Tag Archives: The Mount

The Mount… grounds.

 

As lovely as the house was, I almost enjoyed strolling the grounds more.

That being said, we really don’t stroll enough these days. There’s a distinct lack of strolling going on and it probably explains a lot. One should never underestimate the benefits of a good stroll…

Alligator optional.

 

 

You exit the dining room onto a huge stone porch which was turned into a little cafe.

 

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Sorry food picture people, they had stopped serving lunch by the time we arrived. But the view was pretty sweet even with a growling stomach.

 

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Talk about a nice spot for your morning coffee…

 

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Ole Edith knew her stuff when it came to landscaping as well.

 

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I can’t imagine how long it takes to keep those shrubs trimmed.

 

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And this was just the porch area.

 

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We strolled, and I still hadn’t gotten far enough away to get a nice shot of the house.

 

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But the trees?

 

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Oh, good Lord…

The trees!

 

 

They were beautiful!

 

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I couldn’t stop photographing those.

 

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Absolutely magnificent from every angle.

 

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I love me some trees.

 

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Again, the house photo alluded me.

 

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But the grounds were lovely.

 

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And finally…

 

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The strolling paid off.

 

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And I got the money shot.

 

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The Mount.

 

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In all her glory.

 

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There were more gardens…

 

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And grounds…

 

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And wooded paths…

 

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And shots of the house…

 

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Some in better focus than others.

 

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(Note – do not shoot selfies straight into the sun.)

But it was near closing time and we had to say goodbye to the trees.

*Sob*

 

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On the walk back to the car we did see one more piece of modern art for the husband to puzzle over…

 

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$18,000 if you’re interested.

 

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Then it was the stables…

 

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Heck, they were beautiful.

I’d live there.

 

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And we were done.

 

qwe

 

Until the vacation next post…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mount…. house.

 

No, not a house where you mount.

 

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The house is named the Mount.

Why? According to Edith Wharton –

“On a slope over-looking the dark waters and densely wooded shore of Laurel Lake we built a spacious and dignified house, to which we gave the name of my great-grandfather’s place, the Mount…There for ten years I lived and gardened and wrote contentedly…”

It’s very hard to get a picture from the front, because it looks more like the back and there’s a large wall surrounding the courtyard.

 

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We entered and poked around for a bit while waiting for the guided tour.

 

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Basically, if you don’t take the tour all you’ll see is the kitchen.

 

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Which was quite small considering the size of the house. Not that ole Edith ever did any cooking. It was said she only stepped foot in there 2 or 3 times.

 

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The tour began upstairs, which was considered the first floor even though it’s the second.

 

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Rich people, what do they know?

 

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(Note- trying to get pictures with no one in them is a challenge on old house tours. Upstairs photo number 1? Fail.)

At the top of the stairs you entered a long grand hallway with imported Italian marble floors, which is where you stayed until the butler decided you were important enough to enter. (The chairs were for us to sit in while the docent gave a lecture. Edith would have made you stand.)

 

 

Edith designed the house herself with the help an architect friend, which was quite unusual in those days.

 

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Sadly none of the furniture is original. Edith moved to Europe later in life and took everything with her. The pieces you see have been deemed proper to the period and donated by antique dealers or on loan from historical societies.

 

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It was a large, but livable home.

 

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With a small, informal circular dining table. Edith hated long halls that seated 40 people. She wanted to talk to her guests.

 

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Please note the elaborate plaster work. It was amazing, and totally restored after the house was bought by the state.

 

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From 1942 to 1976 the house was turned into a private school for girls.

 

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Can you imagine bunking here as teenagers?

 

 

So ends the interior portion of the tour.

 

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Up next?

 

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The grounds and gardens.

 

 

You’re welcome.

 

 

The Mount.

 

Bet that title has you wondering where I’m going with this…

 

 

No worries, it’s just Edith Wharton’s summer home in Lenox, Massachusetts.

 

 

You remember Edith? Forward thinking, independent, free spirited author of The Age of Innocence and Ethan Frome, among others. She was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1921, and quite an interesting ole broad by the look of her photos.

 

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Not just any woman can pull off a matching set of canine earrings you know.

Entering the estate from the road, you can’t see much.

 

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And as we walked down the path I thought I spotted the house.

 

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It was large, but rather plain.

Which makes sense, considering it was the stables.

Moving on down the lane to the actual house, we started passing large installations of modern art.

 

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I thought they were wonderful.

 

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My husband was just wondering what they hell they were.

It got to be a running joke as we walked.

 

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Modern art…

 

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WTF look.

 

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Modern art…

 

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WTF look.

You get the idea. It was priceless… and I was enjoying myself immensely at his expense. (We’ve been married for 34 years, it’s what you do.)

And it got even better after we ran into another couple who had picked up the brochure and told us the pieces were for sale. Well, then I really had a good time imagining where in our yard we could place the treasures.

 

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I thought these dudes would look great clustered around the apple trees. The husband was not amused.

But even he got in on the fun when he saw this one…

 

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Yeah.

 

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A definite WTF considering they wanted $12,000 for it.

 

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I tried to tell him it would be great when his family visited….

 

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But even after trying it out, he couldn’t be persuaded.

 

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And considering the crazy prices of these things, I had to squawk when he walked through the next one and almost crushed it under foot.

 

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What?

You don’t see it…?

Look again.

 

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Because doesn’t everyone need a porcelain mushroom on a stick?

A bargain at $2,500.

 

 

As we neared the Mount there was only one left, and I totally wanted it.

 

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I mean, I really did.

 

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A giant Trojan Cowbird on wheels!

Who wouldn’t want him?

I was in love!

 

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And as I was figuring how much I could get for my car, I noticed the sold sign.

 

 

A day late, and $18,000 short.

That’s me.