Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday in the Berkshires

Photo courtesy of earl53

It is currently 15 degrees here in Williamstown and the snow continues to fall! For all of you skiers and snowboarders out there, this is THE PERFECT snow for hitting the slopes. I visited Jiminy Peak in Hancock, MA yesterday and their slopes are beautiful already and with lots of skiers enjoying the snow. For more information regarding Jiminy Peak trails and the snow accumulation there, you can visit their snow report site at I also still have discounted Jiminy tickets available at The 1896 House Inn so start planning your winter vacations with me!

Aside from the skiing, there are lots of other events taking place in the surrounding areas for those of you staying with us for the Holidays. There are always plenty of things to do for visitors of all ages and of all interests here in the Berkshires and I know all about all of them! So feel free to ask me at check-in! Here is a calendar of some of the events that caught my eye that I thought many of our guests would enjoy during their visit.

Daily until December 29, 2013

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Shakespeare and Company of Lenox, MA presents: It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, inspired by Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film starring Donna Reed and James Stewart, is filled with just the right hint of nostalgia, charm and straight-from-the-heart moments. In true old-fashioned radio style, Ware brings audiences this poignant, funny and unique play-within-a-play that will leave you believing in angels!

Weekly on Sun, Fri, Sat until December 29, 2013
A Christmas Carol
Berkshire Theatre Group of Pittsfield, MA presents, A Christmas Carol! Revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is reformed and shown the error of his ways by four spirits. Journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with terrific turns and infused with holiday music.

December 21

Winter Solstice Celebration
Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center of Windsor, MA presents their Winter Solstice Celebration with Gaia Roots world music in Brattleboro Vermont Saturday December 21st at the Stone Church 210 Main St – celebrate the winter solstice with ceremony and song, Gaia Roots will perform traditional West African & Caribbean drumming music and original pieces starting at 10pm. 

Starts December 23 daily until December 28, 2013

School Vacation Week Workshop: Picture Books!
Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA with the kids for their winter vacation week workshop! Invent your own storylines, characters, plots, and settings inspired by the picture book art on display.

December 26 through the 31st

December Break for Art
MASS MoCA of North Adams, MA presents, “One-Minute Art-Making Festival” (December 26th and 27th) where the kiddos can make 15 art projects for 60 seconds each. Close out the year with their “Rockin’ Art Countdown” (December 30th and 31st), an art-making countdown of the top 10 hits from over 14 years of Kidspace art projects.

Whether you will be here at The 1896 House with us for the holidays, or at home with family friends, we wish you all a very happy, healthy and safe holiday! If you are traveling to Williamstown, MA this week we encourage you to travel safely and plan ahead as our winter weather tends to hinder travel plans! As always, we’re looking forward to seeing our guests and sharing the holidays with you J

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In Preparation for the Holidays

Photo courtesy of earl53

I assume many of you are busily preparing for the upcoming holiday as it is quickly approaching. Much like everybody else, the locals of the Berkshires are scurrying to shopping malls, Christmas tree farms and grocery stores checking off their holiday “to-do” lists. The holiday has snuck up on a lot of us, the gift wrap aisles look like they’ve endured a hurricane of their own and Christmas trees on car roofs whip by at record speeds this week. This afternoon however, has slowed down quite a bit as Mother Nature started sprinkling fluffy snowflakes over our valley. A steady fall left a white blanket over Berkshire County and everybody who got their snow tires early this season, got to put them to good use today. For those of you thinking you’re not visiting until later this week and you might have missed the snow, do not fret! We’re expecting one of our famous Nor’easter storms this weekend! Forget the cute Christmas sweaters I mentioned last week, you’re going to need shovels, snow plows, and don’t forget those ice-scrapers and brushes for the cars because we could be receiving anywhere from six to eighteen inches of snow this Saturday into Sunday! It will be very cold and very white, so to all of our visitors, brace yourselves!

