Take A Look Inside The Oldest Home In Western Massachusetts
For a long time now, we've talked about the Oldest House In Massachusetts. I've always had a fasciation for old houses and that's one of the things I love about living in Massachusetts. As I've mentioned some might say they're creepy but someone like me finds them rather historic. Growing up in a house built in 1921 myself. My grandmother's house was built in 1876. As a matter of fact, the apartment I'm currently living at which used to be an old church was built 1916.
So, what is the oldest home in the Berkshires?
What you're looking at is The Colonel John Ashley House which is now a historic house museum located at 117 Cooper Hill Road west of the village of Ashley Falls in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Being one of the oldest houses in Berkshire County built in 1735 for his Dutch bride, Hannah Hogeboom by a prominent local leader named John Ashley at a young age of 25.
A leading citizen of the area, heading the local militia during the French and Indian War. This historic landmark is largely connected to Elizabeth Freeman who was a slave in the home where she won her freedom in 1781 under the new state constitution that ended slavery in the state.
The 2 1⁄2-story wood-frame structure house is typical of early 18th century rural American architecture which features side-gable roof and central chimney with it's exterior finished with wooden clapboards.
The house sits on 35 acres (14 ha) historically associated with it, but is not on its original site as it was moved in 1930 about 3/10 of a mile to improve its siting relative to the road and associated outbuildings. The property is adjacent to Bartholomew's Cobble, a nature preserve which is also owned by The Trustees of Reservations.
The grounds including the Elizabeth Freeman Interpretive Center are open daily, dawn to dusk, and is FREE for all according to thetrustees.org. Guided tours of the historic house are offered seasonally with upcoming dates August 19, and September 16. Preregistration is however required.
For information on school visits and group tours, contact email@example.com
Please allow a minimum of 1/2 hour for the Ashley House grounds, 2-3 hours if also visiting Bartholomew’s Cobble.