New England Inn, Lenox lodging: Rarus Room
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 1 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
"The Great Fatherless Trotter Stabled with Noble Companions. …Mr. Bonner paid more for Rarus ($36,000) than he has ever paid for a trotter before, save Pocahantas. Rarus attracts more attention than he otherwise would from the fact that he is without pedigree." New York Times, 1879. In typical Bonner fashion, the purchase was a surprise headline. The day before, Rarus had been a no-show in Hartford, disappointing 15,000 fans and earning a lifetime ban from racing. It turned out that his owner, hoping to sell his horse that day, had been in negotiation with a buyer, who, wanting to protect his investment, refused to let the horse run. Mr. Bonner, desiring to save the horse’s reputation, and fulfilling his wish that all champions be allowed to retire with dignity, paid an unjustifiable fee to add the horse to his stables. Broke world record twice: 2:14 and 2:13 1/4 in 1878
This dark, romantic room features the colors of nature – a queen bed with down comforter, gas-flame corner fireplace, television/VCR with cable, air conditioning in-season, CD player and private bath with 72" Jacuzzi whirlpool tub. Total Room Size: 17ft. x 15 ft.( including bath).