Houses and Gardens

Today, we visited three historic homes (two of which are technically “cottages”). We began the day at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead with a private tour led by our Study Leader, John Dickson. We got to explore the home in some depth; unfortunately, the smoke from the Canadian fires kept us from enjoying Melville’s view of Mt. Greylock, which is supposed to resemble a whale.

Our next stop was Edith Wharton’s cottage, The Mount, where we learned about Edith Wharton’s life, finances, lovers, and more.

After lunch, we explored the gardens and enjoyed some of the seasonal sculptures from this year’s SculptureNow program.

Möbius – Philip Marshall
Windwave Arbor in context
Bouganvilla – Pedro S. de Movellán
Old Warrior – Robin Tost
I Have Been Dreaming to be a Tree – Byeongdoo Moon

Our final stop was Naumkeag, designed by Stanford White and built for the Choate family. We spent most of our time in the garden, though the inside was pretty impressive, too.

We got back to the hotel in time to take a short walk to the site of Alice’s Restaurant.

The weather had been threatening all day, and the promised thunderstorms arrived just as we returned from our walk; we decided to have dinner in the hotel’s tavern!