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Berkshire Native To Present 'Ashintully Remembered'

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LENOX, Mass.— Berkshire County native Holly McLennan Ketron, raised at Ashintully in Tyringham, will give a visual presentation on the Palladian mansion's history and its architecture.  
 
Titled "Ashintully Remembered: Postwar Living in a Gilded Age House," the speaker will focus on its role as home to its builders, Robb de Peyster Tytus and his wife, Grace, as well as the year-round residence of Grace's son, composer John McLennan and his family. Ketron will give her talk via Zoom on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 3:30 pm.
 
Ashintully joined the host of Gilded Age country retreats, of which Ventfort Hall is one, in 1911, as a year-round residence. It appeared rather late in the baronial building boom of the period.  One of the largest in the county, the Tyringham mansion's Georgian Palladian style differed from many of the area's shingled cottages. But like every Gilded Age cottage, with owners in residence for the Berkshire "season," or year-round, Ashintully was the setting for both private family life and social functions. 
 
Ketron and her younger sister, Angelica, are Grace's granddaughters and the children of John and his wife, Honora. The speaker will bring to life the course of the family fortunes and use of the house down to the present time.
 
In the 1970s and 1980s, John expanded one of the Berkshires most beautiful gardens that the Trustees of Reservations now maintains for the public. 
 
While Ventfort Hall talks have brought us stories of lives led in Gilded Age cottages from a secondary standpoint, Ketron will relay her story from firsthand experiences and knowledge.
 
The Ketron talk is offered via Zoom and a suggested donation of $20. To attend on Zoom sign up at ventfort02272021.eventbrite.com. For information call Ventfort Hall at 413-637-3206. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker St.
 
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Feigenbaum Grant Helps Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Improve Accessibility

Lenox, Mass. — With a gift from the Feigenbaum Foundation, Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary's Opening Doors to Nature capital campaign is within $50,000 of its $1,125,000 goal.
 
The $100,000 grant will help improve Pleasant Valley's accessibility, allowing the  wildlife sanctuary in Lenox to welcome a broader and more diverse audience for outdoor recreation and creative nature-based education programs.
 
Opening Doors to Nature supports construction of an addition to the sanctuary's 18th-century program barn that includes accessible visitor amenities and outdoor learning spaces.
 
The new building will open this spring and allow Pleasant Valley to meet the growing demand for visitation, programs, and partnerships.
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