Snow or no snow there are always lots of things to do for all ages here. This week we have everything from Holiday farmers’ markets to Shakespeare plays to pajama and pillow parties! I’m sure there will be something offered to ensure you will not have a boring trip! “But, Blair, what if there’s TOO much snow? What will we be able to do?” there, there my little motel visitors, there’s no such thing as too much snow! In such cases, ask me about local ski resorts and discounted tickets! Ask about local sleigh rides when you arrive or fantastic hills to take the kids sledding. I’m a fun-in-the-snow professional!

December 12

National Theatre Live: The Habit of Art
The Clark Art in Williamstown, MA presents, Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W.H. Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first in twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station. Alan Bennett’s play reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately, on the habit of art.
The Outlet at Pine Cone Hill Pajama & Pillow Party!
Pine Cone Hill Outlet in Pittsfield, MA! Take an extra 20% off decorative pillows, sleepwear, and loungewear, including their fabulous Sheepy Fleece robes. Enjoy popcorn, movies, wine, maybe even a pillow fight. Wear your pajamas—they will be too!

December 13

Julius Caesar

On the 13th and 14th Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA presents, Julius Caesar! The visceral meets the intellectual in the psychological drama. Follow the conspiracy against the Roman dictator and the aftermath of his assassination. Featuring, The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company, an audition-only three month intensive training program for professional artists to master their craft.

December 14

A Christmas Carol
Starting December 14th and continuing weekly on Sunday, Friday and Saturday until December 29th , Berkshire Theatre Group in Pittsfield, MA presents, A Christmas Carol. Revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is reformed and shown the error of his ways by four spirits. Journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with terrific turns and infused with holiday music.

Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market
Berkshire Grown of Great Barrington, MA will be holding a Holiday Farmers’ Market on the 14th and the 15th. Featuring locally grown and produced foods, including fruits and vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, poultry, bread, pies, pickles, jams, and more, Also, enjoy live music and children’s activities. Saturday: Monument Valley Middle School, 313 Monument Valley Road, Great Barrington. Sunday: Williams College Towne Field House, 82 Latham Street, Williamstown.

December 15

Christmas at Trinity

Cantilena Chamber Choir of Lenox, MA will be presenting Christmas at Trinity.The performance by the Cantilena Chamber Choir at Trinity Church 88 Walker St., Lenox, will feature the Quartre motets pour le temps de Noel by Francis Poulenc and music for Christmas by Russian masters Rachmaninov and Titov. In continuation of Benjamin Britten’s 100th Birthday celebration, the choir will perform Hymn to the Virgin and his rarely heard Chorale on an Old French Carol. Also on the program are favorite John Rutter settings of French carols including Noel Nouvolet and Il est Ne le Divine infant. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Photo courtesy of imagefactory

With the weather getting colder every day here in Williamstown, the holiday d├ęcor begins to make an appearance all through town. Lights are being hung, chimneys are puffing out smoke, cookies are being baked and Christmas lists are being made J This might be my favorite time of year, holiday music plays on the radio on my way to work and holiday movies are playing when I wind down and snuggle up each evening. Hot cocoa is a staple that I keep in my home all winter long and we begin clearing space for a Christmas tree! But I’m not the only one getting excited for the holidays; the Berkshires are in full Holiday swing too! There will be lots of ways to celebrate the holidays here whether it be a family event you’re trying to plan, Christmas Tree lightings or holiday concerts that Williams College will be putting on, come celebrate with us!

Celebrate the Holidays at The Mount!
The Mount in Lenox, MA is open on three consecutive Saturdays this holiday season until December 14th. They will be debuting their new Backstairs tour – learn about the daily routines and the men and women who ran The Mount! The gift shop will be open for holiday shopping from 11am – 3pm with Backstairs Tours at 12pm & 2pm.
 “Backstairs” tours will be given at 12:00pm and 2pm.

