Thursday, October 27, 2011

Come stay this weekend and catch a plane and flick!

Some terrific packages at the 1896 House to take advantage of this coming weekend.
Take advantage of the nice fall weather and catch some lovely foliage while it lasts.

“Flick & Feast" Package
During the slower season, sometimes it's just nice to relax! Take your date to dinner and a movie! Enjoy top foreign and independent films at our local "Images" movie house, then stretch the evening with a casual meal in our "so cozy" tavern!   For current showings, visit .Includes 2 tickets, a glass of house wine or a pint of microbrew for each of you & a $35 Pub Gift Card.

Playing this coming weekend: The Rum Diary, play Friday, 10/28 – Thursday, 11/3

A new film based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson
Starring: Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Richard Jenkins
Paul Kemp is a freelance journalist who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean. Paul is challenged on many levels as he tries to carve out a more secure niche for himself amidst a group of lost souls all bent on self-destruction. Based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson.

Flight & Picnic Package
Here’s your chance to get a panoramic aerial view of the beautiful Berkshires!  Take a 20-30 minute scenic flight with your licensed & experienced pilot over the many steeples of North Adams, Mass MoCA, the gorgeous Williams College campus, Mt. Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts, and over the quarry in Adams.  From the air, select the perfect spot to enjoy the picnic that the ‘6 House Pub has packed for you!  Then, motor along to that hideaway location!  Just gorgeous during foliage time!
Includes flight and picnic:
2 Wraps:  Select tuna salad, turkey club wrap,
roast beef with horseradish each day
2 pickles & 2 bags of potato chips
2 Chocolate Brownies
2 Granny Smith Apples
2 Bottles of Spring Water

$109 for 2 people.
$149 for 3 people.
Includes tax and gratuity.
Add bottle of house wine or 2 cans of beer  
 $10 additional

Make a reservation at or call 413-458-1896 or Toll Free:  888-999-1896

What a time to visit Williamstown, stay at the 1896 House Inn and eat yummy food at the 6' House Pub

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Old Hopkins Observatory & Mehlin Museum of Astronomy

Visiting the 1896 Inn in the next month and half is a great time to take advantage of visiting the local Planetarium. Late Fall and early winter weather conditions make for perfect atmospheric conditions for star and planet viewing. Grab an early dinner at the 6"House Pub or visit the Bar after the Planetarium shop for an even nightcap.

The Hopkins Observatory is the oldest existing observatory in the United States and houses the earliest Alvan Clark telescope.  In 1834, Prof. Albert Hopkins went to England, with the permission of the trustees of the college, to search for astronomical apparatus.  On his return, he enlisted some of his students to build a permanent observatory, which they constructed by hand from 1836 to 1838.  That building is now the planetarium.  It was originally located in the center of the quad but was moved to the far end in 1908 and to its present location in 1961.  Some of the original equipment from the 1834 trip to England still survives in this building.

Milham Planetarium Fall Schedule
Fridays at 7:30pm through Dec. 9
Reservations: 413-597-2188 or

Astronomy students at the college will host free shows for the public on the following Friday evenings at 7:30 p.m.: November 4, 11, 18; and December 2, 9.  Audiences will be treated to shows from the high-precision Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3/B opto-mechanical planetarium projector, installed in April 2005.

The Zeiss Skymaster is capable of demonstrating phenomena including: retrograde motions of the planets, phases of the moon, the varying temperatures/colors of stars, locations of neighboring galaxies, the mythological figures and zodiacal signs ascribed to constellations, the Southern Hemisphere’s sky, comets, artificial satellites, and much more.

Fall ’11 shows will be hosted by Williams College students Pushpanjali Giri ’14, Matthew Hosek ’12, Soraya Membreno ’12, and Muzhou Lu ’13.  Jay Pasachoff, Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy, is director of the Hopkins Observatory.

*Photo courtesy of Williams College

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Foliage In Williamstown!

The Berkshires are scheduled to reach peak foliage colors this coming weekend of Oct. 14 – 16, 2011.

What a time to visit Williamstown, stay at the 1896 House Inn and eat yummy food at the 6' House Pub. Sit outside by the firepit and drink a cocktail or a hot mulled cider.

Take a Hike!

Fall foliage views atop Mount Greylock, No better place to view the splendor of fall in the Berkshires than from the top of Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusets.

Or Take a Scenic Drive!
Williamstown, Mohawk Trail and Savoy State Forest Loop --- (55 miles)

