Skip to main content

Franklin Pierce University Campus History: Serenity Hill

Franklin Pierce University was founded in 1962 on the shores of Pearly Pond in Rindge, New Hampshire. This guide explores the growth of the campus over the past 50 years.


History of Serenity Hill

Serenity Hill was an old farmhouse located on Mountain Road.  In 1971 it was described as being built in about 1900, and was a frame construction of about 2900 square feet.

In 1971, Frank DiPietro's case study  relates that Serenity Hill was serving as a residence hall.

In 1986, Serenity Hill was repainted and refurbished.

In 1990, Serenity Hill became a housing option for people coming off drug and alcohol problems to live in a positive, supporting environment. Before converting to a substance-free support choice, Serenity Hill was known as a party house.  In 1992, four people were residing at Serenity Hill, with other rooms available. (Pierce Arrow 11/5/92)

In 1992, Serenity Hill was proposed as the site for a child development center, to provide daycare for faculty, staff, and students, and to serve as a learning lab for students, as well as a place of student employment.  A local daycare center, owned by FPC alums, was chosen to operate the center. However, ultimately plans for the center were shelved. (Pierce Arrow, 3/5/92)

In 1995, due to budget reasons, Serenity Hill no longer was offered as a living choice. The need for repairs was cited as a reason, as well as an engineering report that deemed the building structurally unsafe.  As Serenity Hill housed only a few students and was expensive to maintain, a decision was made to shift the substance free program to the Hampshire Court condos.   (Pierce Arrow, 5/4/95) In fall 1995, students had mixed reaction to the move.

In 1996, President Hagerty signed an order to destroy Serenity Hill December 8, 1996, in a controlled burn by local fire departments.  Fire departments from Rindge, Jaffrey and Franklin Pierce oversaw  the burning, using it for training purposes.  The college had considered re-opening Serenity Hill, due to the need for student housing, but renovation costs were prohibitive.  The house did not meet fire codes, beams were rotten, and the porch, windows, and flooring was damaged.  (Pierce Arrow, 11/29/1996)

The Serenity Hill fire was postponed until January, 1997, due to a heavy snowstorm, which left too much snow for the fire trucks to navigate close to the house. Approximately 60 firefighters attended, and toured the building before the conflagration.  A hose ran from the FPC water tower to the house, and was close to bursting.  Firefighters also enjoyed coffee and danishes during the event.  (Pierce Arrow, 2/7/97)




Campus Buildings Box CB10

Pierce Magazine

Fall 1986

Pierce Arrow