This scarce 1854 wall map of Lenox, Massachusetts surveyed and drawn by E.M. Woodford, with his characteristic architectural vignettes, fine lettering and detailed local mapping, presents a three dimensional view of this prospering Berkshire County shire town at mid-19th century. The Map of the Town of Lenox is illustrated with seven vignettes of local architectural scenes that enhance our understanding of how Lenox residents lived and worked. Two large, inset maps provide large scale views of Lenox Village, the town's center and Lenox Furnace the town's commercial and industrial hub in the southeastern corner of town served by the Stockbridge & Pittsfield Railroad. Lenox is divided into eight numbered Districts, each labeled, outlined and filled in contrasting colors. The Lenox town border is also outlined in color, with the adjoining town names printed in black. Even the large, black lettering of the map title is aesthetically noteworthy, the large, black capitals in "LENOX" each decorated with a white, five-point star.
The wall map's seven large vignettes show Lenox on a Summer morning, trees in full leaf and illustrate fine homes, businesses and community institutions: the Residence of Ensign Loomis, the Residence of Hiram Pettee, Summerwood, the Residence of Mrs. S.G.Lee, Lenox Glass Works, the Berkshire County Court House, the Curtis Hotel and the Congregational Church whose clock on the steeple has just reached 9:25 a.m. We catch a glimpse of a figure in the window at Mrs. S.G. Lee's residence. Two men in top hats greet each other in front of the Berkshire County Court House. A carriage waits in front of the Curtis Hotel where several people, one with a dog, pass on the Hotel's porch.
Woodford provides two different scales for these maps. For the Lenox town map and the Lenox Furnace map the scale is in rods. The Lenox Village map scale is in feet. All three maps of Lenox show land owner names, the location of buildings, streets, wagon paths, and most notably Lenox's natural features including the Housatonic River, streams and among Lenox's most prominent features, the Berkshire Hills that are drawn in hachures. The Lenox Village map shows Curtis's Hotel, Dr. Worthington's Drug Store, homes and the Congregational Church sits in its own square, the cemetery on one side and the town Pound on the other. The Lenox Furnace map shows the Grist Mill, Glass Works, Depot, Hotel by Steadman and various shops, often labeled by the owner's name.
Woodford's map of Lenox also permits us to see where the Tanglewood Music Center, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra originated. According to the Boston Symphony Orchestra history of Tanglewood Music Center, Mrs. Graham Brooks and Miss Mary Aspinwall Tappan offered the 200 acre Tappan family summer estate, Tanglewood in 1936 to Serge Koussevitsky, then BSO Conductor as a gift to establish a permanent location for the Tanglewood Music Center. The 200 acre site is west of Lenox Village along the Stockbridge line and overlooking the Stockbridge Bowl. The rest is history. What began in 1936 as an open air venue with the BSO performing under a tent evolved by 1938 into the permanent wood "shed" where music performances attracted thousands of visitors every summer since to enjoy the programs of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. These grounds expanded further in 1986 with the addition of land known as the Highwood Estate next to the original gift from Mrs. Brooks and Miss Aspinwall Tappan. Viewing Woodford's map of Lenox in 1854 permits us to see the original landscape and site of the Tappan summer estate. Thus with Woodford's evocative and rare Map of Lenox, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1854 we can see American history unfold up to the doorstep of the present day.
I have found only two published examples of this rare map in the following collections:
Norman B. Leventhal Map Collection at the Boston Public Library
Harvard University Map Collection.