Williams College Music for December
Beginning on the 1st and continuing daily until December 31st, Williams College will be putting on numerous concerts for the holiday season!
Williams College Department of Music calendar for December:
December 4th MIDWEEKMUSIC at Chapin Hall, stage, 12:15PM
December 4th Violin Studio Recital at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 4pm
December 4th Small Jazz Ensembles at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 7pm
December 5th Senior Viola Recital with Lysander Jaffe ’14 at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 7pm
December 6th  Piano Studio Recital at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall , 4pm
December 6th  Williams College Wind Ensemble at Chapin Hall, 8pm
December 7th Voice Studio Recital at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 1pm
December 7th  A Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Thompson Memorial Chapel, 4pm
December 7th  Williams Student Symphony at Chapin Hall, 8pm
December 8th  A Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Thompson Memorial Chapel, 4pml
December 9th  Senior Piano Recital with Kirk Swanson ’14 at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 4pm
December 9th  Cello Studio Recital and Voice Studio Recital at Chapin Hall. 6pm
December 9th  MIDWEEKMUSIC Tuesday at Chapin Hall, stage, 12:15pm
December 10th Clarinet Choir with students of Susan Martula at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 4pm
December 10th Jazz Guitar Studio Recital  at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 7pm
December 10th  Chamber Music Studio Recital at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 8pm

North Adams Tree Lighting Celebration
Join hundreds of festive faces on December 4th as North Adams, MA gears up for the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Hometown Holidays kick-off event! A crowd will gather around the tree at Monument Square on Main Street (between the First Congregational and First Baptist Churches), and count down the seconds until the switch is thrown and thousands of twinkling lights adorn the downtown. Santa will stop in for a visit with free goodie bags for the little ones. Holiday music will be provided by the Drury Band. 5pm – 7pm.

Lenox Christmas Tree Lighting
The Traditional Lenox Town Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on December 6th at 6pm at Lilac Park. Visits with Santa and Holiday Goodies will be at the Lenox Community Center directly following the Ceremony at Lilac park.

Holiday Concert with Solas
On December 6th, the eve of Williamstown’s popular Holiday Walk weekend, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute of Williamstown, MA welcomes Irish-American band Solas for a holiday concert. The event takes place in the Clark’s auditorium at 8 pm. Tickets are $35 ($30 members). Call 413.458.0524. Order early as holiday concerts almost always sell out.

Festival of Trees Family Day and Children’s Holiday Shopping Boutique
Admission is only $3 for everyone (even Santa). Bring the entire family to Bennington, VT to the Bennington Museum on December 7th for a special day of celebration. Children (under 18) who bring a personal care item for adults or children that will be donated to a local food pantry come in free. For the children ages 4 to 12, the Children’s Shopping Boutique offers unusual gifts for all people on their gift list. Prices range from $1 to $7 and include gift-wrapping. While at the museum, do not forget to visit with Santa! Be sure to view the “Children’s Forest,” a display featuring tabletop trees decorated by area elementary school classes.

Williamstown Holiday Walk
Join in the festivities on December 7th at the 30th Annual Williamstown Holiday walk livening Spring Street with the festive Reindog Parade, musical performances, Penny Social, Christmas Tree Showcase, Santa Claus, holiday cookie bake – off, tree lighting and much much more. 3pm – 6pm.

Pack your Christmas sweaters and we’ll be sure to make the cocoa and come visit us at The 1896 House for the Holidays! Rooms are filling up quickly this season so be sure to act fast and book your rooms with me while there are still some left! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving in the Berkshires!

Photo courtesy of mensatic

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to you all! I hope everybody has fun plans with the family for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. If you don’t have anything planned, there is SO many fun and festive things to do here in the Berkshires to ensure you thoroughly enjoy your Thanksgiving visit!

Take the family to North Adams, MA for the annual Tree Lighting Celebration, shop ‘til you drop at the Lee Outlets in Lee, MA or enjoy a tasty feast like our ancestors did at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield. MA. Whatever it may be, we’ve got it going on here this week!

November 27th
Tonight! Join hundreds of festive faces as North Adams, MA gears up for the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and Hometown Holidays kick-off event! A crowd will gather around the tree at Monument Square on Main Street (between the First Congregational and First Baptist Churches), and count down the seconds until the switch is thrown and thousands of twinkling lights adorn the downtown. Santa will stop in for a visit with free goodie bags for the little ones. Holiday music will be provided by the Drury High School Band.

November 29th (until December 1st)
“Midnight Madness After Thanksgiving Sale”. Attention all you avid holiday shoppers! Don’t miss the biggest sale of the year! Enjoy exceptional holiday savings and extended shopping hours at Lee Premium Outlets in Lee, MA. Plan Ahead! 

