The Northfield Hotel, Northfield Mass

The Northfield Hotel around 1904.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Northfield

The site in 2014:

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Northfield Massachusetts was never a particularly prominent town for much of its history, but this changed after one of its residents, D.L. Moody, gained worldwide fame as a Christian evangelist.  In addition to work that he did in Chicago and overseas in England, Moody also had an impact on his hometown, opening the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies in 1879.  This brought an increase in demand for services such as hotels, including The Northfield, which opened in 1887, just a short distance away from the Northfield Seminary.

Facing dwingling guests, the hotel closed in the 1970s and was demolished, although its well-landscaped grounds became home of the Northfield Golf Club.  A few reminders of the old hotel still exist, including the pond in the foreground, the stone wall, and the footbridge across the stream.

18 thoughts on “The Northfield Hotel, Northfield Mass”

  1. Back around 1968-70, my older brother, Walt was a professional golfer and ran the Pro shop at what was then the Northfield Inn and Country Club. I was about 11 or 12 at the time and have many fond memories of visiting my brother there once. Back then it was a thriving hotel with numerous celebrity guests such as Burl Ives who my brother met. The building was splendorous, the accommodations were charming and the food was wonderful. You could golf, play tennis, go horseback riding, swim and do just about anything else you could imagine. I just happened to look it up today to see how it looks these days, and was completely shocked that the entire building had been raised. Very sad indeed.

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  2. From 1961 -63 I worked there as a bellhop / waiter / busboy May memorable day there. I remember the wooden toboggan run they would put up in the Christmas /winter went all the way down to the pond great times

    Don Baker

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  3. From 1961 -63 I worked there as a bellhop / waiter / busboy Many memorable days there. I remember the wooden toboggan run they would put up in the Christmas /winter went all the way down to the pond great times

    Don Baker

    Reply
  4. I have a diary that was kept my great aunt, Mae Blance. In it, Mae describes working at the Northfield Hotel in 1918. Kind of neat to be able to go online and find a picture of the holes as it looked when she was there.

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  5. I own an 8 page “brochure” from the Northfield. While there is no publishing date, the back page includes a map with directions of various ways to reach the Northfield and references the “1923 Blue Book routes” along with “Railroads 1916.” When printed the Manager was Ambert G. Moody, Assistant Manager was Frank W. Kellogg.

    Would love to sell it to someone who would appreciate it.

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  6. Having arrived at NMH in the late ’70s, a few years after the Northfield Inn was demolished, I wonder if it would have been kept viable by paring back to the front or back half of the building. Only a few years after it was demolished, middle-sized inns made a bit of a come back. Clearly it grew beyond where it was sustainable in the 1960s (as tastes shifted and the summer conferences waned). (I nonetheless saw a lot of the Northfield when I had a student work job assisting at the NMH archives).

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  7. We always came up in the summer to visit our grandparents and see Grandpa (Ralph M. Forsaith Sr.) behind the front desk at the Northfield Hotel. He started working for the Northfield Hotel in the early 1900’s as a bellboy, then he worked the front desk and graduated to Manager. He saw famous people come and go. (Gertrude Lawrence which was in the original ” King and I “, Mr Otis and many other people.).
    We would come over and use the pool, play shuffle board, play golf and watch movies when it was movie night. My brother even got to stay over at the Chateau a few nights.
    We had a lot of fun and we will always have wonderful memories of our dear Grandparents, the Hotel and Chateau.

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  8. In the late 40s, early 50s, my father-in-law, Walla M Stearns, known as Bud, was the general manager of this hotel. He lived with his wife and two little boys in a small house on the property. Grandma and Grandpa were full of wonderful and sometimes hilarious stories about the hotel. They were there when the chateau burned down. I have a set of beautiful goblets that were rescued from the chateau. It was quite a place, very fancy and expensive in its heyday. Grandpa said it catered to the, “newly weds and nearly deads.”

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    • Hi Frances,
      To pass some time in the current period of social distancing/isolation (with COVID-19), I was doing some online research to learn more about my family. Bud Stearns is actually an uncle of mine, so I wanted to say “hello”!
      Though I never had a chance to know Bud, I grew up hearing so much about him and June; they were certainly loved. I grew up in Shelburne, VT and am Fred Hackett’s granddaughter. And while I didn’t know Bud, I was incredibly fortunate to have grown up knowing his sister Barbara Stearns Hackett (my great-grandmother) — she and I spent many hours together in my early childhood on into my high school years before she passed away.

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  9. I collect old things and ran across a tiny brass bell with an eagle figure on top which must have been a souvenir of the Inn. The bell is 2 3/4″ in height. On the back side of the bell there is a tiny copper plaque with Inn’s seal and written or embossed on it are the words “Year Round Sports, The Northfield Inn”. Inside the mark are symbols for golf, tennis and maybe cross country skiing. I would like to know the approximate age if someone out there knows?

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  10. Spent a few days there with my parents in 1960. I remember the toboggan run very well and I have a picture of me at age 14 and my younger sister skating on the pond at the end of the run. Watched the 1960 Olympic gold medal hockey game. USA over Russia

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  11. I worked as a waitress at The Northfield Inn & Chateau in the summers of 1960 & 1961 with my twin sister Carol. The second summer we lived in a turret in the Chateau. We put on a water ballet and had a great time with other employees & guests. It was a magical place that sadly no longer exists. Part of the problem was that it was a dry town but that was its attraction to many. A great place for families and couples, with three great meals (American Plan, all u could eat). Hymn sings too with a delicious corn roast after sponsored by Mr. Fox. Fond memories. Gail Higgins Fogarty

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  12. My parents used to take us there every winter for February break back in the60’s and early 70’s- Rode the toboggan slide, skated at the pond, and they also had a winter cook out- and served maple snow, (hot maple syrup served over snow). It was such a magical place. Famous people such as Theodore Roosevelt visited the Inn, as well as many stars such as Bennet Serf, and Arlene Francis from What’s My Line, the old TV show. The food in the dining room was fantastic. I have the strongest memories from my childhood of that place. My Dad was retired from the Mass. state police and would receive their newsletters every month- I’ll never forget when I read in one of them about the Inn being demolished. I was heartbroken- such a waste.

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  13. This is so wonderful reading memories of the Inn. My mother Beatrice Ross-Buszek was the Northfield School for Girls Dean of students. (1966-68)I went to Frontier school 7th and 8th grades. My best And dearest friend Donna Potter and I were inseparable and Donna’s dad was a chef at the Inn. We lived on the skating rink and winter was magical there. The woman in the Upward bound program from the Northfield school gathered at my home when Martin Luther King was murdered. A period in my life full of joyous and confusing times. Finding this page has been a great walk down memory lane. We belonged to the club and I swam and took my first tennis lesson there. Sincerely Chris Buszek (McEntee)

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