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Collections Spotlight!

Learn more about the objects in the Museum & Archives Collections!

Collections Spotlight!

The Thanksgiving of 1965 would change Stockbridge in ways that it   could not imagine. Two young men were on a mission to discard some garbage following a great Thanksgiving meal.

These photographs from our collection show “the scene of the crime.” But things went south when Officer Obie telephoned looking for Arlo.

The whole story made for some interesting lyrics by 1967, and by 1969 Stockbridge was in the movies! Now it is a Berkshire tradition to listen to Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving.

Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection 1989.200.7


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Miss Mabel Choate, daughter of the Hon. Joseph Hodges and Caroline Sterling Choate, loved her gardens at Naumkeag. This photograph, taken in the summer of 1953, shows Miss Choate enjoying a relaxing talk with friends Mr. H.J. Haire, Mrs. Grace Wilcox, and Miss Matilda Brownell.

The new exhibit at the Proctor Gallery highlights Mabel and Caroline Choate and Naumkeag. Please stop by and have a look.

Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection 1994.866


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This past Friday marked the annual observance of Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day. This day was meant to mark the ceasefire agreement that brought a conclusion to World War I.

In October of 1919, nearly a year after World War I ended, the Capt. Allen W. Harrington, Jr. Post # 232 of the American Legion received its original charter. Pictured here, 15 charter members are listed on the document.

Subsequent charters would be issued to the Post through the 1980s.

American Legion Collection 2016.047


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Not long ago, the Berkshire Eagle re-published an article from 1970 under their “Story in History” headline that talked about a bound volume of newspapers printed in Stockbridge called The Political Atlas. Our assistant curator, Joshua Hall, tracked down the original volume, which is shown above.

If you would like to read the article you can find it here.

Stockbridge Imprints Collection 1970.010

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Halloween is a time for spooky things. These photos depict the window paintings done by area children back in the 1950’s. One picture shows the old Glendale Store with its large display windows. The other photograph is of the Meat Market on Main Street.




Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection 1994.538, 1994.604






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The torchlit parade through Ice Glen has been an autumnal Stockbridge tradition for as far back as many a collective memory can serve. This illustration from 1895 in Century Magazine even shows the participants in costume. However, when this illustration was created the march through Ice Glen did not take place in the autumn months, but in fact during the summer months.

Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Art Collection – 47.77
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In August of 1926, it was announced that Mabel Choate had purchased the former home of missionary Reverend John Sergeant for the purpose of turning it into a public museum. The museum was dedicated to the memory of her father, New York City lawyer and former Ambassador to the Court of St. James, Joseph H. Choate.

You may know this museum as Stockbridge’s Mission House located at 19 Main Street.

The Newspaper announcement stated that H.D. Sleeper of Boston would oversee the restoration work and that the building would be moved to Main Street where the Stockbridge Casino was then located. The new location of the Mission House meant that the Stockbridge Casino would also need to be moved. The Casino was moved to the east end of Main Street.

This week’s pictures show the Stockbridge Casino in its location at the corner of Main Street and Casino Street, as well as the only photograph of the Mission House and the Stockbridge Casino in the same site, with the Casino in the process of being moved.


Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Post Card Collection – 1995.158
Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection – 1972.002.25
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Today we are taking a trip back to the food counter at Nejaime’s Market. Pictured are a few prominent faces from Stockbridge including Louis Peyron, Rick Wilcox, and John Cronson. Although some of the names on the buildings of Main Street have changed, luckily the hospitality inside has not.

Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection 2019.100
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The next time you are driving up Route 183 through Interlaken keep this photograph in mind. This picture was taken looking north. At the far end of the picture you see the brick store building. To the right are some mill houses and the original wood pulp mill building as well.

Standing in the road are Marie, Rose, and Antionette Wurtzbach, daughters of Frederick Wurtzbach who came from Germany to run the first wood pulp mill in America, here in Stockbridge.
Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection  1994.783
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Maps are a vital source of information. They help us get where we want to go and can also lead us back in time. Older maps help us to see how roads and properties have evolved over the years.

Sometimes maps include family names from days gone by. This 1855 map of Stockbridge shows the name of one Dr. J(oab) Kellis near Evergreen Hill.

