Other family papers

Collection Type

  • Manuscripts


1716-1965, undated

Location Note

HGO-02-105-A-E-204; HGO-02-105-A-F-104; HGO-02-105-A-E-106



You can find this within


Series III. Other family papers, 1716-1965, undated (#1.15-1.27, C.1.1-C.1.4, C.1.8-C.1.13, C.1.19, OB.1.5-OB.1.6, OB.2.7), contains contracts, deed, indentures, a marriage certificate, and other legal documents; ephemera and memorabilia (including a wallet and magnifying glass belonging to Marie Vipont deRiviere (Doane) Merwin, 1878-1965); flyers, leaflets, pamphlets, and other printed material; genealogical material (including genealogical charts, notes, family histories, etc.); letters and postcards; lists; membership applications, certificates, and related papers; photographs of Merwin House; societal/organizational by-laws, stationary, notices, proceedings, etc.; casino stock certificates; clippings; etc.; belonging to the Doane and Merwin families. Material from societies, organizations, and businesses include: Bunker Hill Monument Association; Doane Family Association of America; Massachusetts Society of the Colonial Dames of America; National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons; New England Historic Genealogical Society; Plimoth Plantation, Incorporated, in Plymouth, Massachusetts; Stockbridge Casino Company, Incorporated; and the Stockbridge Library Association in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Contained within the clippings are a collection of articles focused on Abraham Lincoln (U.S. President, 1861-1865), Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), Marie Vipont deRiviere (Doane) Merwin (1878-1965), and Edward Payson Merwin (died 1936). The series is arranged in four subseries.


Descriptive Terms

family papers

Physical Description

Family papers (1 file box, 1 carton, 3 oversize folders)

Collection Code


Collection Name

Merwin House collection

Date of Acquisition


Reference Code


Acquisition Type


Credit Line

Bequest of Marie Vipont deRiviere (Doane) Merwin (1878-1965), 1966


Stockbridge (Berkshire county, Massachusetts)

Record Details

Material Type

family papers

Description Level


Location Note

HGO-02-105-A-E-204; HGO-02-105-A-F-104; HGO-02-105-A-E-106

Historical/Biographical Note

Historical/Biographical Note

Around 1825, Francis Dresser and Clarissa (Dowd) Dresser built the late Federal-style house known today as the Merwin House in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Clarissa Dresser was from Madison, Connecticut, and moved to South Lee, Massachusetts, in 1832 to teach school. Francis Dresser died only fifteen years after marrying Clarissa, leaving her with four small children. With the introduction of the railroad in the 1850s, Stockbridge transformed from a quiet, rural community to a leisure destination for wealthy New Yorkers looking to escape the noise and congestion of the city.

Between the Civil War (1861-1865) and the First World War (1914-1918), artists, writers, financiers, and industrialists flocked to the rural hills of western Massachusetts for seasonal escapes. During this time, Stockbridge flourished; summer residents built elaborate mansions and were entertained by a golf course, casino, and other cultural attractions.

In 1875, William Edward Doane (1842-1923) and Elizabeth Adeline (Wilson) Doane (1846-1932), wealthy New Yorkers, purchased the house from the Dresser family to use as a summer retreat. The Doane family grew to include two young daughters, Elizabeth Wilson (Doane) Wilson (1871-1956) and Marie Vipont deRiviere (Doane) Merwin (1878-1965). After William Doane died in 1923, Elizabeth Doane and her daughter, Marie Vipont deRiviere (Doane) Merwin (known as Vipont), continued to summer at the house.

Vipont married three times during her life. Her first husband, Ensign Newman K. Perry, died tragically in an accident while serving in the Navy in 1905, just two years after their wedding. In 1909 Vipont married Edward Webb, but their nine-year marriage was apparently never publicized until they divorced in 1918. In 1923, the same year her father William Doane died, Vipont married Edward Payson Merwin, a New York stockbroker with family roots in North Carolina.

Following Elizabeth Doane's death in 1932, Vipont and Edward Merwin decided to live in the house on a more permanent basis. After the sudden death of Edward Merwin in 1936, Vipont continued to live in the house for nearly thirty years. She lived there with two servants, Catherine and Albert Martinengo. The Martinengos became Vipont's close friends and companions during these years. Vipont Merwin died in 1965 and is buried in the family plot in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

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