The Berkshires: The Mount
Edited & Published by Dina Reis, CEO & editor-in-chief of ReisMag.com
English major and literary nerds flock to Edith Wharton’s The Mount as if it were some sort of shrine. (Note: That is said with love and admiration, as I am one of those nerds.)
It’s a major drawing card for The Berkshires and it’s pretty amazing on two fronts. First, it was the home of Pulitzer prize-winning author Wharton, and though she didn’t live there all that long – just 10 years – she created a home that mirrored all her decorating and entertaining ideas, some which were quite different for her time. Her first published success was not a novel but The Decoration of Houses with Ogden Codman, Jr, architect and interior decorator.For example, in an age when dinner guests sat at long tables with the host and hostess at either end, Wharton thought serving a dinner on a roundtable was much more guest-friendly.
Our tour guide was full of fascinating tidbits on the marriage of Edith and Teddy Wharton (would it be in poor taste to call them the Charles and Diana of their day?) and those gossipy items were eaten up by a full group of visitors.
What is also interesting the story of the restoration of The Mount itself. The house did not stay in the family (The Whartons had no children) and fell into quite a state of disrepair. Plenty of drama around that! Check this out: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/04/28/restoration-drama.
Like many of the historic sites in The Berkshires, each offers special events, reading, performance and specialty tours. Our guide shared that on Sundays he plays a butler for The Mount’s special Backstairs Tour. The Mount is also dedicated to preserving Wharton’s work and in their words “The Mount is a cultural center that celebrates the intellectual, artistic and humanitarian legacy of Edith Wharton.”
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. We got a ride back to the parking lot ina volunteer-driven golf cart.
The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact Nicole Williams at 413-551-5100 or by email, [email protected], to discuss accommodations needed for your visit. Caregivers are admitted free-of-charge.
2 Plunkett St.
Lenox MA 01240-0974
The Mount Drawing Room