New England has been a feast of color, light and history. From Newport, Rhode Island to the village of Lenox in Berkshire County we have encountered the Fall in all its glory. We have passed through one settlement after another with white churches, central greens and historic architecture both Georgian and Federal in style.
There have been so many gems that it is hard to recount them all. Perhaps, the greatest highlight was the least expected. As a result of happenstance we found ourselves slightly off our planned route in the oldest part of Hadley on the banks of the Connecticut River. In search of supper we parked in the middle of a green space with long rows of elegant well-spaced trees. We decided to take a walk before eating. One house after another carried a plaque – 1729, 1782, 1799, 1802 etc. We had stumbled across West Street the site of the original Hadley plantation. The following day we took a trip to the oldest open house in the area. Forty-Acres is situated two miles from West Street Hadley. It was built by Moses Porter in 1752. The house is truly remarkable. It contains original family furniture, art and possessions bought an excellent history of the family, entitled Eathbound and Heavenbent, written by Elizabeth Pendergast Carlisle. The book fills the house with people and events using the original diaries of Elizabeth Porter Phelps who lived there form its construction to her death in 1817.
The small town of Lenox was equally charming as was the Beartown State Park. We drove through the heart of this magnificent forest on our way to the Bidwell parsonage. Stone walls, Schubert and pancakes with maple syrup will remain an enduring memory of New England. The Taconic State Parkway gave us a final fall color feast as we drove down to New York City on Wednesday. I was sad to leave New England but already New York is drawing me in.