“Thanksgiving Trunk Show” at Good Purpose Gallery & Spectrum Playhouse in Lee, MA, with custom handmade shoes and handbags. Molly Grant of Deerfield, New Hampshire carries on the Cordwainer tradition of custom handmade footwear that also includes her own line of handbags. Traveling the country to fine juried craft shows, creating shoes and teaching shoemaking workshops is Molly’s passion.

November 30th
“2nd Annual Holiday Arts Festival” Tis the season of giving! Happy Holidays from 413 Glassworks! Shop local this holiday season for one-of-a-kind gifts ranging from jewelry, ceramic, fabric, wood, glass and more all at 413 Glassworks in Cheshire, MA! Totally 100% handmade holiday shopping in one place. Our artists will provide you with wonderful gifts for everyone on your shopping list including yourself! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Happened to Fall Ya’ll?

Photo courtesy of missyredboots

I am definitely NOT in Florida anymore, Toto! We woke up to snow AGAIN this morning! Okay, so it might not officially be winter, but it certainly feels like it here in Williamstown, MA. We won’t be seeing anything over 50 degrees all week! There was probably a little humor in last week’s blog about snow gear, but this weekend, I’m not kidding, there will be a chance of snow every day. So the joke might just be on you if you forget to pack warm clothes for your visit to Williamstown this week! J

Never the less, there’s always plenty of things going on in the area for you to stay both toasty and entertained during your visit. Many musical events will be taking place in the Berkshires this week that will be appropriate for all visitors including performances at the ’62 Center in Williamstown and various places in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, MA. There are also numerous art events happening and various family activities to enjoy in the surrounding areas as well. So plan and book with me at the 1896 House this week!

Arts and Activities
The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA will be presenting, “Festival of Trees: Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow” on Saturday the 23rd. Travel through time at the Berkshire Museum during Festival of Trees 2013: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow and celebrate the Museum’s 110th anniversary! Dazzling decorated trees will take visitors to the nostalgia of years past, the excitement of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, and the endless possibilities for the future.

Create your very own fused glass at 413 Glassworks in Cheshire, MA! Choose from a variety of projects: ornament, pendant, sun catcher, coaster, and more. Sessions are 1 hour long. Ages 4+, all skill levels and groups are welcome.

The Norman Rockwell Museum will be hosting, “Family Day: Trains!” in Stockbridge, MA on Saturday, the 23rd! Celebrate trains and the wonders of rail travel during this afternoon inspired by the Museum’s current exhibition, Wendell Minor’s America. Artist Wendell Minor will join to sign copies of such train-inspired books and the day will also include readings from Larry Lowenthal, author of “Titanic Railroad,” as well as stories about our national rail system from historians Jack Trowill, Curator of the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, and Alden Dreyer of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society. Also coming along for the ride is author/musician Gordon Titcomb, who will sing songs about the railway.

Three Dog Night will be performing in Pittsfield, MA at the Berkshire Theatre Group at 8pm on Thursday evening. This iconic band’s hits wind through the fabric of pop culture today, whether on the radio where they are heard day in and day out, in TV commercials or in major motion picture. songs like “Mama Told Me (Not To Come),” “Joy to the World,” “Black and White,” “Shambala,” and “One” serve to heighten our emotions and crystallize Three Dog Night’s continuing popularity.

Live Music at the Thornewood Inn will be starting on Thursday and continuing weekly, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until January 1st. Come enjoy great food in a beautiful atmosphere with Richard Dagenais on piano and David Thorne on vocals every Friday and Saturday evening in Great Barrington, MA at the Thornewood Inn & Restaurant.

And some fun for the kids, “Milkshake” will be performing at MASS MoCA on Saturday the 23rd. Grammy-nominated Milkshake is on a mission to create great rock music for kids. Led by singer Lisa Mathews and guitarist Mikel Gehl, they’ve popped up everywhere from PBS KIDS to Nick Jr. to the Emmy Award-winning cartoon ToddWorld, winning fans with their catchy, kid-friendly songs and electrifying live show.

