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Arrowhead – The Herman Melville House Museum

October 10, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Arrowhead The Herman Melville House MuseumDid you know that Arrowhead, The Herman Melville House in Pittsfield, MA is just a 15 minute drive from Applegate Inn? It’s true and both history and literature fans will enjoy a visit to this popular, historic house museum.

Between 1850 and 1863, Arrowhead Farm was home to one of America’s great writers. It was also his most fruitful period. During that time, Melville penned not only “Moby-Dick” but also “Pierre or The Ambiguities,” “Bartleby the Scrivever,” and others.

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Ventfort Hall Mansion
and Gilded Age Museum

September 25, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age MuseumStep back in time with a visit to Ventfort Hall Mansion and see how the Rockefellers and their peers “roughed it” in the country with their Gilded Age, Berkshire cottages.

America’s “Gilded Age,” occurred between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the twentieth century. It was period of upheaval and rapid economic growth that benefited wealthy tycoons and corrupt industrialists over the working class.

The wealthier class were drawn to the Berkshires by both the beautiful countryside and the famous artists and writers who preceded them. Literary and art world luminaries like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Lenox, MA was the center of this scene. Ventfort Hall is just one of seventy-five such Gilded Age “country cottages” that were built here during the period.

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Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum & Hoosac Valley Train Rides

September 13, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum Lenox StationRailfans and history buffs alike will enjoy a visit to the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum in Lenox, MA. Explore the historic Lenox Station museum and enjoy a short train ride!

The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum is housed in the restored Lenox Train Station. The station was built in 1903, replacing the 1850 building which burned in 1902. The Lenox Station served the Stockbridge & Pittsfield Railroad until the 1950’s, after which it saw a variety of tenants and uses.

The building was donated to the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum in 1986 and has been home to the museum, ticket office, and store ever since.

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October Mountain State Forest
Hiking, Biking, Paddling & More

August 22, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

October Mountain State ForestGet out into the great outdoors of the Berkshires with a visit to October Mountain State Forest. Hiking, biking, boating, picnicking, gorgeous scenery, and more. October Mountain has it all!

October Mountain State Forest is Massachusetts largest state forest. Its 16,500 acres encompass a portion of the Hoosac Range on the western edge of the central Berkshires. The forest includes an uplands area with several reservoirs.

The “October Mountain” name comes from the forest’s highest point; a ridge rising majestically up out of the Housatonic River Valley. Herman Melville treasured the view of the ridge from his home in Pittsfield, particularly in autumn. The name “October Mountain” is attributed to him.

Best of all, October Mountain is right here in Lee. Just a ten-minute drive from your room at our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.

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Historic Becket Quarry and Forest Preserve

August 8, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Becket Quarry and Forest PreserveExplore miles of beautiful, protected forest trails and the remains of abandoned, historic Becket quarry in Becket, MA. Just 30 minutes from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.

The Chester-Hudson Quarry was integral to the early development of Becket and the surrounding area. It extracted granite for gravestones and monuments from the 1850’s to the 1960’s.

The quarry was one of the largest in the area, which makes it doubly surprising that, in the end, it was simply abandoned. Not just the site but the equipment. Trucks, drills, derricks, buildings – all left behind to rot and rust. Almost as if the workers went for an afternoon stroll and just never came back.

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Jiminy Peak Summer Fun

July 25, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Jiminy Peak Mountain CoasterJiminy Peak Mountain Resort is well known to visiting skiers – but did you know the resort is open during summer, too? During warmer months, their Mountain Adventure Park offers ziplines, alpine slides, mountain coasters, hiking, scenic chairlift rides, and more. And all less than an hour away from our Berkshires bed and breakfast.

It would be an awful shame to ignore all that beautiful mountain terrain just because it’s not blanketed in snow – and they don’t. In fact, Jiminy Peak’s summer activities may be more diverse than their winter ones. Whether your taste runs to high flying adventure or something more down to earth like hiking, this nearby Berkshires resort has you covered.

