Merwin House (1825)

The Merwin House in Stockbridge was constructed around 1825 by Francis and Clarissa Dresser. It remained in the Dresser family until 1875, when they sold it to William and Elizabeth Doane of New York City. The couple named the house “Tranquility” and used it as a summer home. They substantially renovated the house in 1900, remodeling the interior and doubling the home’s by adding a shingle-style ell. The house was later the year-round home of the Doanes’ daughter, Vipont Merwin (1878-1965), and her third husband Edward Merwin, who died in 1932. She wanted the house, which was acquired by Historic New England in 1966, to become a museum and it is now open to the public several times a year. Read More

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Mission House (1739)

Rev. John Sergeant was the first missionary to the Mohicans of Western Massachusetts. He came to Stockbridge in the mid-1730s and lived at first in a small cabin. In 1739, he married Abigail Williams and by 1742 had built what is now known as the Mission House. In 1751, Jonathan Edwards succeeded Rev. Sergeant as missionary. The Sergeant family continued to occupy the house until 1867. The elaborate front doorway was added in the 1760s. The house originally stood on Prospect Hill, but between 1926 and 1930, it was moved to its current location at 19 Main Street and was restored by Miss Mabel Choate, the owner of nearby Naumkeag. The Mission House’s gardens were designed from 1928 to 1933 by Fletcher Steele. The Mission House is now a property of the Trustees of Reservations. Read More

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Chesterwood: The House (1901)

In 1896, sculptor Daniel Chester French purchased the Warner farm in Stockbridge. Naming his new estate Chesterwood, he soon built his studio next to the C. 1820 farmhouse. In 1901 French replaced the farmhouse with a new Georgian Revival residence designed by Henry Bacon. Like the studio, also designed by Bacon, the house is covered with stucco that is studded with marble and coal chips. The sitting room is a replica of the Best Parlor in the French family homestead in Chester, New Hampshire. Chesterwood was inherited by French’s daughter, Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973), who was also a sculptor. She donated Chesterwood to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Read More

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Chesterwood: The Studio (1897)

Chesterwood is the 122-acre estate that was once the summer home of sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850–1931). French is famous for such sculptures as the Minuteman in Concord and the seated Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Chesterwood, located in Stockbridge, is now owned by the National Trust for Historic preservation and is open to the public. In 1896, French purchased the farm of Marshall Warner. The following year, he moved the Warner barn, adjacent to the Warner House, to make way for his new studio. Designed by Henry Bacon (architect of the Lincoln Memorial), the Studio has a workroom, a reception area with a piano and a 50-foot veranda. The wooden frame building is covered with stucco in which marble and coal chips were mixed to provide texture. So that French could work on his pieces in natural light, the workroom has 30-foot high double doors through which sculptures could be brought outside on a flatcar along a short railway track. Read More

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Naumkeag (1885)

Naumkeag (named after the original name of Salem, Massachusetts) is a shingle-style house built in 1885 in Stockbridge. It was designed by Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White for Joseph Hodges Choate (1832–1917), a prominent New York City attorney who served as American ambassador to the Court of St James’s from 1899 to 1905. Naumkeag was next owned by his daughter, Mabel Choate, who worked with noted landscape designer Fletcher Steele to design the estate’s landscaped grounds. She bequeathed the property in its entirety to the Trustees of Reservations and it is open to the public. Read More

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