Our historic campus
Mount Ida College is an institution rooted deep in history. From the simplicity of the eighteenth century New England colonial farmhouse at Boulder Farm to the English full manor house at the Robert Gould Shaw II Estate, our college’s story is as vibrant as its colorful homes – and its community.
Built in the 1700s, Boulder Farm, previously known as “Miss Peabody’s Tea House,” owes much its history to Dr. Roy Carlson, former President of Mount Ida Junior College, and his wife, Ivy Carlson. In 1964, the house was about to be demolished for new home construction. Ivy, a collector and dealer in antiques, saw the value of the house as a residence, and convinced Roy to purchase the house for one dollar and have it moved to its present location.
While the house was moved to campus and is, therefore, an addition to the original estate land, Boulder Farm is a historically significant structure in its own right. The significance of Boulder Farm’s structure lies in its simple design and solid construction, which illustrates New England architectural style in the eighteenth century. The house, now believed to be the second oldest in Newton, features large fireplaces, wide-board floors, low timbered ceilings, narrow stairwells, and wrought iron door hardware. On top of the stylistic elements, the original design includes a hiding spot behind the fireplace as attacks by Native Americans sometimes occurred.
The house has served the college in many capacities over the years, from a residence to past presidents and their families to a gathering space for alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and dignitaries.