequently, both locally, around the States, and abroad. After her husband’s death, she only ventured as far as summer vacations to New England’s seashore and mountains. Eliza continued to indulge her interest in travel, however, through reading. On this date, Eliza Beane’s daughter Nell read […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: March 13, 1873: Shopping & Art Gallery

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 13, 1873: Shopping & Art Gallery

    On this date, Mrs. Wheaton and Mrs. Beane traveled to Boston to shop for clothing and other “sundries”. The materials were purchased at Jordan, Marsh & Co., the nation’s first “departmentalized” store, at 450 Washington St., just half a block from the property Mrs. Wheaton owned on Winter St. (currently known as “Downtown Crossing”). Eliza spent […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: March 10, 1873: Ventriloquist Harry Bryant

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 10, 1873: Ventriloquist Harry Bryant

    The 1873 lecture series seems to have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, or perhaps ended with a bang! Following Mr. Fields’ lecture on Tennyson, the final presentation was by Mr. (sometimes “Prof.”) Harry Bryant, a famous ventriloquist, mimic, magician and humorist. Born in Connecticut in ca. 1845, Bryant was a ventriloquist at the […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: March 4, 1873: James T. Fields

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 4, 1873: James T. Fields

    The lecture series referred to in this and other entries, was a fund raiser for the Norton Public Library. The idea of Mary Briggs, Seminary teacher of History and Literature (1856-79), the series was organized by Miss Briggs and the Rev. Timothy Atkinson of the Trinitarian Congregational Church, on behalf of Norton's public library committee. […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: February 19, 1873: David Holman

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 19, 1873: David Holman

    David Holman visited to report the death of a mutual friend at his brother Samuel’s house in Attleboro. Holman, who was a cousin, business associate, traveling companion, and close friend of Eliza’s late husband, is seldom mentioned in her diaries. David Emory Holman was born in Attleboro in 1805. His parents were the Rev. Nathan […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: February 21, 1873: Robert Falconer

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 21, 1873: Robert Falconer

    On this date, Mrs. Wheaton notes, “We finished reading Robert Falconer” by George MacDonald. Eliza, Mrs. Beane, and other visitors probably enjoyed reading the book aloud, although it is well over 500 pages long and large sections are written in Scottish brogue. Originally published in 1868, this book was tremendously popular between 1870 and 1890, […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: February 26, 1873: Tableaux Vivants

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 26, 1873: Tableaux Vivants

    Mrs. Wheaton’s report of attending “Tableux and Reception by Class of 73” piqued our interest. What might be special about the date February 26th?  The March 1873 Rushlight answered our question.     "One bright morning in Feb. we were startled by the following announcement from the Principal. “You think young ladies, that you have been […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: February 5th 1873: Picturesque America

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 5th 1873: Picturesque America

      The diaries of Eliza B. Wheaton continue to yield treasures! These treasures are not only of the heritage of Wheaton College, but of greater American history in general.  In her entry of February 5th 1873, Eliza penned that she had formally subscribed to William Cullen Bryant’s Picturesque America, or The Land We Live In: […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: January 23, 1873: Gen. Joshua Chamberlain

    @ElizaBTweetin: January 23, 1873: Gen. Joshua Chamberlain

    It has been many weeks since we have elaborated upon Mrs. Wheaton’s diary entries, but Civil War hero Gen. Joshua Chamberlain’s visit to the Seminary on Jan. 23, 1873, cannot be overlooked. Many of our readers will know Chamberlain (1828-1914) from the film Gettysburg, in which the 20th Maine Infantry figures prominently, especially at the Battle […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: December 3, 1872: Christmas in the 19th Century

    @ElizaBTweetin: December 3, 1872: Christmas in the 19th Century

    Stephanie Langlois '17 Eliza Baylies Wheaton mentioned attending a church service reading of “A Christmas Story” on the 3rd of December. Her holiday festivities continued as she prepared for the holiday we all know and love by bottling cider and attending church regularly. Yet, the traditional Christmas festivities that we all cherish were just being […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: November 27, 1872: Thanksgiving in the 19th Century

    @ElizaBTweetin: November 27, 1872: Thanksgiving in the 19th Century

    Riley Swales '17 Like many of us, Eliza Baylies Wheaton began preparing her house for visitors two days before Thanksgiving. The holiday was celebrated at her home in 1872, and she busily organized her home and set up extra beds for her visiting relatives to sleep in. Since transportation was not as advanced as it […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: November 18, 1872: The Great Boston Fire of 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: November 18, 1872: The Great Boston Fire of 1872

    Riley Swales '17 From November 9th to November 10th of the year 1872, Boston experienced the largest urban fire in the history of the city. It is commonly referred to as The Great Boston Fire of 1872. The fire destroyed 776 buildings and a large portion of the financial district was destroyed. Altogether, the cost […]
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  • Coming Soon on @ElizaBTweetin

    Thomas Van Duyne '14 Just as things seem to be cooling off around the little town of Norton, things in Eliza Baylies Wheaton’s life are white hot.  Rain is heavy, and as a result Mrs. Beane’s daughter Nellie comes down with a serious cold.  In the early1800’s, this could mean life or death for poor […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: September 9, 1872: Portrait Sitting

