GARY LEVEILLE: Santa’s Satirical Holiday House Tour

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By Wednesday, Dec 13 Life In the Berkshires  11 Comments
Char-fire Lodge on State Road in Great Barrington, one of the many stops on Santa's Satirical Holiday House Tour during the holiday season.

It’s that most wonderful time of year when local nonprofits offer holiday house tours as fund-raisers. But not everybody can afford to attend these events, so the newly formed Southern Berkshire Hysterical Society is offering a free online tour of some unusual homes and buildings in our area. Fasten your seat belts…

Char-fire Lodge (see above): This charming hideaway atop Three-Mile Hill in Great Barrington offers an aromatic atmosphere of pine boughs and charcoal. A favorite of animal lovers, guests are often entertained by visiting wildlife.

The Blueroof Cafe in Hartsville

Blueroof Café: A subsidiary of the Red Roof motel chain, the Blueroof Café in Hartsville offers fine dining for a discerning clientele. Possum biscuits are a speciality. Late-night customers are always welcome–they’ll leave the light on for ya!

Breezy Acres in Great Barrington

Breezy Acres: This rocky retreat is located near the dumpster at Four Brothers restaurant, so guests may enjoy free leftovers and a romantic, star-lit rendezvous. Three-night minimums required during full moons.

Mount Airey Lodge in Great Barrington

Mount Airey Lodge: Sadly, this Victorian carriage house on South Main Street in Great Barrington is no longer with us. Formerly a B&B (Broken & Battered), guests often raved about the cool evening breezes that wafted through the building. It has now been replaced by a solar-panel field.

Shipshape B&B in Monterey

Shipshape B&B: A cheerful sign at the entrance of this Monterey vessel reads “Don’t come knockin’ when this ship is rockin.” A check of the guest registry reveals such prominent former visitors as “Loveboat” Captain Stubing and Popeye the Sailor Man. Seasick guests enjoy an imaginary view of Lake Garfield.

Bittersweet Inn in Great Barrington

Bittersweet Inn: Alas, the Bittersweet Inn on Division Street in Great Barrington has been torn down. Former guests still speak fondly of berry picking while relaxing in their room. It seems nobody loves invasive species any more.

Picker’s Pub

Picker’s Pub: This sturdy brick structure was once a welcome home for the homeless. Several episodes of the popular TV show “American Pickers” have been filmed here. It is rumored that an antiques dealer named Peter Piper found a pickle jar worth $167,000 in the junk pile to the left of the building.

Shady Porches Inn in Monterey

Shady Porches Inn: This historic guest house in Monterey is legendary for the wild parties that often brought the roof down. It is said that President James Garfield stayed here while visiting his ne’er-do-well brother Hymie Garfield, for whom a nearby lake is named.

Mountainside Tavern in Great Barrington

Mountainside Tavern: According to reliable sources, this former Great Barrington dynamite shack was recently purchased by comedian Jimmie “Dy-no-mite” Walker. When asked what his plans for the structure are, Walker said, “Nothing is cast in concrete.

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11 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Sara Jeanne Burke says:

    Gary, this tour is a perfect intro to the planned ‘Other Side of the Berkshires’ calendar that has been on my back burner for years! Thanks for the laugh.

  2. Jonathan Hankin says:

    LOVE it! Thanks, Gary. Fortunately this is not an exhaustive list. There are schools, gas stations and dry cleaners that come immediately to mind…

  3. Gene P says:

    I hope next year you will include the Great Barrington building where I first performed “Town Without Pity.”

  4. Tony Carlotto says:

    Very Hysterical!! Some may be eligible for hysterical grants. Kudos!

  5. Belle fox-martin says:

    Thank you! Great fun and so well put together.

  6. REALIST says:

    Rustic,need one with snow,get Back out There Gary……..

  7. Jo-Seph says:

    I’m afraid the Shipshape B & B is beyond even the powers of Phil Swift, he of Flex Seal fame on the tee-vee. Phil would need a case of every product in the Flex Seal line. (That boat is a hazard to navigation; I almost drive off the edge of Route 23 every time I see it.) BTW, the appellations are more than half the fun here: “The Bittersweet Inn” indeed!


  8. Mags says:

    Hymie Garfield. OMG.
    These are hysterical! I hope there’ll be more.

  9. C. Coop says:

    Love it Gary! Have you ever thought about creating a calendar?

  10. Donna says:

    Thanks Gary! Loved the Tour! I knew I missed the Bershires and now I know why. Do you think the Hysterical Society could do a piece on the treasures of North Alabama for next year? I could be your tour guide!

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