New England Lodging: Pocahontas, Lenox inn

Posted on January 21, 2009 by Stan Rosen

Carriage House 3, small JR.jpg

After more than 60 years operating as an inn, Hampton Terrace’s guest rooms finally have names.   It is not that they needed names…Wynnstay Cottage 3 was pretty descriptive…but we decided that this was an opportunity to help tell the history of the property in a colorful way.

Since the 1920s, our sports heroes have swung bats, thrown touchdowns, or squared off in a ring. But prior to Henry Ford, when all local transportation involved a carriage and a horse the most idolized American heroes were those who could pull a carriage and its rider one mile down a track in as close to two minutes as possible.

In its day, this was Corvette verses GTO. Every town had a fair, and every fair had a race track. These horses, called "Trotters," were railed hundreds of thousands of miles to race legendary mares and stallions from other regions. Their names became as household as that of "the Babe."

Robert Bonner and his children (owners of Hampton Terrace from 1917-1937) were considered the premier Trotter owners in American history. The purest line begins with Hambletonian (1849-1876), who sired many of the Bonner’s most prized horses, and even Hambletonian spent his final years under Mr. Bonner’s expert and benevolent care.

"It is said that with the exception of General Grant and P. T. Barnum, Robert Bonner is known to more people than any man in America."

Illustrated Weekly Magazine, 1897

Pocahontas

Pocahontas Room

The world record as the fastest horse in harness was held by the great pacing mare Pocahontas from 1855 to 1867. (record broken by Dexter) Born 1846, she sold for $30 that year, $51 in 1850 and $135 in 1852 as a sturdy horse who pulled logs in a four horse team. Her owner noticed she had unusual energy, and in 1853 she was entered in her first race in Cincinnati and won at 2:40. By the time Dexter passed her, she was setting records below 2:20. She foaled the famous racer Tom Rolfe and even won races with foal. Bought by Robert Bonner for $40,000, she ultimately ran an unofficial race of 2:08 3/4 in retirement, many years before that time was met officially.

A vintage-feeling room featuring a queen bed with cozy down comforter, gas-flame corner fireplace, television/VCR with cable, air conditioning in-season, CD player and an exposed-brick private bath with 72" Jacuzzi whirlpool tub.  Total Room Size: 17ft. x 15 ft.( including bath)

Topics: Hampton Terrace Accolades, Local Events/Places/Offers

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About the Author

Stan Rosen
Stan Rosen
Stan and Susan Rosen have owned Hampton Terrace since 1999. He is the ultimate first-person authority on all aspects relating to the inn.read more