■ Starting at Williamstown, proceed east on Route 2 into and through North Adams. Natural Bridge State Park is located east of North Adams off Route 2 and 8. This bridge of white marble was created by the waters of Hudson Brook.
■ East of North Adams, Route 2 is also named the Mohawk Trail, used by Native Americans of the Five Nations to pass between the Connecticut and Hudson valleys. At the Hairpin Turn, the trail rises sharply to the Western Summit. There is an observation point to view the mountains of southern Vermont and northwestern Massachusetts.
■ Continuing on Route 2 / Mohawk Trail, the next stop is Whitcomb Summit, the top of the trail, with an elevation of 2,173 feet.
■ Further along, the trail crosses a bridge and turns sharply to the left. Another road leads to the right. Here the visitor has a choice of three routes:
■ The first is to continue along the Mohawk Trail to Charlemont, Shelburne Falls, and Greenfield.
■ The second is to retrace the route back to North Adams.
■ The third is to turn into Savoy Mountain State Forest for a visit to Tannery Falls. To reach the falls, pass through Drury on Route 2, then turn right on Black Brook Road, right on Adams Road, and left on Bannis Road into Savoy Center.
■ From Savoy Center, proceed west on Route 116 to Adams. Pass throughAdams and head northbound on Route 8 to North Adams.
■ Also, East Road, which runs parallel to Route 8, gives a commanding view of Greylock Mountain, towering over Adams, a charming Victorian town with an elegantly restored Main Street.
■ Turn west on Route 2 when leaving North Adams and return to Williamstown

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A little history of the inn and Williamstown, MA

About the 1896 House Inn

The 1896 House was built in 1896 as a milking barn, complete with bull pen, and was turned into a famous restaurant in 1939 and enjoyed an unparalleled reputation for excellence for approximately 40 years. The draw was so great that a lodging facility was built in 1951 to accommodate the patrons. Soon additional guest rooms were added.

Sometime in the 1970's, the lodging portion and restaurant were sold separately and began operating separately.

In 1985, ownership of the 16 guest rooms was transferred to Sue Morelle & Denise Richer from Rhode Island. They began what was to be a 17 year acquisition and renovation period. Upon completion of the original lodging structure, “Brookside”, a second lodging facility across the street became part of the “1896” family and was completely transformed and named “Pondside”. 

In 1995, The 1986 House Barn housing a restaurant was purchased and underwent a total structural and cosmetic rebirth, thereby remarrying the original properties and creating a complex of three buildings on 17 acres with brooks, ponds, and gardens. One actually passes through the 1896 House property when traveling to Williamstown via Route 7, the scenic corridor to it’s south.

In 2000, six new luxury “Barnside Suites” were constructed in the former banquet hall where Williamstown Theatre Festival held its famous Cabaret.  It is here in 1987 that Christopher Reeve first lay eyes on Dana Morosini and fell in love! They entertained in this beautiful space for a couple of seasons!  The Suites are grand, gracious, and as romantic as found anywhere. A full candlelight breakfast is included.

In 2005, the previous restaurant was re-claimed by the owners of The 1896 House and transformed into an unusual, upscale and now very popular Pub. Because the locals have always referred to the 1896 House Barn as either "The "6 House" or "The '96 House", the new Pub was dubbed "The '6 House Pub".

About Williamstown, MA

Originally called West Hoosac, the area was first settled in 1749. Fort West Hoosac, a blockhouse and stockade, was built in 1756. The town was incorporated in 1765 as Williamstown after Ephraim Williams, who was killed in the French and Indian War. He bequeathed a significant sum to the town on the condition that it were named after him and started a free school. In 1791, the school opened, becoming Williams College in 1793. A college town, it is home to Williams College, the Clark Art Institute and the Tony-awarded Williamstown Theatre Festival, which runs every July and August.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Check out the Wonderful Blog Post from a Guest!

The Wonderful Williamstown 1896 House Inn and Country Lodgings
From Linda, who writes the Distracted Wandered Blog. 

A couple of weeks ago, my oldest daughter Amanda and I took a mini-break to head up to Vermont so that I could take pictures of covered bridges and she could visit her friend Darci who is attending Bennington College in Southern Vermont. I thought it would also be the ideal time to find someplace nice to stay in the Berkshires so after a little bit of searching on the Internet, I found The 1896 House Inn and Country Lodgings in Williamstown, a small town tucked away in the northwest corner of Massachusetts.

Read the rest of the blog and check out her terrific photos at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Critic's tour of treasures meanders in the hills

A recent article from the Boston Globe Travel section highlighting the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, (only minutes away from the 1896 House Inn)

Critic's tour of treasures meanders in the hills

From Williamstown to Stockbridge, museums display art for every taste

all it the Mohawk art trail.
Every two or three months, as part of my job as the Globe’s art critic, I drive out Route 2 headed for North Adams and Williamstown, two towns that, although just five minutes apart, couldn’t be more different in character but share a role as cornerstones in a part of the state rich with cultural treasures.
My destination in the former industrial center of North Adams is the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which occupies a campus that used to be Sprague Electric Co. headquarters, and before that, the Arnold Print Works factory, one of the world’s leading producers of printed textiles.
When Sprague closed its North Adams operation in 1985, the local economy had the stuffing knocked out of it. Art - and a museum director called Thomas Krens - came to the rescue.
Krens, as many people know, later became an aggressively expansionist director of the Guggenheim Museum, where he was responsible, among other things, for reviving the languishing Spanish industrial town of Bilbao with a spectacular, Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim outpost. Back in the 1980s, he was still director of the Williams College Museum of Art.
Seeing North Adams’s plight, and hunting around for a flexible space suited to the showing of large scale contemporary art, he backed a town proposal to convert the old Sprague campus on Marshall Street into what is now Mass MoCA, which has since become one of the most dynamic contemporary art museums in the country.
Read the rest of the article at  ( free access with registration)