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Selwyn Hall: Home

Connecting the Past with the Present



Jonathan Deininger (September 10, 1801-August 21, 1880) married Elizabeth Muhlenberg (March 12, 1806-February 21, 1838) on June 3, 1834. In the fall of 1836 they moved into their new house, which today is known as Selwyn Hall. When the house was built Jonathan Deininger called their new home. "Linden Hall."

After giving birth to her son in 1838,  Elizabeth died, at the age of 32, so they only lived in Linden Hall for two years. Jonathan then moved back to Reading. The property was primarily vacant being used as a public resort until the Episcopal church purchased the Deininger estate, and opened a school for boys on October 7, 1875. The Episcopal Diocesan School for Boys was named "Selwyn Hall" in honor of Bishop George Augustus Selwyn. The new school was comparable to a preparatory school or an academy. Selwyn Hall also served as a military school. On February 14, 1895 the school closed due to inadequate funds.

From 1895 until 1902 the property was used as a recreational center and beer garden. Schuylkill Seminary had moved from Fredericksburg, PA to the location of the Episcopal School, and the Seminary opened its doors on September 16, 1902. The second floor of Selwyn Hall was used as a dormitory for the girls where there were also two classrooms. The first floor also had classrooms and the third floor was equipped with a chemistry laboratory. The first library was located on the first floor of Selwyn Hall. With an increase in enrollment a new dining room, named the "Lizzie Shreiner Dining Hall," was added to Selwyn.

In 1929, when Schuylkill College merged with Albright College the Selwyn Hall Annex was built.