In the past, we've talked about the oldest house in Massachusetts built in 1641 which you can check out by clicking on the link. We know for a fact that we have a lot of old houses here in Massachusetts including the one I still inherit and where I'm currently living.

Another thing I've noticed is we have a lot of large houses here in the Baystate such as The Houghton Mansion in North Adams or even buildings that used to be large homes. Such as larges houses converted into apartments or places like the Adams and North Adams Public Libraries that used to be large homes.

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So, what is the largest home in the Commonwealth?

This brings us to the Searles Castle, a historic French chateau-style castle-style house located right in our backyard in the town of Great Barrington. It was built in the 1880s, originally had 229 acres in 1888 but now only sits on 64 acres, seven stories high, and even features a "dungeon" style basement. Creepy right? There are 40 rooms containing 54,246 square feet of floor space, and even 36 fireplaces!

This historic landmark is currently part of the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It was commissioned in 1875 for Mary Sherwood Hopkins by her husband Mark Hopkins, treasurer and one of the founders of the Central Pacific Railroad. When Mark Hopkins passed away in 1878, Mary married Edward Francis Searles who actually designed the castle's interior while it was being built.

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Google Maps

It recently housed John Dewey Academy from the mid-1980s up until its permanent closure in 2021 inside the castle and is currently on a "reboot hiatus" as of 2022. The castle itself was sold to an American painter Hunt Slonem for the price of $3.25 million in 2021.

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Gallery Credit: Mike Nied

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