“Oronoque” // c1886

One of the most stunning and unique summer “cottages” in Stockbridge, Massachusetts has to be “Oronoque”, an eclectic Shingle-style home constructed of course ashlar blocks and shingle siding. The home was constructed around 1886 for Birdseye Blakeman, who lived in Stratford, CT. The home’s name is somewhat a mystery, but was possibly the name of his ancestral home in Connecticut. Just a few years after the homes completion, Blakeman died, and his widow continued to summer at the home until her death in 1912. The home was purchased by Norman H. Davis, a U.S. diplomat who later served as President Wilson‘s chief financial advisor at the Paris Peace Conference after WWI. Davis also served as Chairman of the American Red Cross, under three presidents. Under his direction, the Red Cross greatly expanded by thousands of volunteers and blood banks were established. The home was later owned by Boston University, who used it as lodging for students visiting the Tanglewood Festivals. It was later sold to a developer who appears to have converted it to a multi-family property.