Born in 1850, Edward R. (Teddy ) Wharton was destined to live the stereotypical version of the Gilded Age life so elegantly portrayed by his wife Edith Jones Wharton.
Son of Nancy Spring Wharton and William Craig Wharton, Teddy grew up in a beautiful Brookline home and graduated from Harvard. Upon graduating and coming into his trust fund, Teddy successfully pursued the life of a rich 19th century American – travelling, being a good sportsman and being all round charming.
He was a friend of Edith’s older brothers, Frederic and Henry Jones. In 1883 he met Edith in Bar Harbor, Maine, and they were married in New York in 1885. Shortly after their marriage they moved across the street from the Wharton family summer estate in Newport. In 1893 Edith purchased her own Newport estate called Land’s End. She eventually tired of Newport and purchased 113 acres in Lenox, which would become, in 1901, The Mount, which you can still visit today.
The marriage had been strained for a long time and Teddy stole from Edith to maintain a mistress in Boston. Edith moved to France in 1911 and divorced Teddy in 1913. (Edith died in 1937 in France and is buried in the American Cemetery at Versailles, France.)
From Form B’s Completed by Lenox Historical Commission 2012-2013
This Queen Anne style building has two stories, an asphalt shingle roof and has been altered. There is a 7-bay, center entrance. The building has wood frame construction with a hipped roof and 2 large brick interior chimneys. The first floor has wood clapboard siding and shingle cladding on the second floor. The upper story flares out at bottom over the first floor. Two pedimented shallow pavilions flank the entrance porch. The entrance porch has a front gable roof, 6 turned posts, and scroll sawn braces. There are 2 stories of balconies above entrance porch (one at the 2nd floor and one at the attic level. There are 13-light Queen Anne-style windows with small square panes surrounding larger square pane in the middle. LANDSCAPE: there is a semi circular driveway in the front yard centered on the front entrance.
On November 19, 1856, Ira T. Bangs sold this property to Elizabeth and Wickham Hoffman. The Hoffman’s sold to George A. Winchell, July 12, 1871. George A. Winchell sold to Nancy W. Rogers on October 3, 1884.
Mrs. M. E. Rogers of Philadelphia had this house built in 1885, for use as a summer residence. By 1890 the house had been rented for the season to John Burrell, and in 1892 it was sold to Nancy W. Wharton (Mrs. William C.) who summered here with her daughter. Mrs. Wharton’s son, Edward, was married to novelist Edith Wharton who was to become one of the most illustrious residents of Lenox. After spending several summers in Newport, Edith Wharton, displeased with both the climate and the lack of intellectual life there, came to Lenox. She stayed at “Pine Acre”, home of her Mother-in law and Sister-in-law, who were abroad at the time. She was very impressed with Lenox that she returned to “Pine Acre” the following summer and, in February of 1902, returned to Lenox to look for a house site of her own. While looking for the site she stayed at the Curtis Hotel. She spent one last summer at “Pine Acre” in 1902, while her house, “The Mount”, was under construction.
Mrs. William C. Wharton continued to stay at “Pine Acre” for several summers until her death in August of 1909 in Lenox. The house was purchased by William J. and Mary E. Merrick through the estate of William C. Wharton in 1929. In February 23, 1946, the house was sold to Mrs. Charles Dugan and Mary Dugan, who converted it to an inn. On December 27, 1963, the Dugans sold to William J. and Lois G. Sununu. In October 1969 the Sununu’s sold to Helen L. Fillio. Helen Fillio sold to John C. and Ida M. Connors on March 1, 1971. Connors sold to James W. Kelly on March 15, 1978. Kelly, who created and ran “Kelly’s Irish Pub,” sold the property to Lewis and Inna T. Rubin on February 2, 1979. Rubin sold to Robert P. Butler, who ran an inn on the site called “Three Gables Inn”, on June 7, 1982. Butler sold to Mary and Francis Newton on April 18, 1986. Newton changed the name from “Three Gables Inn” to “The Gables Inn”. In 2007, Frank Newton converted “The Gables” into 5 condominiums. The current owners of the condominiums are: Elliott R Morss, Harvey Siegel and Christine Hoppus, Mark A. Peeler, Terence G. McInerney, and Francis Newton.
BIBLIOGRAPHY and/or REFERENCES:
Registry of Deeds, Pittsfield, MA 150.538; 211.171; 257.427; 281.178; 448.130; 520.530; 776.249; 882.246; 902.394; 1001.585; 1016.585; 1059.129; 1144.286.
Edith Wharton – A Biography R.W.B. Lewis (N.Y. Harper & Row, 1975) page 93
Bibliography and/or references (such as local histories, deeds, assessor’s records, early maps, etc.)