Joab Kellis, M.D., Berkshire county’s first African American physician, was born and raised in Stockbridge and studied medicine under Dr. Erastus Sergeant. He served the communities of both Lee and Stockbridge and was well regarded for his medical, political, historical, and theological knowledge. When he died in 1866 at the age of 63 in abject poverty, he was so well regarded by the townspeople that the town of Stockbridge saw fit to pay for his funeral and eventually his tombstone.

1855 Map of Stockbridge & West Stockbridge 2011.050.10

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Built on the site of Ephriam Williams’ late 1730’s homestead stands the former residence of Rev. Henry Martyn Field. He attended Williams College and graduated in 1838 at the age of 16. A minister and a writer, Henry Field was best known for his books related to his world travels and for being the publisher and editor of The Evangelist for over four decades.

The home of Rev. Henry Field was called Windymere or Windermere, like the town in the English Lake District. This image of the house dates from the 1870’s.
Field Family Collection 2014.099
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Learning more about the community around us is the best way to understand the community we live in. This photograph, from about 1890, is of the James F. Whitehead family who lived in the Glendale section of Stockbridge. Whitehead was a painter by trade and shared this house with his wife Lillian, son James C, sister Eva, and mother Laura.

Stockbridge Library Museum &  Archives Photography Collection – 2017.021.03

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As the summer starts to slow down, children begin to return to school, and the cool of autumn begins to slowly creep in, we see a change in the Main Street of Stockbridge.

This sketch, dated 1829, shows a Main Street of Stockbridge that is both historically unique and yet identifiable still today. Drawn from the corner of Main and Pine Streets, the image looks down towards the library and we can make out one of the early structures of the Red Lion Inn peeking through the trees, as well as Cyrus Williams’s newly built Housatonic Bank with its pillars and the new country store.


Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection 1994.345

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On the morning of August 31, 1896 the Stockbridge House, also known as Plumb Hotel, and today called the Red Lion Inn, burned to the ground. This icon of the Main Street of Stockbridge ceased to exist. Luckily this was not the end of the story. Like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, so too did the Red Lion Inn. Within a year’s time the site was cleared of rubble and a new edifice stood in its place.

Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection 1995.106.8

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For the years 1914 and 1915 author Walter Prichard Eaton, with the help of Jennie Seymour, R.R. Bowker, and Bernhard Hoffmann, published a monthly magazine called Stockbridge. Usually condensed into a dozen or so pages, the Stockbridge magazine was an excellent source of the town’s goings-on, a source of old photographs, and a place to advertise your business. Each edition holds a plethora of tidbits of information about what life was like in Stockbridge over that two year period.

From time to time the publication would have special supplements, like this one, that was part of the June 1, 1915 edition showing a view of Monument Mountain from the Stockbridge Golf Links.
Stockbridge Imprints Collection 2000.118
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In 1929 Joseph Kruger came to Berkshire County to start a camp for young boys, aged 6-16, that was based in educational practices. He leased Yokum Camp from Miss Mary E. Richardson, who had previously run a girls camp, and set out with Barney Koplin to develop his own camp. In 1934 a corporation known as Camp Mac-Kee-Nac was formed, land along the Stockbridge Bowl was purchased, and Mr. Kruger moved his camp from Richmond to Stockbridge creating Camp Mah-Kee-Nac.

Stockbridge Library Photography Collection 2014.011

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In 1841 Edward Hitchcock published Final Report on the Geology of Massachusetts. His book included illustrations drawn by a variety of local artists and included this image of “Stockbridge Pond,” which is our Stockbridge Bowl.

Hitchcock wrote “a view of Stockbridge Pond, in the north part of the town, with the surrounding scenery; and will give you a good idea of this kind of landscape in Berkshire [County].”
Stockbridge Library Art Collection 67.007
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There are many hidden pieces of history that one can find throughout Stockbridge. This photograph from 1938 shows an old mill dam that was situated at the stream behind St. Helen’s Home. You can see the old store and post office in the background.

David Milton Jones Photography Collection 2000.026

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The Star Drum Corps, composed primarily of gentlemen from the Glendale section of Stockbridge, was created around 1903 and was in existence for over a decade. Drum corps were very popular in the later part of the 19th century and into the early decades of the 20th century, and Stockbridge had two!

The drum corps of Berkshire County would perform in parades, give concerts, and on occasion would also have competitions. The Museum & Archives is very fortunate to have a few items in it’s collection that give us a glimpse into this bygone time, including this photograph from about 1905, a Star Drum Corps jacket, and the Star Drum Corps drum itself.
Stockbridge Library Photography Collection 2018.158
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Libraries are a magical place, and this photograph from the 1980’s reflects the mystery, enjoyment, learning, and diversity of our little library.