Williams College Music for November
Williams CollegeDepartment of Music will be beginning the conclusion to their “Music for November” event this week, with a week’s worth of fantastic performances of great music. All performances will be held on campus at Williams College in Williamstown, MA.  Which by the way, is just a 4 minute trip from The 1896 House!
November 22nd- Berkshire Symphony at Chapin Hall, 8pm. 7:15pm Pre-Concert Talk with conductor Ronald Feldman at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall
November 22nd- Zambezi and Kusika in Dance Department All Company Concerts at ’62 Center, 8pm
November 23rd- Williams Gospel Choir at Chapin Hall, 7pm
November 23rd- Zambezi and Kusika in Dance Department All Company Concerts at ’62 Center, 8pm
November 24th- Williams Jazz Sextet at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 2pm

We look forward to seeing you all this week and perhaps enjoying a frosty week in the Berkshires with you!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Greetings from Florida

Photo courtesy of Annika

Williamstown has officially seen snow this week! Winter has arrived and it’s getting cold! So I’ve heard anyways, I’m currently sitting in the 80-degree weather of Florida J avoiding winter as long as I can.

For those of you who are planning your trips to the Berkshires this week, here’s what’s going on and what you can expect.

Weather wise, it is currently 30 degrees in Williamstown and will be fluctuating all week, but probably won’t be any warmer than 50 degrees, so be sure to pack accordingly, gloves, hats, winter coats, (snow suits and parkas, ha, ha!) are all acceptable this week. But probably a little too soon for skis and snowboards, maybe next week! ;)

Some events going on this week (there’s A LOT!) include:

Enjoy a display of art in indoor galleries, retail and hospitality businesses along North Street and South Street corridor. This is an ongoing event that will continue until December 27th so there are lots of opportunities for you and your family to enjoy arts and activities in downtown Pittsfield, MA.

Enjoy great food in a beautiful atmosphere of the Thornewood Inn and Restaurant in Great Barrington, MA. Enjoy Richard Dagenais on the piano and David Thorne on vocals every Friday and Saturday evening until January 1st. Also until January 1st, every first Thursday of the month you can see Wanda Houston and friends with some swingin’ jazz over a delightful dinner.

November 13th- MIDWEEKMUSIC at Chapin Hall, stage. 12:15pm

November 13th- Visiting Artists Momenta Quartet at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 8pm

November 15th- Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs at Thompson Memorial Chapel, 8pm

November 16th- Williams Vocal Jazz Ensemble at Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 4pm

November 16th- Williams Percussion Ensemble (WiPE) at Chapin Hall, 8pm
All at Williams College in Williamstown, MA and only about a 5 minute drive from The 1896 House!

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the National Theatre presents an exciting evening of live theatre, directed by Nicolas Hytner on November 14th. The celebration includes rare glimpses from the archive, featuring many of the original actors who have performed on the National’s stages over the past five decades! This all takes place at The Clark in Williamstown, MA.

It’s a busy week here in the Berkshires with all sorts of fun events for you and the family to enjoy while you’re here! Book your rooms with us here at The 1896 House for some early fun in the snow! Pack accordingly and maybe bring a sled or two J

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It’s All Purple and Gold in Williamstown!

Williams’ Homecoming weekend is upon us! Are you planning your homecoming weekend with your Eph in Williamstown this week? Well here’s what Williams College and the surrounding areas have to offer while you’re here!

Looking for a fun Friday evening?

“Standards, Show Tunes and Surprises” is happening Friday night, November 8th in the Tavern at the Williams Inn. Howie Levitz, TGL Tunes, plays the piano every Friday night! Come dance and enjoy great music!

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Gordon Lightfoot at The Colonial Theatre on November 8th. Gordon Lightfoot has recorded 20 albums and received five GRAMMY nominations. His songs have been aired regularly and his radio hits in the USA have earned five #1s, five Top 10s and thirteen Top 40 hits. This is guaranteed to be a great concert!

