Heaton Hall, Stockbridge, Mass

The view of Heaton Hall from near the corner of Prospect Hill Road and Pine Street in Stockbridge, around 1910-1920. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The scene in 2015:

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At the turn of the 20th century, the Berkshire towns of Lenox and Stockbridge were popular resort towns. Many wealthy families built massive summer homes here, while others stayed at the area’s luxury hotels, including Heaton Hall, an 85-room hotel built in 1904 on this hill above the center of Stockbridge. Its owner, Allen T. Treadway, was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and he later served as the president of the Massachusetts Senate from 1909 to 1911. In 1913, he was elected to Congress, where he represented the state’s 1st congressional district until his retirement in 1945. He was previously featured in this post, where he is seen visiting Calvin Coolidge at his home in Vermont.

After Congressman Treadway’s death in 1947, ownership of the hotel went to his son, Heaton, who sold the property in 1955. Unlike many other wood hotels of its era, Heaton Hall never burned down, but it closed in 1969 and was demolished three years later. In 1976, the property was sold to the Stockbridge Housing Authority, who built Heaton Court, an apartment complex for low-income seniors and those with disabilities. Today, aside from the name of the apartment complex, the only reminder of the hotel that once stood here is a “Heaton Hall” sign at the corner of Prospect Hill Road and Pine Street, just behind where these photos were taken.

18 thoughts on “Heaton Hall, Stockbridge, Mass”

  1. went there in 1959… so old, so much fun to explore and there was a trio (quartet?) of ladies playing strings around tea-time….
    sigh

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    • It was a trio, a couple (the husband played the piano, his wife, the cello) and a violinist. During part of the time I worked there (1955-64), the violinist was a dark-haired young woman from Armenia. Homer Moyer

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  2. I was a bellhop at Hotel Heaton Hall in the summer of 1964. The hotel was then run by, and may have been owned by, a couple whose last name was Rock. It was a gloriously tatty place, and we were constantly trying to hide rips and bruises, but I loved it. There were mostly weekend guests (Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony was nearby in Lennox), but some of the residents were there for all summer, like Mrs. Joseph Grew, widow of the US ambassador to Japan when WWII happened. She and her daughter were there for the summer, and they were gracious and beautiful. And then the weekend guests included such memorable musical artists as Aaron Copland and Leopold Stokowski and Van Cliburn. The hotel had its issues, but for a young man trying to figure out the world, it was an amazing experience.

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      • I recall engraved silver sugar bowls, as well as china sugar bowls with the Heaton Hall crest. I worked there when the hotel was owned and operated by my aunt and uncle, Isabel and John Rock.
        Homer Moyer

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    • Charles, I also worked at the hotel the summer of 1964. Isabel and John Rock were my aunt and uncle, and my mother, Millie Moyer was also there for the summer. That summer I was the Maitre D’ I believe, then going by my nickname, “Buster.” I am writing a book about Heaton Hall, so I may be interested in more of your recollections.
      Homer Moyer

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    • Charles, would love to hear from you if you get this. I was also at the hotel in 1964. Isabel and John Rock were my aunt and uncle. I am working on a book on Heaton Hall and would love to get some of your recollections.
      Homer Moyer hmoyer@milchev.com (202) 468-5102

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  3. Moved to Shamrock St.(around the corner) in ’62, learned to ski on the front driveway, used to climb on the roof with neighborhood kids. Didn’t go inside until after it closed when it was falling apart with pigeons in the upper floors. Amazing place, good to hear stories from when it was functioning. The period of grand estates generated local income and it’s ending I’m sure had a GE-Sprague-Electric-closing type effect on the area. Someone should write a people’s history of Berkshire county.

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    • Nicholas,
      I worked all but one of the summers between 1955 and 1965 at Heaton Hall, which was owned and operated by my aunt and uncle. I am working on a book about Heaton Hall, which I hope to complete in the next two or three months. Love to hear more recollections you and others near Shamrock Street.
      Homer Moyer

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  4. Five of us were selected by the hotel from the 1st baptist church in mount Vernon ny to work at the heaton during the summer of 1943 or 44. It was during the war, there was rationing and a water powered (hydraulic) cable driven elevator that i rode as a bell hop. There was was a mother and her son visiting from England that took a particular interest in my well being and overall the tips were great especially at the end of the summer. I had my own quite comfortable room and private bath at the beginning and later when the occupancy rose i was moved to a closet with a bed and a chair. The suit we wore as a uniform was wool and very uncomfortable most of the summer days! The food was delicious! Present age 91!

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    • Ralph,
      I was fascinated to read your post about Heaton Hall, where I, too, was a bellhop, albeit more than a decade after you. The hotel was then owned and operated by my aunt and uncle, Isabel and John Rock. I am currently working on a book on Heaton Hall and would love to get more of your recollections about Heaton Hall during wartime, as well as any of the historical lore you may recall. Like you, I remember the elevator well. It was our reliable friend, and we handled it with care.
      Homer Moyer

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  5. I was friends with the daughter of a man who was a caretaker at Heaton Hall. He brought us with him one time when he was checking on the building. I was not the historian that I am today, otherwise I would have brought my camera along. I have kicked myself many times over the years for not thinking to bring one. When I entered that building I didn’t see disrepair…I saw it as it used to be. In my minds eye I could see beauty and grandeur. It is disappointing that there seem to be no pictures of the interior of Heaton Hall. If anyone has any or knows of any, I would be most interested in seeing them.

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    • Loretta,
      I just read your post on Heaton Hall with great interest. I worked at the hotel during summers between 1955 and 1965. I’m curious when you visited the hotel. The caretaker during my years was a beloved engineer named Jim Leslie.
      I am currently writing a book on Heaton Hall which I hope to finish in the next few months. I happen to have quite a number of pictures of the hotel’s interior from those years, and assuming this book is published before long, they will be included.
      Homer Moyer

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  6. Such interesting stories. As a child in the 50’s my friends and I went sledding on that hill. When we were little it seemed like a huge hill. Sometimes we were able to keep going across the road and into the woods .

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  7. Robin,
    I still recall that hill as being very steep, both the front lawn and the even more daunting road up the side of the hotel. I worked summers there beginning in 1955 and am working on a book on Heaton Hall. With luck, it will be finished and published this year.
    Homer Moyer

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  8. I am writing a book on Heaton Hall and would welcome recollections of those who were familiar with it. I was there all but one summer between 1955 and 1964, when the hotel was owned and operated by my aunt and uncle, Isabel and John Rock. I fondly remember others with whom I worked during those summers, including Paul Nash, Andy Mabry, and others who were there more than one summer, but am not in touch with any of them. If you are, please let me know. Many experiences from those days helped shape us and are indelibly memorable.
    Homer Moyer

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