This photograph, along with many others related to various Stockbridge events, recently became part of the Stockbridge Library Photography Collection thanks to a generous anonymous donor.
Stockbridge Library Photography Collection 1994.
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Two weeks ago photographs from 1934’s Berkshire Symphonic Festival were shown giving you a sense of how Tanglewood started. This week we have a photograph from the opening of the 1938 season.

This shows the newly completed Shed and the ticket booth known as the “Roundhouse.”

David Milton Jones Photography Collection 2000.023
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What better place to cool down, on a hot summer’s day, than the Stockbridge Town Beach?
David Milton Jones Photography Collection 2000.026.

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In 1934 a small group of summer residents conceived the idea of having a summer venue in the Berkshires to hear classical music. That idea coalesced into the Berkshire Symphonic Festival which was held on the giant horse track at Bonnie Brier, the estate of Dan Hanna in Interlaken. This from 1934 shows the earliest phase of what would become Stockbridge’s beloved Tanglewood.

David Milton Jones Photography Collection 2000.026

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In 1916 the layout of Main Street shifted ever so slightly, in the vicinity of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The Seymour block, later referred to as the Benjamin Block, made a shift east while the house that is today the St. Paul parsonage shifted west.

Stockbridge has had a long history of moving buildings around to accommodate new, with a couple of sad exceptions like the Jonathan Edwards house and Laurel Cottage.
Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection 1994.692
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As you meander along Route 183 north through Interlaken towards Tanglewood and Lenox, you may notice on the right hand side of the road, near the keystone arched bridge, an area where there was once a pipe.  The large pipe pictured in this photograph from the turn of the last century, was one that fed water from upstream at the Stockbridge Bowl into the old Baker mill. Otis and Benjamin Baker tried their hands at textiles, wood pulp and as a foundry, but the mill was abandoned in 1893 and eventually torn down in 1927. Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Photography Collection 1994.823.9

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Although the Red Lion Inn or Michael’s might be the place to go today if you are looking for libation and entertainment, in 1788 you would want to go to Gideon Smith’s inn and tavern. This sign advertising Smith’s tavern is all that remains today.

Located where Wheatleigh now stands, Gideon Smith’s tavern was a gathering spot for many in the northern area of Stockbridge. It was here that Smith’s Torrie sympathies may have gotten him in some trouble in the early days of the American Revolution, but that’s a story unto itself!
Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives Collection 42.016
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This image of the town’s Civil War monument was taken in 1866 just following its dedication. It was one of the first Civil War monuments dedicated in Berkshire County. Notice a very different looking St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Stockbridge Library Museum & Archives, Photography Collection, #1994.131
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As the weather warms, students are again able to enjoy recess out of doors. These young pupils at the Curtisville school look to be enjoying themselves on this nice spring day.

Stockbridge Library Photography Collection 1994.34.05
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In 1867, in the Curtisville area of Stockbridge, the first viable wood pulp was made in the United States using machines purchased from Germany. The Keller-Voelter grinding apparatus is pictured in the rendition of what the original may have looked like.

Frederick Wurtzbach (1837-1909) moved his family from Germany to Curtisville in 1866 to run this first-of-its-kind in the United States pulp mill. The Wurtzbach family became a prominent family in Stockbridge and throughout Berkshire county.
Stockbridge Library Art Collection 99.174
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May has arrived! What better event to recall from by-gone days than the Annual May Day celebration hosted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, circa early 1940s.

David Milton Jones Photography Collection 2000.026

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This 18th century home, built on Prospect Hill, was the residence of Samuel Jerome. He was a Revolutionary War veteran from Connecticut who moved his family to Stockbridge for new ventures. Over time, several of his descendants moved to New York City and even London. One of Samuel’s great-grandsons was none other than Sir Winston Churchill, his mother was Jennie Jerome who married a British aristocrat and was known as Lady Randolph Churchill. Stockbridge Library Photography Collection #1994.748

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Pair of child’s clogs worn by mill workers, primarily in Lancaster, England, circa 1800’s. Adults wore laced and clasped clogs, with fastening clasps of engraved brass. These clogs were donated by Miss Emily Smith.  These shoes be featured in our previous exhibit in the Procter Gallery! #53.016

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