The beautiful and often forgotten about city of Falmouth in Massachusetts is home to this elaborate and stunning mansion and the grounds surrounding it. With a myriad of fun events to attend and woodland grounds to explore, visitors can spend many hours seeing and doing everything at Highfield.
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The history of Highfield Hall can be traced all the way back to 1878 and the Beebe family from Boston, Massachusetts. One of the first mansions in the Cape Cod area, the heirs to one of the largest mercantile fortunes in Boston used the hall to host elaborate parties and events. Unfortunately, as the Beebe’s died off, no heir was left to maintain the grounds and it fell quickly into disrepair. In fact, at one point, there was actually a demolition permit filed. Luckily, the Historic Highland organization stepped in and saved the day, eventually spending nearly nine million dollars to restore the hall to its original splendor and even brought up to date with all the modern trappings.
The Gardens - There are many gardens outside of the hall itself. There is the Sunken Garden (an herb garden with beautiful and seasonal colors) and the West Garden (a cutting flower garden with carnations and trees meant to be a gathering place), as well as many other smaller gardens.
The Woods - Behind the hall is the 387-acre Beebe Woods, with trails and carriage roads that lead visitors over glacial moraine, past ponds, hills, boulders, and beautiful terrain. There is also a tree path, located near the parking area, that leads guests past where there was once a greenhouse. The trees were an important part of the life of the original residents of the premises. Visitors should make sure to check out a pond affectionately known as the “Punch Bowl,” located at nearly the center of the woods, if they are adventurous enough to venture out that far!
Art - Besides the art featured on a rotating basis on the inside of the hall, visitors should also make sure to check out all of the art outside as well. Angela Tanner’s Wind in the Door, a life size fairy gate, that allows mystical creatures like fairies and spirits to move through when open. Beautifully and artistically created by the author, who was inspired by books that she loved in her childhood, this sculpture brings a sense of fun and whimsy to the garden. The Fragment House, created by Danielle Krcmar, is the very first environmental and interactive piece of art to be shown on the grounds. Also, to watch out for while in the gardens are the art piece called Spirits of the Garden which lives in the Sunken Garden, and the beautiful 5DMERKABA (a meditation inspired six pointed state) located behind the hall.
Highfield Hall - The architecture of the summer mansion itself is also another main attraction. Built in the Stick style Queen Anne manner, Highfield Hall and Tanglewood (an adjoining mansion that has since been demolished) are both said to have been created by Peabody and Stearns. They have been lovingly restored and now feature a rotating collection of artwork. There are also docent led tours of both the mansion and the grounds for guests who would like some additional guidance and historic information.
The Highfield Story - The only permanent collection/exhibit on the premises tells the history of the hall and its journey from premiere summer mansion to family home to the renovated beauty it is today.
Highfield Hall is available for guests to rent for special events. The property also offers a catering service, called the Casual Gourmet, meets personally with everyone renting the space to discuss a menu catered to their specific needs and desires. Contacts the Hall ahead of time to reserve, inquire about restrictions and costs, and start the process of catering (if desired).
There are also many events and classes hosted on the premises. From the seasonal (Holidays at Highfield, for instance, offers seasonal decorating, activities and displays to get guests into the holiday spirit), to cooking classes and Burns night (a night to “roast” people in the traditional of one of the most well-known Scottish bards, Robert Burns), there is something going on all the time at the hall. Check the website for additional information about time, cost, etc. Bring friends and family and have fun while exploring the historic premises.
Highfield Hall and Gardens, 56 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, MA, 02541, Phone: 508-495-1878