History of the Daniel Stebbins Inn:
Early in 1793 Dr. Daniel Stebbins purchased the property encompassing much the northern section of the current Mt Holyoke College campus. Our Inn, the Daniel Stebbins House, was originally built in 1795 on the current site of the Mt. Holyoke College Library where it stood until 1870 when it was moved to its current location.
Our Inn’s history is inextricably related to the founding and growth of Mt. Holyoke College. The seminary building rose just next to this house in 1837 and Mary Lyon boarded here.
In May of 1869 the house was fated once more to be entangled in Mt. Holyoke history. Plans were being made to build the seminary library on the site of the Stebbins House when a fire broke out in its barn. The house was saved by the prompt action of the students who formed a bucket brigade and put out the fire.
The Mount Holyoke Trustees had purchased the Stebbins House in 1866 and in 1870 they gave permission for the house to be moved. Imagine this scene: Jacking up a two story house with two chimneys and placing it on some kind of roller system drawn by oxen/draft horses and moved down hill to its current location at the corner of the road to Amherst and the road to Granby and placed on a prepared foundation- I wish there were photos of this!
The Skinner family, William, Joseph and Elizabeth, owners of the Skinner Silk Mills in Holyoke acquired the property in 1923 and had the old house restored under the direction of architect Allen N. Cox. No fundamental changes were made to the original Federal building. Large porches were added, open on the first floor and closed on the second. While Joseph Skinner owned the house he rented it to Mt Holyoke faculty members.
The house was acquired by Mt. Holyoke College in 1964 and was used for faculty housing. In 2000 the College sold the property to Richard and Ann Furnelli who restored it and created this incredibly elegant and comfortable bed and breakfast. In 2017 we purchased the Inn and have since then thoroughly enjoyed hosting our lovely guests.
About your Hosts:
In August of 2016 we looked at each other and decided that although we were “old” we were not too old for the next chapter of our lives. So, on Friday, January 13, 2017 we purchased the Daniel Stebbins Inn and ran it as a very successful bed and breakfast until March of 2020 when Covid 19 shut us down. We are currently offering our beautiful rooms with a self serve “small breakfast” included. It has been and continues to be a wonderful and exciting journey for both of us.
While our backgrounds differ, they all come together to produce a unique blend of talents and services to offer our guests.
Ruth and Richard grew up in Boston, graduated from the University of Massachusetts and spent five years in Washington D.C. working for the government and private businesses. In 1975 they purchased an 1810 brick farm house in Colrain, MA which they renovated while we lived self sufficiently, growing their own food, and raising a variety of farm animals. We operated this 100 acre organic farm, developing a variety of off shoot businesses including hydroponic greenhouses and “flavorful sprouts”. Looking for a more diverse population in which to raise our children, led to a move to Amherst where our focus became purchasing and renovating old houses.
Ruth attends to the operational and logistical details of the Bed and Breakfast. She brings her smile, grace and attention to details to the needs of our guests.
Richard excels at managing the flow of hot fresh, strong coffee. His experiences on the farm provides us with the property management expertise of all the systems in the house and the ability to repair them.
This new project brings our talents together to make the Daniel Stebbins Inn an extraordinary place to stay. Your home away from home.
Ruth, Richard , and Josh,
Just a note to again thank you for your hospitality and your delightful facility. We so enjoyed our stay with you Easter night and will certainly want to come back when we visit our son. You are most charming and attentive hosts!
Martha & Tom