One of Terrific Barrington’s earliest “cottages,” David Leavitt’s Brookside, boasted New England’s largest agricultural building in its day — the Cascade Barn, which burned by an arsonist’s hand in 1855.
Electrical inventor William Stanley acquired the house in 1902 and abruptly experienced to rebuild the mansion following one more disastrous fireplace in 1904. He bought the estate to Kodak entrepreneur William Corridor Walker before the new Tudor-fashion residence was finished. Walker’s widow, Carrie, and daughter, Gertrude, carried on the estate and immediately after the latter’s passing in 1943, it turned house to the Altaraz College. The Union for Reform Judaism obtained it in 1958 to establish a summer season camp. Eisner Camp Institute for Dwelling Judaism was named for philanthropist Joseph I. Eisner, a devoted leader of Reform Judaism who experienced died that yr.
That’s an abbreviated heritage of what turned of the previous Daniel Wilcox farm on Brush Hill Road. But it omits point out of an additional Eisner who was lively on the house. Frank Eisner was not certainly related with Judaism.
Data about the place Frank Eisner arrived from or wherever he went is elusive. But we know a little something of what he did in the Berkshires. He came to Good Barrington to oversee the grounds for newspaperman Col. William L. Brown at Locustwood, a now absent estate on Maple Avenue, in 1897. “Here Mr. Eisner remained for several years,” The Berkshire County Eagle documented, “and brought the glass homes, grounds and flower and vegetable gardens up to a substantial conventional of perfection.”
In 1899 Eisner was the to start with in city to show a crop of sweet corn.
Following five yrs, Eisner moved a mile or so southeast to one more estate. “When William Stanley, the noted inventor, acquired Brookside in Great Barrington and commenced reworking the estate from meadow land into a backyard of flowers, he secured the expert services of Mr. Eisner and the perform was completed less than his course. Glass properties were being developed and the growing of flower and plant daily life grew to become a aspect underneath the skillful path of Mr. Eisner,” The Berkshire Eagle instructed viewers.
Eisner had to acquire a break from his beloved gardens in June 1903 when a forest fire on the mountain south and east of Brookside threatened the estate. He and six adult men “back fired the woods on the mountain aspect and in this fashion obtained the blaze under management,” The Eagle described.
Eisner’s standing with the following proprietor was unsure in 1904. Walker desired to introduce French and other European touches to the structures and grounds, on behalf of his wheelchair-sure daughter, who could not easily vacation overseas. This was something possibly beyond Eisner’s means. Eisner regarded as going to Southern California, but ended up to start with at a greenhouse in Worcester in 1905 then in Melrose and at last in Needham’s Greendale conservatories in 1906. Then two decades afterwards, “He will acquire a posture as head gardener and florist for William Hall Walker at Brookside. Mr. Eisner has manufactured a specialty for the earlier handful of several years of escalating many versions of Carnations,” The Eagle claimed.
Eisner was living in Needham when he accepted an provide to return as head gardener for Walker again at Brookside. The homeowners had been away in the summer months of 1909, but the public was permitted on the grounds. A visitor from out-of-point out drowned in an accident in the Brookside pond. The victim’s outcomes which includes $250 worthy of of jewellery that ended up saved at Eisner’s house on the estate — and ended up stolen by an unidentified intruder. The Boston World headlined a tale: “Meanest Person on Earth, This Thief.”
Just after 4 several years, Eisner appeared yet again for another career. He marketed in The Eagle: “Position by daily life experienced gardener in greenhouses, gardens, lawns also in landscaping and nursery inventory, initially course recommendation. Frank Eisner, 776 North St.” He still left in 1912 to manage the Holmes Road greenhouse of Rudolf Mauersberger in Pittsfield.
Eisner had departed Walker’s employ feeling undesirable the operator engaged landscape architect Ferruccio Vitale to plan an Italian-type backyard garden for him. (Vitale ended up staying in town, paying for a assets he termed Hilltop, overlooking Lake Mansfield.) Walker hosted the Lenox Garden Club for a tour of Vitale’s yard format in July 1914. Statuary and other capabilities of the ornate back garden have been disposed of at auction many a long time afterwards.
Eisner’s Brookside efforts were changed with Vitale’s elaborate landscape. But Eisner need to have had some pleasure in assisting Mauersberger, who was also a grounds designer, in laying out several Berkshire estates such as Dr. Randall H. Blanchard’s Wellington Bungalow Farm in New Lenox.
Eisner and his wife, son and a daughter moved to East Road, Pittsfield.
In 1913, Eisner grew to become superintendent for Spencer P. Shotter. Shotter experienced obtained Shadow Brook in north Stockbridge from Anson Phelps Stokes in 1893. The turpentine entrepreneur sold his residence to Andrew Carnegie in 1917. But Eisner had eliminated to Somerville the year in advance of. And that is exactly where I shed keep track of of him.