The Burlington Free Press of July 23, 1886, stated that Burlington businessman Edward Wells had purchased a plot of land at Maple and Summit Streets. But it was not until July 25, 1891, that the paper announced the start of construction on Well’s residence. The house was completed by Christmas 1892.
Wells was the president of Wells, Richardson & Co. of Burlington, which saw phenomenal success as a manufacturer and distributor of patent medicines. With this manufacturing empire as his base, he rose to great prominence in the city and the state. Edward Wells died in 1907. In 1895, he had given a half acre adjoining his lot to the University of Vermont, which had acquired Grasse Mount, the adjacent mansion.
In 1924, the Wells House and its remaining lot were sold to Delta Psi Fraternity, for which it was home until 2003. The house was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on October 3, 1979. UVM purchased the house in December 2007 and is now engaged in a fundraising project to finance its refurbishing as Alumni House.