At Williams: There will be the Homecoming Chili Fest on November 9th. Join the Williams community for chili and Eph camaraderie under their hospitality tent at Weston Field.
While you’re here, be sure to visit the Homecoming Spirit tent next to Hospitality Tent for purple projects, face painting, pictures with the Purple Cow and Williams spirit treats and goodies!

Then of course, grab your chili and find a spot in the stands to cheer on the Williams Football team as they take on Amherst at 12pm! Go Ephs!

For the Clark Art fans out there, The Clark will be hosting Live in HD: Tosca on November, 9th. Tosca, the famed opera that includes some of Giacomo Puccini’s most beloved melodies, will be airing live at the institute from the Metropolitan Opera.

Be sure to bring the whole family for all the fun and pack your best purple and gold outfits for game day and the weekend activities! Book your rooms while there are still rooms left and come stay with us at the 1896 House! We can’t wait to see you!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Haunts and Hoots Happening through Halloween

Photo courtesy of matthew_hull

Spending your spooky weekend with us in the Berkshires? There are many creepy-crawly things to do on the spookiest day of the year!

Spend your Halloween day on a haunted trolley ride for the Downstreet Art Thursday celebration in North Adams. Ride to all the galleries, Re-Wilderment exhibition opening and much more. Come evening, Downstreet Art Thursday presents, Ryder Cooley and friends in a creepy concert, calling out spirits!

Perhaps later, you may want to attend the reading of Edith Wharton’s “Kerfol” at her very own pet cemetery at The Mount. “Kerfol” is one of Edith Wharton’s most perplexing ghost stories. The Mount will open at 6 pm for light refreshments and the reading by Ariel Block and Dennis Krausnick, will begin at 6:30.

If you aren’t too scared after the reading, enjoy a 90 minute Ghost tour at 8:30 pm or a Witching Hour ghost tour at 10:30 pm, costumes are encouraged! So come creepy and enjoy a ghoul-ish Halloween at The Mount!

For those of you who aren’t arriving until Friday, the Great Barrington Historical Society is holding a Haunted Hayride Friday evening at 6:30 pm.

So pack your costumes, load up the brooms and come get spooky in the Berkshire and slumber at the 1896 House this creepy weekend!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Things to do this Weekend and More!

Image courtesy of smallwon

It has been an exciting weekend in Williamstown, Williams College football team achieved their first 49-35 win of the season  on Saturday against Tufts! Congratulations and way to go Ephs! For those of you coming into town for the parents’ weekend, Williams’ next game will be home this weekend, Saturday the 26th against Hamilton at 1:00pm at Weston field. Book your rooms with me, family and friends, while there are still rooms left and don’t forget to pack your purple attire!

Meanwhile, on Spring Street, the Williamstown Farmers’ Market had a great turn out. Many fall season items were offered including, pumpkins, handmade clothing, vegetables, and baked goods from local farms and vendors. Many families and football game attendees enjoyed the fall activities and goodies the market had to offer, as well as the beautiful fall weather! I enjoyed sipping cider and munching on baked goods myself while watching the Ephs’ game. The Williamstown Farmers’ Market will be held again this Saturday the 26th at the bottom of Spring Street in Williamstown, MA.

Looking ahead at events to attend this weekend, the Grand Gala & Auction will be held on Saturday, October 26th from 6:00pm to 11:00pm at the Bennington Center for the Natural and Cultural Arts in Bennington, VT. Let’s get fancy! Dress up for this Black Tie Affair and enjoy cocktails, food, music, silent auction on school catamounts and the live auction for 35 designer catamounts on display.

Well, the weather is starting to become quite brisk out here and before we know it we’ll be seeing snow! Hurry now and book your stay with me at the 1896 House and enjoy some last minute fall activities and events and enjoy the remaining foliage in the Berkshires!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

We have a new blogger!

