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Exploring
the Beautiful Berkshires

Historic Sites & Estates
The Berkshire region holds a significant place in American history, dating back to the Colonial era, when the Native American Mohicans first sold land to English settlers in 1724. Many leading literary lions, political pioneers, iconic industrialists, and other notable figures have resided in the Berkshires. Happily, a good number of their homes and other sites have been conserved, restored, and opened to the public. Here are several that we believe our guests might enjoy visiting.

Berkshire Botanical Garden

5 Rte 183
5 minute drive from The Red Lion Inn

The Berkshire Botanical Garden, is one of New England’s oldest and most treasured public gardens encompassing 15 acres of cultivated land in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Its collections contain over 3,000 species and varieties, with an emphasis on plants that thrive in the Berkshires. Classes, workshops, lectures and special events are offered year-round.

Chesterwood

4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge
five minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open daily late May through mid-October

A Property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chesterwood was the summer estate of sculptor Daniel Chester French, who created the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial and The Minute Man statue in Concord, Massachusetts. Tour his Gilded-Age home, studio and gardens, or stay overnight in his secret studio, Meadowlark, which is operated as a guesthouse by the Red Lion Inn.

The Mission House

Main Street, Stockbridge
Three-minute stroll from the Red Lion Inn
Open Daily

The oldest house in Stockbridge, built in 1739 by the Reverend John Sergeant – missionary to the Stockbridge Indians – provides a glimpse of Colonial life and Native American history.

Eden Hill: National Shrine of the Divine Mercy

74 Pine Street, Stockbridge
three minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open daily year round

This 350-acre property of the Catholic Church, a ministry of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, features statues, candle shrines and memorials, plus the soaring shrine itself, illuminated by 36 stained glass windows and graced with intricate woodwork, mosaics, and carved marble.

Naumkeag

Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge
three minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open daily late May to mid-October

This Gilded-Age “cottage,” designed in 1884 by McKim, Mead, & White as the summer estate for the family of Joseph and Caroline Choate, boasts original furnishings and art in its 44 rooms as well as magnificent gardens.

The Mount

2 Plunkett Street, Lenox
seven minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open daily early May to mid-October.
Grounds open year round.

Visit the estate of Edith Wharton – including her personal library, the boudoir where she wrote her classic novels, as well as three acres of formal gardens – who designed her own 1902 “cottage” in accordance with the principles set forth in her influential book, The Decoration of Houses. The Mount presents exhibits, workshops, talks, readings, music, and theatrical performances. Fans of the author won’t want to miss The Wharton Salon’s dramatic adaptations of her work, staged each summer.

Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio

92 Hawthorne Street, Lenox
10 minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open May 1 through June 20 by appointment only for groups of six or more.
June 21 through Labor Day Thursday – Sunday.
Labor Day through Columbus Day Thursday – Saturday or by appointment.

A must-see for fans of mid-century modern design. The studio of abstract artist George L.K. Morris, built in 1930, is the earliest example of Modern architecture in New England. In 1941 Morris expanded the structure to integrate a home for him and his wife, fellow artist Suzy Frelinghuysen. Their artwork shares wallspace with that of their more famous contemporaries, including Picasso, Braque, and Leger. Furniture by Modern masters, such as Frankl, Deskey, and Aalto, complete the harmony of art, architecture and design.

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum

104 Walker Street, Lenox
ten minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open daily year round

This Jacobean Revival-style mansion, built in 1893 as the summer “cottage” of Sarah Morgan (sister of J. P. Morgan) boasts striking woodwork and elaborate plaster ceilings, with pendants inspired by the grand halls of 17th century Scotland. Ventfort Hall hosts Gilded Age-inspired talks and readings – often accompanied by Victorian tea service – as well as exhibitions, specially commissioned theatrical performances and other events.

Arrowhead

780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield
20 minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open daily Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day

Herman Melville wrote his classic novel, Moby-Dick, in this rustic farmhouse; it is widely believed that his masterpiece was inspired by the view of Mount Greylock from his second-story library.  Arrowhead figures in many of Melville’s writings. The property is also the home of the Berkshire Historical Society, which maintains collections and mounts exhibitions relevant to the region’s past.

Bidwell House Museum

100 Art School Road, Monterey
20 minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open Memorial Day through Columbus Day
Grounds open year round

This Georgian saltbox, originally built in 1750 as a parsonage, has been authentically restored and filled with Colonial-era antiques to create a museum that interprets the early settlement of the Berkshires. The 192-acre property is graced with terraced perennial flowerbeds; a Heritage Vegetable Garden and heirloom herb garden demonstrating Colonial-era plants and techniques; and hiking trails that lead to historical landmarks.

Steepletop

436 East Hill Road, Austerlitz, NY
25 minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open only for tours by reservation, Friday – Monday
Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day

The poet Edna St. Vincent Millay transformed a Victorian farmhouse built in 1892 into a simple creative sanctuary where she lived and wrote from 1925 until her death in 1950. The house contains Millay’s original furniture and other personal effects, and the property includes extensive gardens designed, planted, and tended by Millay. The gardens are undergoing restoration by the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society.

Ashley House

Cooper Hill Road, Ashley Falls
30 minutes from the Red Lion Inn
Open daily; grounds open year round

The home of Revolutionary War supporter Colonel John Ashley, built in 1735, is significant not only as the oldest house in the Berkshires, but also for its role in African-American history. Col. Ashley’s household included five slaves, including Mum Bett, who successfully sued Ashley for her freedom, changed her name to Elizabeth Freeman, and helped end slavery in Massachusetts. Ashley House also includes the Elizabeth Freeman Interpretive Center.

30 Main Street  Stockbridge, MA 01262
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