Bidwell House

BidwellHouse.jpg
Monterey, MA
United States
Bidwell House

Sited on 192 acres at the center of the original colonial town of Monterey, this house museum interprets the early settlement of the South Berkshires. Built in the 1750s, the house is a Georgian-style Saltbox, which was occupied by Reverend Adonijah Bidwell’s descendants until 1853. The land surrounding the house was used for dairy farming from 1750 until 1911, when it was sold to Raymond Ensign who started the short-lived Berkshire Summer School of the Arts on the site. In 1960, Jack Hargis and David Brush bought the property and renovated the house and grounds. The garden design included the recreation of colonial heirloom vegetable gardens, planting perennial beds, and building terraced stone retaining walls around the house in the late 1980s. After Hargis and Brush’s deaths in 1990, the property was opened as the Bidwell House Museum. The site retains vestiges of former orchards and extant farm outbuildings. Hiking trails and footpaths also criss-cross the property, passing through fields and historic woodlands and following three miles of stone walls. The Bidwell House and surrounding area were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.