Fernbrook was constructed in 1904 for Thomas Shields and Adelaide Knox Clarke. On West Mountain Road it stands today as Hillcrest School.
Valleyhead was built in 1902 for J. Frederick Schenck and Mary Louisa Stone Schenck. It is described as adjoining Home Farm so must have been on Reservoir Road above Undermountain Road. After it passed out of the family it was a therapeutic facility for awhile. It burned in 1987.
Rounding the curve from Cliffwood to Undermountain, there is a beautiful vista across Undermountain Farm. Home Farm looks out over that vista.
George C. Harding built this home for Dr. Henry P. and Caroline Ware Jaques in 1902. It has also been known as Waterford and Highjack Farm.
It was described in David Woods’ Lenox Massachusetts Shire Town (1969) as adjoining the golf course. Something has changed in the terrain since then.
It is still a private home.
Undermountain Farm, across the street, was built, in the 1870’s, by Henri Braem (Stonover) as a model farm.
Hidden deep in the forest off Undermountain Road, Pine Needles was built by Winslow and Bigelow for George Baty Blake (1871-1928) and Margaret Hunnewell Blake (1878 – 1967). Landscape architects Brett and Hall of Brookline laid out the curving driveway as well as the sit of the stable and walls.
To attend to George’s tuberculosis, the couple lived in the house year round. The home is still privately owned.
Woodcliff – Gone But Not Forgotten
When William Aspinall built his gothic, porched house on a hill above Church on the Hill, it was out of the mold of the Wards, Sedgwicks, etc. First, he was from New York (the Pacific Steamship Company) and second he built on a scenic but distant spot. He arrived in town
with a retinue of six coachmen, 21 horses and an army of servants. The large parties of guests often included Edward J. Woolsey who was married to William’s sister Emily. William’s brother John was a business partner. Between 1853 and 1860, the family accumulated 500 acres of the ridge. In a preview of things to come as Kennedy Park, the Aspinwalls and Woolseys allowed townspeople to wander through the scenic woods.
The house faced north – looking at Mount Greylock; the opposite of the Aspinall Hotel which was to follow in the 20th century – facing the southern view over Parson’s Marsh.
The house is no longer standing.
Richard T. Auchmuty was a Civil War veteran and an architect. In addition to designing his home in Lenox, The Dormers, he would become active in the
construction of the new Trinity Church. His wife, Ellen Schermerhorn, daughter of the widow Caroline Schermerhorn had grown up at Pinecroft in Lenox.
The Dormers still stands above Route 20 north of town and is part of the Twelve Oaks condominium development.
For much more on the architecture of these houses and the people who lived in them, see
Houses of the Berkshires, 1870-1930, by Richard S. Jackson Jr. and Cornelia Brooke Gilder, Acanthus Press, 2006
The Tanglewood Circle, Hawthorne’s Lenox, by Cornelia Brooke Gilder with Julia Conklin Peters
The Berkshire Cottages, A Vanishing Era, by Carole Owens, Cottage Press, Inc. 1980