    @ElizaBTweetin: September 9, 1872: Portrait Sitting

    Eliza Wheaton began sitting for her portrait with Boston artist James Harvey Young (1839-1918) today.  This was a return to the artist, who had painted a posthumous portrait of her husband, Laban Morey Wheaton, in 1865. At a Trustees’ meeting that year, during which Mrs. Wheaton forgave a debt of $3500 owed by the Seminary […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: September 6, 1872: Fruits of the Earth

    @ElizaBTweetin: September 6, 1872: Fruits of the Earth

    Many of us spent the Labor Day weekend harvesting and preserving the last of our vegetables, just as in 1872 Eliza Wheaton canned tomatoes. She also harvested fruits, and sent George Wild to Boston to sell her grapes (he collected $5.20 for eight pounds of grapes) and cider vinegar. She paid  Mr. Wild's expenses ($4.78) […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: September 5, 1872: Back from Vacation

    @ElizaBTweetin: September 5, 1872: Back from Vacation

    Eliza Baylies Wheaton has returned to her busy fall schedule, and so have we!  Cooler, drier weather has replaced August's heat and humidity, just as it did in 1872.  Visiting friends and relations have returned to their homes, and the students have arrived on campus for the new term. Just as we have been meeting […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: August 16, 1872: Eliza Swims!

    @ElizaBTweetin: August 16, 1872: Eliza Swims!

    Can you imagine our Mrs. Wheaton in a swimsuit?  Difficult to picture, isn't it!  Chances are that no one else saw her either!  Although more popular in England than in the United States, bathing machines provided privacy for ladies who wished to swim. Wheeled changing rooms, they were parked on the beach for women to […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: August 15, 1872: Island Ledge House

    @ElizaBTweetin: August 15, 1872: Island Ledge House

    Eliza and her party move to Wells Beach, ME.
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: Aug. 13, 1872: Vacation!

    @ElizaBTweetin: Aug. 13, 1872: Vacation!

    How many of us have spent hours planning for vacation, but left home without any fixed plans or reservations?  Over the last few days, we’ve watched Eliza Wheaton copy important documents, carry them to her new safe deposit box in Boston, visit family and friends in Uxbridge, and purchase necessary items in Boston and Providence.  […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: Aug. 5, 1872: Vacation Preparations

    @ElizaBTweetin: Aug. 5, 1872: Vacation Preparations

    Early August found Eliza Wheaton extremely busy, copying important papers, taking shopping and business trips to Boston and Providence, and visiting her relations in Uxbridge—all in preparation for vacationing in New Hampshire.
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: July 25, 1872: UnSafe Vault?

    @ElizaBTweetin: July 25, 1872: UnSafe Vault?

    An entry of “I went to Un. Safe vault— + took a Box” simply demands attention! What could Eliza Wheaton possibly mean by an “unsafe vault”?  It took a bit of research to find that Boston had fifty-one banks in 1872. City directories, or “Handbooks” as they were often called, are tremendously useful sources for […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: July 24, 1872: Hay Caps

    @ElizaBTweetin: July 24, 1872: Hay Caps

    What in the world are “Hay Caps”? you ask.  I didn’t know either, and it took a bit of searching to find out that they were large cloth covers installed over haystacks to protect them from wet weather. An 1877 publication titled “Use of Hay Caps”  noted that, “They have saved thousands of tons of […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: July 12, 1872: Hot & Humid!

    @ElizaBTweetin: July 12, 1872: Hot & Humid!

    In case you haven’t noticed, our weather during the last few weeks has been the same as it was 141 years ago, in 1872: HOT and HUMID!
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  • Wheatones Under Gazebo in 1963

    Archives in Summer

    Ben Weinstock '14 reflects on Wheaton during the summertime.
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: June 14, 1872: Carryall Arrives!

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 14, 1872: Carryall Arrives!

    After several weeks of anticipation, following George Wild’s initial investigation of Carryalls available in Boston and Eliza B. Wheaton paying for the carriage, it was finally delivered by train at the Norton Depot, just one mile east of the Seminary. Wild was actually the first to use the carriage, driving Mrs. Wheaton's guest, Dr. Thomas […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: June 12, 1872: Town & City

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 12, 1872: Town & City

    Although Mrs. Wheaton and her companion Eliza Knight Beane were together a great deal, they sometimes traveled in different directions.  On June 11, Mrs. Beane went with Seminary teachers Maria Mellus and Ann E. Carter to Mansfield, while Mrs. Wheaton drove around Norton, visiting Mrs. Atkinson, the minister’s wife, as well as Mrs. Tom Wetherel […]
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  • Eliza B.Wheaton's Diary, 8-13 June 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 10, 1872: Commerce & Custom

    Business and domestic duties kept Eliza busy during the early weeks of June 1872. Mrs. Wheaton kept a small income-producing herd of Jersey cattle. Admired for their beautiful fawn coloring and huge doe-like eyes, Jerseys are small, docile, inquisitive, and known for their high protein and butterfat production (each cow can produce as much as […]
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  • EBW's Calling Card CAse

    @ElizaBTweetin: May 6-13 – Making Calls

    The Rev. Timothy Atkinson and his new wife Eudora Clark Atkinson call on Mrs. Wheaton, and she returns the call.
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  • Horsemanship

    @ElizaBTweetin: May 6-13 – Riding Habits...& Boys!

