By Jennifer Huberdeau and Telly Halkias
From humble Colonial beginnings to Gilded Age grandeur, these houses, mansions, inns and hotels are worth taking a stroll inside.
We recommend taking advantage of a “historic house tour” whenever possible. The tours typically offer a ticket price that’s below the cost of visiting each site individually. They also offer glimpses into private historic homes seldom seen by the public.
Here’s a few we recommend stopping by:
Opened in 1903, the Elizabethan Tudor Manor House was built for Marie Louise and Robert Paterson. Today, the Gilded Age mansion still glitters as a recipient of the prestigious Forbes Five-Star hotel award.
During the holiday season, Blantyre is known for its decorations. Santa Claus figurines from line fireplace mantles, while nutcrackers stand at attention on window sills and a village of miniature houses take residence in the conservatory.
Blantyre is one of six stops offered as part of a self-guided historic house tour offered up as part of “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 2. Other stops include Naumkeag, Eastover Resort, The Charles Owen House, Federal House Inn and the Old Rectory.
Information about the Historic House Tours: stockbridgechamber.org or call 413-298-5200.
The Arlington Inn
Built in 1847, the Arlington Inn was originally a private home belonging to Martin Chester Deming. In the 1920s it was purchased by the Botton family and opened as The Colonial Inn — a Vermont summer hotel.
The inn will be featured as part of the “Historic Inn Christmas Tour”of Arlington and Manchester on Saturday, Dec. 2 and 9.
Information about the Historic Inn Christmas tour: manchestervermont.com
Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home, and former estate of President Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln can be found in Manchester. There, guests can experience Christmas 1912, where the Gilded Age mansion is decked out to recreate that year, and is a major visitor attraction.
This holiday ambiance never gets old, even for the staff, according to Children’s education director Stephanie Moffitt-Hines.
“My heart beats a little faster when I walk up through the snow to the house where, even before I reach the door, I can hear the Aeolian organ pumping out Christmas songs from yesteryear,” Moffett-Hines said.
Information about Hildene: hildene.org
Jennifer Huberdeau is New England Newspapers’ online editor and associate editor of UpCountry magazine. She also pens the column, “The Cottager,” for Berkshires Week and The Shires of Vermont.
Telly Halkias is a national award-winning, independent journalist. He lives and writes from his homes in southern Vermont and coastal Maine.