In 1813, bricklayer Robert Grinstead built this Federal townhouse and sold it to farmer John Stark. Transylvania rented it in 1820 for the home of Transylvania President Horace Holley. Architect Gideon Shryock lived here in 1832 while building Morrison College for Transylvania.
The rear wing on Mechanic Street may have been added by Shryock to house his workmen. The front wall and doorway of the house were later remodeled. The two-story side porch was added in the 20th century. During the Civil War, surgeon, scientist and Transylvania faculty member Dr. Robert Peter lived here, and his teenage daughter, Frances, kept a diary of the Civil War later published as Window on the War.