Brief History of Tanglewood

April 20th, 2009 by Applegate Inn

01 Tanglewood Music Center 045

Tanglewood takes it name from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Tanglewood Tales”, which Hawthorn wrote in 1850 while staying in a little red house by the shores of Lake Mahkeenac, on grounds owned by the Tappan family. The head of the Tappan family was so charmed by Hawthorn’s book that he re-named his property in honor of it. Music was not part of the landscape of the Berkshires until 1935, when a single concert took place; in 1937 the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave its first performances in the area. Descendants of the Tappan family donated their land to give a permanent summer home to the orchestra, and an open structure to protect the musicians from the elements was constructed in time for the 1938 summer season. Two years later saw the birth of the Tanglewood Music Center, a teaching facility for advanced students that was created by then Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor and music director, Serge Koussevitsky. The center has been open ever since, except for during the second world war.

Over the years, Tanglewood has grown to include the Boston Pops, and to embrace a variety of performers and musicians. Each year brings something new, and each year brings memories of the past. For many people, summer is not summer without a trip to Tanglewood. For others, it is ripe for discovery.

This year, plan to stay at Applegate Bed and Breakfast while you attend Tanglewood. Our Berkshire b&b will be a lovely addition to your summer holiday or weekend getaway.


Tanglewood Festival Opening Night

April 8th, 2009 by Applegate Inn

There are a lot of great ways to enjoy the Tanglewood Music Festival, and if you are a die-hard fan, you might want to waste no time and head to the Koussevitzky Music Shed on July 3 for Tanglewood’s opening  night. James Levine with be the featured conductor that night.

Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in "The Trojans" at Symphony Hall. (Hilary Scott)

B.S.O. and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in "The Trojans" at Symphony Hall. (Hilary Scott)

The program with be Tchaikovsky that evening, beginning with Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, followed by his Piano Concerto No. 1, performed by Yefim Bronfman. The Koussevitzky Music Shed is less than 6 miles from our Lenox Bed and breakfast .

The piano soloist, Yefim Bronfman, popularly known as Fima, is one of today’s most outstanding virtuoso pianists. He is a Grammy – Award winner and was a Carnegie Hall “Perspectives” artist for the 2007-08 season. During that time he curated seven concerts, including works by composers ranging from Mozart, Brahms, Schoenberg and Berg to Webern, Prokofiev and Ravel, with world premieres by Marc-André Dalbavie and Jörg Widmann.


Time to start thinking about Tanglewood

March 20th, 2009 by Applegate Inn

Today is the first day of Spring! We are so happy that winter is finally rolling around the corner for the year, and we can start to think and plan for all the exciting activities that take place in the Spring in the Berkshires, especially Tanglewood.

The Tanglewood Festival is an annual celebration of music held at the Tanglewood Music Center in Lenox. It is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and setting for a variety of musical performances and events. One of the best ways to spend a summer evening in the Berkshires is to grab a blanket, some fixin’s for a picnic & head to Tanglewood for a night of music as the sun sets and the stars come out.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is currently running a Clark/Tanglewood ticket offer: Buy now and pay only $45 for two tickets to The Clark and two Tanglewood lawn tickets. I had to read that three times before I believed my eyes; four tickets to world-renowned art and mucis venues for only $45?!? It is an amazing deal and one you should take advantage of right away!

The Lawn at Tanglewood

The Lawn at Tanglewood

The Clark is located in Williamstown, about a 45 minute drive from both the Tanglewood Music Center and our Massachusetts Bed and Breakfast. Of course, the drive through our pastoral landscape in the summer with a warm breeze in your hair is not much of a chore. Plus, The Clark is not to be missed.

The Clark features an outstanding collection of Impressionist, American, and Old Master paintings, set among 140 scenic acres with hiking and walking trails. On view this summer, Dove/O’Keeffe: Circles of Influence and Through the Seasons: Japanese Art in Nature.

Look for more information on Tanglewood from our Lenox Bed and Breakfast soon!

Tanglewood Jazz Festival

August 7th, 2008 by Applegate Inn

We are all eager for the Tanglewood Jazz Festival coming up on Labor Day weekend! You can already feel the excitement in the air around here. I have been getting reservations for Labor Day weekend as soon as Tanglewood announced their line up for the Jazz Festival. If you are planing to come, be sure to make reservations ASAP as rooms are filling up for this  busy weekend: http://www.webervations.com/magic-scripts/resbook.asp?memberid=applegateinn . The program sounds fascinating. Starting on Friday August 29, there will be a Colombian Harpist named Edmar Castaneda who is bringing a vibraphonist named Joe Locke. I don’t even know what a vibraphone looks like!

On Saturday there will be a live taping for NPR as well as a rocking show with composer Donal Fox and trumpeter Christian Scott starting around 8 p.m. It gonna be the place to be on Saturday night!

