Birchwood inn has been welcoming friends, new and old, for 240 years.
The property which is now our Berkshires Bed & Breakfast was the first residential property in Lenox deeded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1765. The core of the house, the oldest home in Lenox, dates from 1766-67 and was built by Israel Dewey. The house served as an inn in those early years.
The first town meeting was held here on March 11, 1767, the year that the Town of Lenox was incorporated. The meeting’s agenda included the organization of the town government, and at the time Israel Dewey was elected to the first Board of Selectmen.
Dewey was a man substance, and his home was most likely wood-framed, glazed and later plastered and shingled.
Dewey was on the town’s Continental Congress committee and was one of the first men in Lenox to volunteer in the Revolutionary War. In addition to being a farmer and involved in town affairs, Dewey was also a schoolmaster. Talk about multi-tasking!
The home has changed hands many times over the years, and all of the inn’s guest rooms are named in honor of some of the former residents.
18th century owners included Edward Gray, Simon and Rachel Smith, Edward Hay, David and Daniel Fellows, Samuel Wright (the first town clerk), Joseph Goodwin, and Luke Gates, a blacksmith. Colonel Laddock Hubbard purchased the property in 1798, and the home became a tavern.