Skip to main content

Franklin Pierce University Campus History: Rindge Center Buildings

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.



College Use of Buildings in Rindge Center

The initial 90 students at the college were also housed in Rindge Center in the old Rice family homestead, next to the public library. This was known as "Center Dorm." According to an article in "The Gate", Center Dorm was purchased on January 16, 1963 by the College. It was a large, beautiful white house with a carriage house and four acres of land.  The house was built in the late 1800s. 

After purchase, the home was remodeled into dorms and offices. The carriage house was also used by the college, which constructed eight classrooms in it.  It was remodeled in 1966, with two shower rooms being created for the students living there.(Pierce Arrow, 8/12/66)

Center Dorm was used for men only in 1964. It was restored in 1969 due to damages by residents.  After the restoration it was used one year for a women's dorm, housing 11 women residents,  and then closed.  The Air Force reported also used the house's basement during 1967-1971 to study radiation  in the MacAlister Belt.

The town generously offered use of the public library and  school gymnasium, despite the "menacing" threat of questionable morals and activities of college students. The Rindge Town Hall was used by the college, and the Rindge Elementary School gym was used for intramural sports. Physical education classes were held at the Winchendon High School gym.  Classes were mostly held in Rindge Center, but some were held in the Manor. Students were bused back and forth.




Pierce Magazine

Fall 1986

Pierce Arrow



Archival Resources

Student Publications. 

Box 1, Folder 6. "The Gate", v. 1, no. 1, Sept. 1975.


Rindge Historical Society