Sunday sounds amazing too. As well as music throughout the day, composer Terence Blanchard will be preforming his “Requiem for Katrina” that night to close the concert with a thirty piece orchestra!

The complete lineup for the show is below, and we hope to see you there!

August 29 Friday 8PM Ozawa Hall
Edmar Castaneda Trio with special guest Joe Locke
Eliane Elias
“Something for You”
A tribute to Bill Evans
August 30 Saturday, 2PM, Ozawa Hall
“A Celebration of Marian McPartland”s 90th Birthday with special guests. Live taping for ‘Piano Jazz” on NPR
8pm, Ozawa Hall
Donal Fox: Scarlatti Jazz Suite Ptroject
Dianne Reeves
August 31, 2PM,  Ozawa
Eddie Daniels Quartet
Mark O’Connor’s “Hot Swing” with special guest Jane Monheit
8PM, Ozawa Hall
Terence Blanchaard’s “A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina)”
See you at the Jazz Festival .

All the Berkshires are a Stage!

May 26th, 2014 by Corey A. Edwards

the Berkshires stage

No matter your interests, there’s something on a Berkshires stage for you.

It should comes as no surprise to you that the Berkshires are awash with stage productions, acting studios, and live theater venues. Whatever your favorite entertainment – song dance, drama, comedy – a Berkshires stage is bound to be putting on something you’ll love. With the numerous theater companies, stage troupes, and well-established festivals found here, the Berkshires’ really do have it all.

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Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2014

May 19th, 2014 by Corey A. Edwards

Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival 2014The New York Times calls the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival “the dance center of the nation” and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would disagree with that.

Started by modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn in the 1930′s, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is America’s longest-running dance festival, has been designated a National Historic Landmark, and is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.

Jacob’s Pillow Farm, named after a large, pillow shaped rock on the property of this rural Massachusetts acreage (the zig zag road leading to the farm was referred to as “Jacob’s Ladder” so … ), was purchased by Ted Shawn in 1931 as a retreat for the first US, male dance company. Ted Shawn hoped to help expand the role of men in modern dance and ended up not only doing so but also establishing a far greater appreciation and awareness of modern dance in the US in general.

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History of the Lee Public Library

June 29th, 2013 by Katie Pate

If you have an interest in American history or architecture, make sure to leave a little time during your Berkshires vacation to visit the Lee Library. A beautiful, quiet and historic place, stop in to browse the shelves or enjoy a quiet place to read for a while.

The Lee Library is the only remaining Carnegie library building in the Berkshires. Because of this, it is not only beautiful but also historically significant.

The present building is on the Peter Wilcox homestead. The Wilcox one-story, one-room log house was the location of Lee’s first town meeting held in December 1777.

The remaining original part of the building was constructed in 1907.

Photo circa 1911: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection (REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-D4-72599)

Photo circa 1911: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection (REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-D4-72599)

The total cost of the building, including the lot and furnishings, was $35,500. Andrew Carnegie donated $12,000, the town appropriated $18,300, and the remainder was donated by  citizens. Lee Marble Works quarried and cut the marble used in the construction of the building. The original section of the building is Corinthian in style, with interior woodwork of polished birch.

The library was expanded in 1977. Again, Lee Marble was used in the construction. The new wing tripled the size of the library to to 7,500 square feet. The addition includes the Betty Dennis Children’s Room, stacks, a reading room, and the Gallery.

What is a Carnegie Library?

Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated money to build a total of 2,509 libraries between 1883 and 1929, including some belonging to public and university library systems. 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in Britain and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean, Mauritius and Fiji.

Very few towns that requested a grant – and agreed to his terms  – were refused. The last grant was made in 1919 and there were 3,500 libraries in the United States; nearly half of them built with construction grants paid by Carnegie.

Lodging for your Berkshires Vacation

Whether you are visiting the Berkshires to take in modern American art at Tanglewood or Jacob’s Pillow, natural beauty or history, the Berkshires has something for everyone. We would love to be your hosts at our Bed and Breakfast in Lee, the gateway to the Berkshires.

Berkshire Special Places Tour

June 14th, 2013 by Katie Pate

Would you like to see some of the most beautiful places in the Berkshire communities of Lee and Becket? Join us for a very special tour called “Gardens, Grounds and Properties of Lee.” Taking place on Sunday, June 23rd from noon to 4 p.m. this tour will lead you to six unique Lee and Becket properties. You will be provided with a map which directs you to delightful surprises: music, literature, family farms and even a former brothel. A dairy farm with frozen yogurt will be a refreshing treat and beautiful gardens are certainly on the itinerary.

