Old Frame House

The Old Frame House  and Chapel, 1863-1886

(Click thumbnail for larger photo) The Old Frame House  and Chapel, 1863-1886 (From St. John’s Abbey Archives)

Architect: Resident Designer

Contractor: Monks and lay workers

Date: 1864–1886; moved to campus site in 1867; razed in 1886.

The Frame House, and adjoining chapel, was the original building built at the old Collegeville railroad station site. This plain wooden structure, of two stories, was built to serve as a monastery and school. Benedictine life was established there for three years (1863–1866). After 1866, it was decided that the site was not adequate for institutional life, so the school and monastery were moved to the newly cleared site on the shores above Lake Sagatagan. The monks moved the Frame House to the new site in 1867 as the Stone House was being built. The Frame House was situated forty feet to the southwest of the Stone House. Over the years it was used for private rooms for monks and lay workers, and as a carpenter and tailor shop. The adjoining chapel was used for public services by the monks, students, and after 1876 by the Collegeville parish. After the construction of the Quadrangle Building, the Frame House was razed in 1886.