|Property type||chateau / country house|
|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
A writer, songwriter, and civil rights activist, James Weldon Johnson spent his summers in the Berkshires at his home known as Five Acres. After spending time in the Town of Great Barrington with friends, he and his wife bought the property in 1926 and converted the barn into a residence. He also built a small cabin behind the main house where he often retreated to write some of his famous works, such as his 1927 book of poems, God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse. The executor of the James Weldon Johnson Literary Estate purchased the property in 2011 and started the initial process of preserving the home and writing cabin in order to protect the charm and history. The home has not been renovated and retains many of the design elements of the previous two owners, including a midcentury kitchen design with artistic fruit and vegetable floor tiles and Johnson's warm fireplace, loft space, and rustic wood sided interior. Unwind, read, and write music to the soothing sounds of the babbling Seekonk Brook just outside your kitchen window overlooking the stone wall. You will love shopping at the Farmer's Market on Saturdays and Guido's while spending time outdoors to write songs and poems, paint, read or just listen.
Great Barrington was named the #1 best small town in America in 2012 by Smithsonian. The Smithsonian comments include: 'Big-city smart meets New England natural in an art-rich mountain setting;' ' Great Barrington is a small, manageable, economically and ethnically mixed town;' ' cultural institutions as Tanglewood, Shakespeare & Company, the Norman Rockwell Museum and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival just a country drive away.'
The Johnson's describe finding the property called 'Five Acres' in his autobiography, Along This Way. Guarded by large front and side yards and trees and the Seekonk Brook, this lovely 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom vacation, winter, summer rental offers privacy and beautiful, spiritual views of the brook and cows that graze on Five Acres and at the adjacent farm. With enough room to comfortably accommodate 1 family with children, this delightful residence is the perfect size for families, two couples, scholars and friends vacationing, skiing, creating and exploring together. Ideally located across from Bard College at Simon's Rock (a world class indoor athletic and swimming facility with family and individual membership rates for day guest passes) and 1.8 miles from the main shops on Railroad Street in Great Barrington, this home is conveniently within 10 minutes driving distance to Butternut and Catamount Ski areas, Blue Rider Stables for horseback riding as well as a small lake and woods. The home includes wireless internet access, electric and oil burning heat, and window air conditioning as needed.
This was the second time we stayed at the Jones' Great Barrington house, and same as last year, was the coldest weekend on record! The fireplace was most welcome and the view of rambling (mostly frozen!) river out bay window was very relaxing. Mr Jones was very easy to deal with and responded promptly to emails. The kitchen is a little quirky but appealing and well stocked. We look forward to visiting again!
Our weeklong stay at this rustic cottage was both relaxing and inspirational. The accommodations are generous and the furniture comfortable. It's a perfect spot to relax and dream.
I am a painter and had to go no further than this property to find vistas for my canvas.
First, let me say that I had an extensive and productive conversation with the owner prior to this post. I will also add that he was EXTREMELY responsive both before the reservation as well as being available to answer questions by phone/text during our stay. IF you are planning on staying, know a few things... It is a great location - quick and easy to get to many of the towns in the Berkshires. However, it is also on a main road so not particularly quiet or private. At the time of our stay (and I believe the owner is going to work on these), there was nowhere for us to unpack our clothes - all the drawers and closet were filled with the owners belongings - so we lived out of our suitcases on the floor for 4 nights. There is wifi but NO TELEVISION. Plan on bringing a laptop to watch DVDs or TV if that's something you were expecting to do. While the listing indicated AC, there is only one rather loud window unit, in the master bedroom. Heavy reliance on floor fans and cool weather but we happened to be there during a warm spell. The shower in the master is not functional. You'll have to use one upstairs. Some of the windows/sliding doors don't open (warnings on the info packet after you make payment will explain more), some of the appliances don't work or have limited function. And, while certainly personal preference, found the master bed to be extremely uncomfortable (very hard mattress, very creaky frame). I also would not recommend this stay for more and a couple as there is very little comfortable furniture in the main living area (one sofa, one glider chair) and there are no window coverings on the upstairs loft windows. Also recommended the owner add a simple automatic coffee maker. Yes, this house is old and very little has been done (yet) to update it. It has a great yard with a nice running stream. It would be one thing if I were rolling through town and was staying here as the guest of a friend but considering our expectations for a homey vacation stay, this home is not quite there yet. The owner seemed very responsive to my post-stay suggestions so watch for updates to this listing and other reviews to see if things have been addressed.
This house was the perfect spot for our weekend getaway. We honestly can not say enough about how wonderful the house was and how much we loved staying in it. Booking was very easy and since we booked last minute we greatly appreciated how quickly we were accommodated. The house is stunning, with wonderful antique features and a beautiful fireplace. If we had more time, we would have spent a day just at the house relaxing, it was so wonderful. We hope that we will be able to come back, often and very soon! I would recommend this to anyone looking for a laid back weekend in a rustic (but completely comfortable) home!
$75 security deposit. Rates = $1295 - $375/night
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.