The 1896 House Country Inn & Motels, Williamstown, Massachusetts
The 1896 house, built in 1896 as a milking barn, complete with bull pen, was turned into a famous restaurant in 1939 and enjoyed an unparalleled reputation for excellence for approximately 40 years. The draw was so great that a lodging facility was built in 1951 to accommodate the patrons. Soon additional guest rooms were added.
Sometime in 1970's, the lodging portion and restaurant were sold separately and began operating separately.
In 1985, ownership of the 16 guest rooms was transferred to Sue Morelle & Denise Richer from Rhode Island. They began what was to be a 17 year acquisition and renovation period. Upon completion of the original lodging structure, “Brookside”, a second lodging facility across the street became part of the “1896” family and was completely transformed and named “Pondside”. In 1995, The 1986 House Barn housing a restaurant was purchased and underwent a total structural and cosmetic rebirth, thereby remarrying the original properties and creating a complex of three buildings on 17 acres with brooks, ponds, and gardens. One actually passes through the 1896 House property when traveling to Williamstown via Route 7, the scenic corridor to it’s south.
In 2000, six new luxury “Barnside Suites” were constructed in the former banquet hall where Williamstown Theatre Festival held its famous Cabaret. It is here in 1987 that Christopher Reeve first lay eyes on Dana Morosini and fell in love! They entertained in this beautiful space for a couple of seasons! The Suites are grand, gracious, and as romantic as found anywhere. A full candlelight breakfast is included.
Don't let the motel architecture of "Brookside" and "Pondside" fool you! The guest rooms are as charming as any country inn, and offer many conveniences and more privacy. A generous and expanded complimentary continental breakfast is included.
The 1896 House Inn boasts a very impressive “perennial guest” list and has surpassed its former glory!
In 2005, the previous restaurant was re-claimed by the owners of The 1896 House and transformed into an unusual, upscale and now very popular Pub. Because the locals have always referred to the 1896 House Barn as either "The "6 House" or "The '96 House", the new Pub was dubbed "The '6 House Pub".