We would like to introduce you to Blair, our new front desk assistant and blogger.  She is local to Williamstown, so is familiar with the community, byways, backroads &  little known points of interest in the Berkshires.  We hope you enjoy her suggestions and commentaries.
~Denise & Sue
Photo courtesy of hotblack

It’s Fall ya’ll! And might you be wondering what there is to do while you’re visiting the Berkshires?
While lots of visitors are down about the Clark being closed due to some expansion projects this season, there  is still PLENTY to do during your visit in the Berkshires! While the Clark’s traditional gallery spaces are closed, there is a selection of works from their permanent collection on view in their Stone Hill Center galleries and their library remains open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Maybe you’re not so interested in the Clark while they’re under construction but you’re still looking for something to do with the family? What better way to get into the fall spirit and embrace all its spookiness by attending one of Jiminy Peak’s 13 Nights at Jiminy, The Plantation of Jericho, in Hancock, MA! As Fall settles in the valley, ghosts of the mountain’s haunted past rise again! This haunted mountain promises to reach new heights of terror and fall fun from Sept. 28th through Oct. 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 25, 26, 29, 30, and 31st.

Perhaps you have little ones who aren’t particularly interested in being scared out of their skin quite yet? Or maybe even some of your adult friends aren’t keen on the idea of dressed up goblins and creatures jumping out at them in the dark woods. Then a broad daylight visit to Whitney’s Farm Market in Cheshire, MA is the adventure for you! Join them for their annual Pumpkin Fest with u-pick pumpkins, corn maze, hay rides, face painting, petting zoo, scavenger hunts and more. This is a perfect fall weekend adventure from Sept. 13th through Oct. 31st.

These are just some of the exciting fall activities going on in the area this season. So plan your weekends and book your rooms with me at the 1896 House and come spend fall with us in the Berkshires!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival!

(The video is last years, but gives a good overview of the different types of events)

Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival runs from February 14–24 for the second year in a row. Featuring theatre, art shows, parties and more! Pittsfield is less then 30 minutes from the 1896 Inn,

Last year the festival attracted over 3,000 people to Pittsfield to enjoy more then 4o performances and events.

This year, the 2013 festival will also include a family component, participants include Berkshire Museum, Bisque, Beads & Beyond, Hancock Shaker Village and Miss Hall’s School.

All festival events and exhibits will take place in downtown Pittsfield’s Cultural District, the first state-designated cultural district west of Boston. The Upstreet Cultural District stretches from The Colonial Theatre on South Street to Barrington Stage’s Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in the North, and from First Street to Center Street.

Find it on Facebook
Or check out it’s official page at for the official schedule. Check out as well.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Knitting up a Storm

Photo courtesy of Seemann

What better time to get away from it all for a weekend or a midweek trip with some of your knitting  and quilting buddies, there are some great local shops and a few a few minutes further away that provide a wonderful selection of yarns, quilting supplies, gifts and large variety of classes. Bring your materials back to the inn and pub and enjoy a glass of wine in front of fire and knit up a storm.

Sweet Brook Farm (4 minutes from the 1896 House Inn)
580 Oblong Road, Williamstown, MA
10am - 6pm, seven days a week
For fiber enthusiasts, they have an extensive collection of yarn, both from their alpacas and other U.S. alpaca breeders and from designers such as Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding. Roving from their alpacas is available for spinners as well.

A Stitch In Time (20 minutes from the 1896 House Inn)
Rte 8 45 Commercial St, Adams, MA 01220
Monday - Saturday: 8:00am to 5:00pm
A Stitch In Time has been offering its quilting and knitting lessons and materials to the Adams, MA community since 1995. They specialize in helping you make the best quilted items and gifts for your friends and loved ones. A Stitch In Time Offers: Materials,
Learning Resources and Gifts.

Colorful Stitches (35 minutes from the 1896 House Inn)
48 Main St # 2, Lenox, MA 01240
They offer the finest natural fiber and novelty yarns for the hand knitter and crocheter from Rowan, Rowan Classic, Jaeger, Colinette, Debbie Bliss, Noro, Jo Sharp, Berroco, Koigu, Classic Elite, Manos, Gedifra, Filatura di Crosa, S Charles, Tahki, Prism, Mountain Colors, Muench, Artyarns, Alchemy, Karabella, Lana Grossa, Misti International Alpaca, Blue Sky Alpacas, The Fibre Company, Malabrigo, Jacques Cartier/Windy Valley Muskox, Buffalo Gold Premium Fibers, Debby Ware and Hanne Falkenberg

Handknits (45 minutes from the 1896 House Inn)
617 Vermont 100, Wilmington, VT 05363
Fine knitting and crochet supplies.