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The Mission House – A Colonial-Era Landmark in Stockbridge

July 10, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

The Mission House in Stockbridge MATravel back to a simpler time with a visit to the Mission House, museum, and gardens in Stockbridge, MA. This fascinating, Colonial-era, National Historic Landmark has connections to the local Mohican tribe and is less than 10 minutes from our Berkshires bed and breakfast in Lee, MA.

The Mission House was originally built atop Stockbridge’s Prospect Hill in 1742. It was home to the Reverend John Sergeant, first missionary to the local Mohican people.

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Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass

June 22, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Schantz GalleriesSchantz Galleries, in Stockbridge, MA is home to some of the most stunningly beautiful pieces of art glass you’ll ever see. The expansive, two story gallery displays works from more than 60 talented artists.

The sparkle, shine, and transparency of glass gives it a liquid, magical look that is perfect for catching the eye and expressing the soul. Very few other forms captivate like glass art can. The way it catches the light and takes on liquid forms, the shifting tones of its multi-hued transparencies. So unique and beautiful.

If you agree, then you’ll marvel at Schantz Galleries’ museum-like collection in Stockbridge – less than 10 minutes drive from our Berkshires inn.

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Take a Peak at Monument Mountain

June 7, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Monument Mountain summit panorama

The view from the top – “Monument Mountain panorama” by Tom Walsh is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Looking for something spectacular to do during your Berkshires getaway? Try a hike to the summit of Squaw Peak on Great Barrington’s Monument Mountain Reservation for panoramic views of the Housatonic River Valley and beyond.

Best of all?

The trailhead is just a little over ten minutes from our Berkshires bed and breakfast, Applegate Inn.

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Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

May 23, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Pleasant Valley Wildlife SanctuaryGet out into the great outdoors of the Berkshires with a visit to Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The 1,142 acre reserve includes a large beaver pond, 7 miles of trails through a variety of habitats, and plenty of wildlife.

Actually, the Massachusetts Audubon Society runs three separate Wildlife Sanctuaries within reasonable driving distance of Applegate Inn. There’s Canoe Meadows in Pittsfield, Lime Kiln Farm in Sheffield, and Pleasant Valley in Lenox.

All three preserves are lovely and worth your time – Pleasant Valley is just closest to our Berkshires inn.

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Explore the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail

May 9, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Ashuwillticook Rail TrailSoak up the natural beauty of the Berkshires with a visit to the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. This nearly 13 mile long, converted railroad track runs from Adams, MA through Cheshire, to Lanesborough, with plenty of lush scenery and wildlife throughout.

The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail started out as an extension of the Housatonic Railroad in 1845. The line served the area for nearly 150 years before shutting down in 1990. A successful campaign for the track’s conversion to a multi-use trail began shortly thereafter and the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail was born.

Ashuwillticook (ash-oo-will-ti-cook) is a Native American word for “the pleasant river in between the hills” and a very appropriate name.

The trail runs along the Hoosic River, between the Mount Greylock and the Hoosac Mountain Ranges, parallel to Route 8. Its’ course takes it past the shores of the Cheshire Reservoir, Berkshire Pond, and a variety of wetlands teeming with waterfowl and other wildlife.

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Chesterwood – The Daniel Chester French Studio Museum

April 19, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Daniel Chester FrenchCome explore Chesterwood, the summer home, studio, and gardens of one of America’s most celebrated sculptors, Daniel Chester French. Many of the artist’s most famous public monuments were modeled right here at his Berkshires estate.

Not sure who Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) is? Just picture the statue of seated Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, DC. You may also be familiar with the Minute Man statue in Concord, MA. Or maybe Alma Mater at Columbia University, NY – or any of his many other public works.