Tickets are $15 per person or $25 per couple. Get yours at Karen Keenan Gifts on Main Street in Lee or at the Lee Chamber of Commerce booth on Park Place. You can also call 413.243.0852 for more information and to purchase tickets. chamber-garden-tour-2013

Other Special Places to Visit near the B&B

There are so many unique and beautiful attractions in the Berkshires, they are much too numerous for one blog post. However, we will give you a run down of some of the most popular sites in our area:

  • Norman Rockwell Museum
  • Tanglewood Jazz Festival, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
  • Jacob’ Pillow Dance Studio and Festival
  • Clark Institute
  • Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Greenock Country Club for golf and tennis (across the street from our Inn)
  • Lee Premium Outlet Mall
  • the beach at Laurel Lake
  • Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington
  • Colonial Theater in Pittsfield
  • Butternut Ski Area

Amenities at the Inn

You don’t have to leave our grounds to have a great day. Well, you will need to get dinner…but other than that, Applegate Inn has park-like grounds with a heated pool, lounge furniture and even hammocks. We provide an excellent environment for rest and relaxation.

 

 

New Productions from Shakespeare & Company in Lenox and the Barrington Stage Company

February 24th, 2013 by Katie Pate

The Berkshires is known as an artful place – whether it’s the Tanglewood Music Festival, charming art galleries in town or performances, we have a rich cultural tradition here.

Two local theater companies have new productions out right now. So take a getaway from the city to the Berkshires for a weekend of impressive performances!

10×10 New Play Festival at Barrington Stage Company

Running through March 3rd at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center. 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield MA.
Thurs-Fri-Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Sat-Sun at 3 p.m.
$20 Thursday evenings and Sat-Sun matinees; $25 Friday and Saturday evenings

Head to Pittsfield, about 20 minutes north of our Berkshire Inn, to the St. Germain Stage for an evening of ten 10-minute plays by 10 different playwrights, featuring seven talented actors as part of the 2013 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival. Fortunately for you, the show is running for an extended three week period!

The Lair by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox

The Liar by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox MA.

The Liar by Shakespeare & Company in Lenox MA.

Running through March 24th at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox MA.
Fri-Sat at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
$22-$42 for Friday and Saturdays; $15-$25 for Sunday matinees

A tangled web of lies, misdirected advances and the unmistakable confusion of love, The Liar has all of the ingredients that make for a great French farce.

The truth will set most people free, but for Dorante, the disingenuous hero, a sequence of fibs may pave a convoluted road to happiness. A hilarious farce about mistaken identity, The Liar was originally penned by the classic 17th-century French playwright Pierre Corneille, in 1664. This adaptation by award-winning American playwright David Ives merges the iambic humor of classic verse with a contemporary twist.

Let Us Be Your Berkshires Lodging!

Whatever brings you to the Berkshires, theater or Tanglewood, Skiing or sketching, we would love to host you in our elegant and spacious inn, located in Lee, MA.

 

Berkshire Events – Gilded Age Museum and Arrowhead, Home of Herman Melville

December 29th, 2012 by Katie Pate

Are you a fan of Downton Abbey? Does the phrase “Call me Ishmael” have a special meaning for you? If you said “yes” to either of these statements, we have some upcoming Berkshire events that might peak your interest.

Herman Melville’s home, named Arrowhead, is the site where Moby Dick was written. The home will be open during the holiday season on weekends through January 13 for public tours. Hours are 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with tours on the hour at 11,12,1 and 2. The shop is open with gifts for all the history and literature buffs in your life.
Also recently opened is The Melville Trail. The intent of the Trail is to deepen the public’s understanding of Herman Melville’s connection to and love of many places in Berkshire County. Four of his most beloved locales now have permanent interpretive panels. Find them at Arrowhead, Pontoosuc Lake, Berkshire Athenaeum and Monument Mountain.

Berkshire Events

Arrowhead – the home of Herman Melville in Pittsfield MA

Also included on the trail are eight more places that Melville loved. Park Square, Hancock Shaker Village, Crane Museum of Paper Making, Balance Rock, Lenox Court House, Tanglewood/Hawthorne Cottage, October Mountain and of course Mount Greylock.
Although Melville’s work belongs to the world, it was the Berkshires that inspired him.

Ventfort Hall Mansion

On Saturday January 12 at 3 p.m. the Gilded Age Museum at Ventfort Hall presents a Tea and Talk. “Lords, Ladies & Mummies: The Story of Highclere Castle, the Real Downton Abbey” will be the subject with Curt DiCamillo as the speaker. DiCamillo is an architectural historian and a recognized authority on the British country house. The lecture coincides with the third season of the highly popular fictional television series Downton Abbey returning to American television. A snow date has been scheduled for Saturday, January 19, at 3:00 pm. A Victorian High Tea will follow the program.

Looking for a Massachusetts Getaway? We hope you will consider staying at our romantic Berkshire bed and breakfast – we would love to be your hosts!

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