    Mary Chapin takes horseback riding lessons, and Wheaton Seminary experiments with coeducation.
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  • Dog License Town of Norton 1872 EBW

    @ElizaBTweetin: A Dog Friendly Campus

    Dogs have long had a special place here on Wheaton’s campus. Recently students have been discussing the idea of starting a Pet Friendly House that would teach students about caring for animals. Whether or not this theme house is approved, we can say for certain that dogs have enjoyed a rich and long history at […]
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  • http://americainclass.org/the-cult-of-domesticity/

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 27 - Not Your Average Eliza.

    Eliza isn’t your average 19th century woman.
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  • Special Collections, Brandeis University Library “Vaccinating the Poor,” Harper’s Weekly 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 22-29 – Connections with Death

    Mrs. Wheaton attends the funeral of her cousin-by-marriage, Dr. Samuel Deans, of Easton, MA.
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  • EBWheaton diary, April 15-20, 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 15-22 – Zapped!

    Eliza B. Wheaton experiments with electrical medical treatments.
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  • Gas ring detail of remaining fixture in President’s House Carriage House.

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 8-14 – Noxious Fumes!

    Some of you have noticed that illness has driven Eliza and Mrs. Beane to their beds.
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: April 8, 1872: Good Help is Hard to Find!

    Mrs. Wheaton hires a new maid. The perennial complaint of the upper-class 19th century housewife was the difficulty of finding, and keeping, good help.
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  • @ElizaBTweetin

    @ElizaBTweetin: Beginnings

    Although @ElizaBTweetin has been up and running for only four short weeks it is part of a much larger and longer project.
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton diary Apr. 3-8, 1872

    ElizaBTweetin: April 1-8, 1872: Money helps

    The first week of April was busy for Mrs. Wheaton as work continues on her house.
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  • Taunton Galvanizing Co.

    ElizaBTweetin: March 26-April 1, 1872: Weather and Home Improvements

    The process of home rejuvenation continues!
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  • ElizaBTweetin: March 18-25, 1872: Friends and Neighbors

    Friends and neighbors in Eliza B. Wheaton's diary, 18-25 March 1872
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  • Eliza Baylies Wheaton by Towle

    Eliza Baylies Wheaton @ElizaBTweetin

    Welcome to the pocket diaries of Wheaton Female Seminary founder Eliza Baylies Wheaton, via @ElizaBTweetin!
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  • KingP903Z01

    A Humpty Dumpty (Wheaton) Heart

    Humpty Dumpties tell the story of romance at Wheaton in the 1950s.
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  • Child Protestor Stands Above

    Child Protestor Stands Above

    Out of the Marion B. Gebbie Archives comes the image of a child protestor from Nov. 3, 2002. This child's story is unknown but he stands out amongst the crowd.
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  • Porcelain Pillow

    Ancestral Tablet or Pillow? The Subjectivity of Appearance and Function

    What happens when you are faced with something that doesn't fit what you expect? Everyone knows what a pillow is, but then it is pretty obvious right??
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  • Marion Wallace Clark Stacks, Fall 2012.

    Rediscovering Forgotten History

    Freshman searches Wheaton College Stacks and sees changing emphasis on historical figures.
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  • Wheaton Sliding Timeline

    Wheaton College Timeline Revamped

    Improve your understanding of Wheaton College's past with an exciting new timeline of key events. It will be helpful for those head-scratching questions, like when did Wheaton become a college?
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  • To Boston By Rail, Then & Now

    Wheaton’s public transit connections haven’t changed a whole lot since 1918. One Wheaton student discover's shared experiences of traveling to and from Boston with a Wheaton alum almost 100 years later.
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  • Cows on Jeffrey's Bay South Africa

    Cows on Beach!?!

    Unexpected things are coming out of the Marion B. Gebbie Archives. Franny Trimble, Senior, discovers a picture of cows on a beach, learns about Jeffery's Bay South Africa, and poses the ultimate question: "So do cows surf???"
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  • Online exhibit: Shoes from around the world

    Online exhibit: Shoes from around the world

    Learn about the diversity of shoes found in the Lucy A. Morse Shoe collection that were collected during her world travels.
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  • Digital History Project

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  • Stuffed Animals

    Stuffed Animals at Wheaton: Mystery Solved!

    Dear Archives Staff, I was surprised and excited when I opened a birthday card from my mother's cousin recently and found a clipping of an article from your Wheaton Quarterly.
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  • Photo of educators

    Out of the Classroom and Into the Archives

    Wheaton faculty are using the Archives and Special Collections to enrich the learning experience.
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  • Doing History Digitally

    The Writings of Eliza Baylies Wheaton. Associate Professor of History Kathryn Tomasek explores digital history.
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