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Tour Jacob’s Ladder Trail Scenic Byway

April 10, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Jacob's Ladder Trail Scenic BywayLooking to soak up some of that beautiful Berkshires scenery? Take a cruise along the Jacob’s Ladder Trail. The historic, 35 mile Scenic Byway treats its travelers to gorgeous views of the southern Berkshires between Lee and Russell, MA.

Jacob’s Ladder Scenic Byway, part of U.S. Highway 20, runs from Russell, MA, to the Lee/Lenox town line, here in Berkshire County. In between, the road takes you through the towns of Huntington, Chester, and Becket. The area has seen less development than other parts of New England, leaving it rich in culture yet charming and unpretentious.

The Trail will also take you through plenty of lush nature scenery, too. It crosses over the Appalachian Trail, through three State Forests, past Jacob’s Pillow, across Westfield River, and up Mount Tekoa. You’ll see ponds, streams, hiking trails, campgrounds, scenic overlooks, and much more.

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Elizabeth Freeman, Ashley House, and Bartholomew’s Cobble

March 20, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Mumbet Elizabeth FreemanElizabeth Freeman was the first enslaved African American to file and win a freedom suit in Massachusetts. You can learn more about her extraordinary story at historic Ashley House near Bartholomew’s Cobble, just a half hour south of Applegate Inn.

Elizabeth Freeman (c. 1744 – 1829), also known as “Mumbet,” was born into slavery around 1744 in Claverack, New York. At the age of 7, she was sent to Sheffield, MA and the house of John Ashley, who had married her master’s daughter.

In 1780, Freeman heard a reading of the newly ratified Massachusetts Constitution. Its statement that “all men are born free and equal” inspired her to fight for her freedom. In 1781, a Great Barrington jury agreed with her, making her the first African-American woman set free under the Massachusetts Constitution.

With a motion picture on Freeman’s life under development, her relatively unknown story is about to get a lot more notice. Until that time, one of the best ways to learn about her is to visit the Ashley House in Sheffield, MA.

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Berkshire Botanical Garden – Put a Little Spring In Your Step

March 6, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Berkshire Botanical GardenWhat better way to welcome the arrival of spring than with a visit to Berkshire Botanical Garden? The annual Bulb Show is on right now – and the display gardens open soon – May 1st, 2020!

If you’ve never made a visit to Berkshire Botanical Garden (BBG), you’re truly missing out. Even non-gardeners are wowed by the stunning display. 24 acres of meticulously groomed display gardens, walking paths, manicured lawns, and 3 greenhouses.

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Tanglewood Popular Artists Series 2020

February 17, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Tanglewood Popular Artists Series 2020As expected, the 2020 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series has continued to evolve since our last post on the subject. Five new entries have been added, including John Legend, Brandi Carlile, and The Mavericks!

As usual, the upcoming Tanglewood Festival summer is so chock full of amazing performances and star appearances it’s hard to know where to begin. This is especially true with the new Linde Center added into the mix! This year will see performances and events on almost every day of the schedule.

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Experience Hancock Shaker Village

February 8, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Hancock Shaker VillageCome experience the unique world of the Shakers at Hancock Shaker Village, established in 1774, in Pittsfield, MA.

Shakers are known primarily for their fine craftsmanship, plain furniture, and work ethic. The Christian sect formed in England around 1747 but left for New York in 1774 after years of religious persecution. The settlement at Hancock, established in 1780, was the third Shaker village to form in the new world.

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Valentine’s Day Berkshires Getaway Lodging Specials

January 23, 2020 by Corey A. Edwards

Berkshires Getaway Lodging SpecialsThinking of a Valentine’s Day Berkshires getaway, or maybe a spring fling is more your thing? Applegate Inn has you covered. Our selection of Berkshires lodging packages combine valuable perks with considerable savings for just this time of year!

Little that is more romantic than whisking that special someone off on a surprise getaway. Dinner and a movie is fine – but how about somewhere other than your home town? Refresh your romance and break out of that stale routine with a Berkshires getaway.

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