Merwin House

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Merwin House in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

William and Elizabeth Doane purchased this handsome house in 1875 as their summer retreat. They named it "Tranquility," as it overlooks a peaceful bend in the Housatonic River. During this period, the town of Stockbridge, in the heart of the Berkshires, was becoming a popular summer destination for New Yorkers like the Doanes.

Sitting room of Merwin House in Stockbridge, Massachusetts

In 1900, the Doanes renovated the house substantially, adding a Shingle-style wing that wrapped around the back of the house and included a capacious porch overlooking the river. The Doanes and their daughter, Vipont Merwin, traveled extensively, collecting European and American furnishings and objects to decorate their home.

Open

2013 Schedule
June 1, free admission
September 28
October 26
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tours on the hour. Last tour at 4:00 p.m.

Merwin House is participating in the Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce annual house tour. Visit Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas for ticket and schedule information.

The Merwin House is a Historic New England property.

 


Top photo: Exterior - Historic New England acquired the Merwin House in 1966, shortly after the death of Marie Vipont deRiviere Doane Merwin (known as Vipont). She wanted the c. 1825 house to be preserved as a museum, “as an example of an American culture which is fast becoming extinct.” At the time of construction and for the first half of the nineteenth century, it resembled typical late Federal-style homes with a fanlight over the central doorway and a central hall flanked by four rooms on each floor. William and Elizabeth Doane purchased the house in 1875 as a summer retreat. The Doanes added a Shingle-style addition to the original structure, nearly doubling the size of the home. They also significantly renovated the interior so that the simple Federal-style floor plan was no longer recognizable.

Bottom photo: Sitting room - The sitting room of the Merwin House, significantly smaller than the spacious hall, was likely used for more intimate and less formal entertaining. While the one-room-and-a-half deep floor plan of the sitting room is smaller that the neighboring hall, its layout is significant in that it demonstrates the original c. 1825 floor plan.