This Berkshires Landmark Hotel Just Celebrated A Milestone!
A few weeks ago, the village of Stockbridge, Massachusetts toasted 250 years of The Red Lion Inn and hoped for many more on the horizon. While the storied inn has a long history in Stockbridge, opening as a tavern just a few decades after the town was incorporated, it also has a long history in the Fitzpatrick family.
Jack and Jane Fitzpatrick, purchased the Red Lion in 1968 and opened the seasonal resort year-round. Fitzpatrick, who retired a few years ago, found it incredibly rewarding to see so many former employees gathered around at last Thursday's celebration.
Their daughter, Nancy summed it up best in a recent interview with I-Berkshires:
"I know that Red Lion has had an important role in their lives and they're all very important to us. "My family is very, very proud for having stewarded the Red Lion Inn for over 55 years and we now are in the fourth generation of the family working here."
The third generation of Fitzpatricks have taken the reins, which includes Sarah Eustis and Nancy's brothers Casey and Michael Fitzpatrick. Over the years they instilled values and genuine hospitality at the inn which has not changed for centuries. The owners value family and community stewardship in their operations
A little history on how the popular edifice came to fruition in Berkshire county. It was established in 1773 at the corner of Main and South Street in Stockbridge as the inn hosted many notable figures, including a half-dozen presidents, and is well represented in Norman Rockwell's iconic 1967 painting "Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas." The inn is also known for its classic New England charm, with people flocking to its porch to share a refreshment with friends and watch over Main Street.
One aspect that has received a facelift is a variety of musical performances at The Lion's Den located below the inn, which has been upgraded and sometimes requires a cover charge a couple of nights a week to cover maintenance expenses. Despite the minimal cost, crowds STILL come in droves to experience LIVE music from locally based performers throughout our tri-state region.
Simon Dewar joined the staff in the spring as general manager and as a part of the new leadership. He remains optimistic on the Red lion's future as this landmark has become a fixture in our vicinity:
"I am on a daily basis humbled and honored to have been chosen to help continue this journey for another 250 years, we hope, along with working with such an incredible team and it's not common, believe it or not, within this industry but the team we have here, which is drawn from our community, are absolutely first class and I am extremely lucky."
Rooms average hundred of dollars for a night's stay, but people from all over Massachusetts and the nation flock to experience some history and indulge in some much needed "down time". Recently, the inn has also been the focus of attention on paranormal activity. Historic Hotels In America reports there have been "ghostly" rumors that apparitions and spirits are swirling around the property as investigators connect with guests from centuries past.
Mediums have also confirmed the fourth floor in particular has been said to have the most paranormal activity and "beware" of Guest room #301 which has been designated as a haunted hot spot. Five words: "Check in, if you dare!" I can bet our favorite UFO couple, Arno and Kathy Pinsonnault will take up the offer and if so, we will be sharing their hair raising experiences on a future article.
BOTTOM LINE: HAPPY 250th anniversary to a Berkshires staple. Here's to 250 more great years as the tradition continues here in our backyard!
(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of www.iberkshires.com)