Remembering the Fire of 1914

Wellesley’s 
rise from 
the ashes

REMEMBERING 
THE FIRE OF 1914 2

Wellesley College Archives

College Hall 
opened in 1875 
and originally housed all of Wellesley College under one roof.

Around 4:30 a.m. on the morning of March 17, 1914, smoke awakened the two students who lived in Room 440 of Wellesley College’s main building, College Hall. They could see flames reflected in the glass of the transom over their door—flames from what turned out to be a fire in the zoological laboratory across the hall. They ran to alert the watchman, the residence-hall director, and the registrar—the latter two, as it happened, alumnae who had