Visit historic Ventfort Hall Mansion for a trip back in time to the opulent excess of the Gilded Age as exemplified by this iconic, Berkshire country cottage.
The “Gilded Age” refers to the tumultuous years between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the twentieth century in America.
The period was marked by upheaval and rapid economic growth benefiting corrupt industrialists and the already wealthy over the working class. It was a time when people like the John D. Rockefeller and J.P Morgan made their fortunes and began looking for ways to spend them.
One way was on palatial estates in places like the Berkshires. They referred to their sprawling, vacation estates as “country cottages” because they really were quite a bit smaller and simpler than their main homes!
Ventfort Hall was built in 1893 for J.P. Morgan’s sister, Sarah Morgan, and it stayed in the Morgan family until 1925. Thereafter, it saw a number of different owners and fell into serious disrepair.
By the mid 1980’s, the once stately mansion was designated for demolition. Luckily, a group of concerned citizens stepped in to save and restore the property as a historic house museum.
Visiting Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
Ventfort Hall is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox, MA. This is less than five minutes North of our Berkshires bed and breakfast, The Inn at Stockbridge.
The Jacobean Revival-style mansion includes over 28,000 square feet of living space and over 50 rooms. These include 9 main bedrooms, 10 servant bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and 17 fireplaces. The house is surrounded by 26 acres of gardens and landscaped grounds.
The mansion’s facade and first and second floors have been restored, with more work ongoing. Fans of the movie “The Cider House Rules” may feel a sense of deja-vu as they view the exterior or staircase in the Great Hall. Both were featured in the Academy Award-winning film.
Visitors to the Mansion and Gilded Age Museum can enjoy hour-long, self-guided tours of the mansion and Gilded Age Museum. The Hall also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. Theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, Victorian teas, children’s programs, and much more.
The Museum is open daily, 10am to 4pm. Closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Guests are admitted every hour, on the hour, from 10am to 3pm (10am to 2pm on Tuesdays). Check in at the entry desk up to 10 minutes before the hour.
Learn more online at gildedage.org and Facebook.