Barstow’s Dairy Store and Bakery hosts a Featured Artist on our walls to give us new and lovely perspectives on the beautiful Pioneer Valley we call home.
But art has been part of this area’s history.
The spectacular views of the Connecticut River valley from Mount Holyoke, the mountain located just behind Barstow’s Longview Farm, were popularized in the early 19th century by the writing of Timothy Dwight, a Northampton native and president of Yale College.
The summit area was a tourist destination, and artists such as Thomas Cole immortalized the views in art. In the late 19th century tourism waned, but saw a brief resurgence in the 1910s and 1920s due to the activities of Joseph Skinner, a local industrialist and philanthropist. He purchased and rehabilitated the mountaintop facilities and modernized the road to the summit.
Get a sense for their inspiration atop Mount Holyoke for yourself! Skinner State Park offers an auto road open in the summer for $5 MA plates and $10 out-of-state plates. It is free to hike to the Summit House and there are plenty of trails to choose from!
Start your day at Barstow’s to pick up a picnic lunch to enjoy at the top or granola bites to keep you energized along the way! Stop at Barstow’s on the way home for a much deserved ice cream cone or treat from the bakery! If you aren’t inspired by the views within Skinner State Park, you’ll definitely be inspired by our chocolate chip cookies!