Metaphor Yarns (50 minutes from the 1896 House Inn)
623 Mohawk Trail, Shelburne, MA 01370
A six-room shop, filled with yarns, patterns, books, needles, a comfy classroom and Knitting Circle lounge

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Neat Place to Check Out!

From their website

The Studio Club Artworks!
OPEN daily except Thurs. 10 AM to 6 PM • 3301 US Rte 7 Pownal VT

Located in the Pownal Valley along Route 7 just 6 miles from Williamstown, MA.

The gallery features the work of over 200 American artists including a handful of Canadians. One section of the gallery features certified Fair Trade handmade crafts from NGOs operating in developing countries throughout the world. To be certified “Fair Trade” the crafter must be paid a middle-class wage in the context of the local economy and no children can be employed.

American handmade crafts, jewelry and photography. Fair Trade from Africa, South America and Asia.  "I love what you've done with the trash" section features trash-to-treasures. Adjacent to commercial photo studio, Vermont's Best Ice Cream and Vermonster Dogs.

3301 Ethan Allen Highway’ or ’3301 US route 7′. Pownal, VT

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Touch of History

Photo courtesy of mzacha

For those visitors to the 1896 House Inn looking for a little history of the area while they are visiting, visit
The Williamstown Historical Museum
1095 Main Street, Williamstown, MA 01267
Monday-Friday, 10 AM – 3 PM and the second Saturday of each month from 10am – 12pm. Appointments can be scheduled at other hours. Please call.
They also offer historical exhibits and public programs.

The Williamstown Historical Museum is less then 5 minutes from the inn.


The North Adams Museum of History and Science
Western Gateway Heritage State Park
North Adams, MA, 01247
November through April: Saturday 10-4, Sunday 1-4
May through October: Thursday through Saturday 10-4, Sunday 1-4   
The North Adams Museum of History and Science is located in a restored historic freight yard with over 25 exhibit areas on its three floors. It also includes hands-on-discovery rooms

The North Adams Museum of History and Science is less then 15 minutes from the inn.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Focus on Brookside

Shyly hidden from the road on park-like grounds, The 1896 House "Brookside" is a wonderful respite for any traveler!  The delightful "mountain cabin" character of your room, lattice footbridges, perennial gardens and rocking chairs along the porch will remind you of days gone by......

You'll appreciate the quality appointments of Cushman rock maple furniture, Waverly-Schumacher designs, and all the upscale amenities that distinguish your accommodations. The wooden walls that emanate that pine aroma is what our guests repeatedly tell us brings them back!  There is a comforting "retro" feeling here, in a place that resists change…a definitive option among the cookie cutter chain properties of today!

Each room is equipped with a coffee maker, coffee, tea, and supplies, hairdryer, iron and ironing board, color cable television, computer compatible telephone with free long distance and local calls, alarm clock and radio alarm, WIFI, and whisper quiet central air conditioning with individual controls. Of course, you have complete control over how "toasty" you'd like to be when the snow flies!

n warmer months, relax with a cocktail by the brook or in our stately gazebo while you plan your itinerary. Have a brookside picnic, or walk to The '6 House Pub for a cool drink on the outdoor terrace.  All of our guests are welcome to enjoy Pondside's spring-fed duck pond, heated outdoor swimming pool, and Brookside's gazebo and patio tables along Hemlock Brook.

Complimentary high speed wireless internet is available indoors and out. Come tarry awhile - you'll never want to leave!


All Rates Include a Full Hot Breakfast Buffet with:
Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
Make Your Own Waffles
A Selection of Juices
Fresh Fruit and Yogurt
A Selection of Hot and Cold Cereals
A Selection of Breads, English Muffins and Bagels for Toasting with Jellies, Jams, Honey, Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese
"To Die For" Raspberry Crumb Cake
Freshly Baked and Glazed Cinnamon Rolls
Milk and Hot Chocolate
Freshly brewed coffee and decaf
A selection of herbal and regular teas