Parish House, also known as Language House, is Carleton's largest interest house. It is located on 419 East Third Street, a few blocks away from campus. It should not be confused with Parr House, a much smaller house that is currently used as an extension of Farm House.
Parish House was built in 1912 as the private home of Fred Burnett Hill, class of 1900, and Deborah Sayles Hill. In 1907 the Hills came to Northfield when Fred became a professor of Biblical Literature at Carleton. (The couple also donated the money to build Sayles-Hill Gymnasium.)
Parish House had a private gymnasium, a pool room, and tennis courts. A large dining room and kitchen complex occupied much of the first floor. The west side of the ground floor included the living room, Professor Hill's study, and a large library. Family and guest rooms were on the second floor. Servants' quarters were on the third floor. Professor Hill died in 1919. Mrs. Hill sold the propterty to the Northfield Methodists, who moved their church to the lawn east of the house. The mansion was used as a "parish house" and church school.
In 1963, Carleton bought all the Methodist property on the block, the parish house, the old church, the parsonage, and the garage in back, for a price of $62,500. For a time in the mid-'60s, space in Parish House was rented to the Northfield public schools for use as classroom space, pending completion of the new high school.
After the Methodist congregation moved to their new building in 1966, the old church was demolished. Carleton remodeled Parish House into a dormitory. Originally it was used as a men's language house, one section for French speakers another for German speakers.
Directions from Sayles-Hill
- Turn right from the steps of Sayles toward Willis Hall.
- Continue down College Street across First Street and Second Street.
- Turn left at Third Street and cross College Street. Parish House is the huge house on the left, at the corner of Third and Winona.