Vol. I No. 06 10/18/2020
Reader to Reader (an email exchange)
From Brian Bell, BSO historian:
Brian: Carole, a bicentennial worth noting today, October 6, 1820.
On October 6th, 1820, Jenny Lind, a very important person in American musical history was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Lind came to America in 1850. After her debut in New York (6 concerts) she went to Boston and gave 8 concerts. Within the month she was managed by one P.T. Barnum, who presented her in nearly 100 concerts in a little over 6 months. She was married to her pianist, Otto Goldschmidt, at the Beacon Hill home of Samuel Ward (my mother's maiden name was Ward) on February 5th, 1852.
Nicknamed the "Swedish Nightingale", she captivated audiences wherever she sang, but she had a soft spot for Boston and New England; she spent her honeymoon in Northampton. Her earnings were in the millions, a significant portion of which she gave away. She died in 1887, and no recordings survive, but the critical reviews leave no question she was one of the greatest singers of all time. In July 1851, after leaving P. T. Barnum, Lind sang in Albany. I am curious if the railroad into the Berkshires was up and running by then.
Carole: Brian, It was. First appearance of RR in The Berkshires was in 1846. It may be true or apocryphal, but here is a story about Lind in The Berkshires. Lind came into The Berkshires by train as the invitation of Senator Charles Sumner. She stayed (possibly) with the Sam Ward family at Highwood or just down the lane with the George Higginson family. Sumner took her on a drive to Lake Averic. Captivated by the beauty, she sang. Her voice went out over the lake and came back. From that day locals called Lake Averic Echo Lake.
Stockbridge Train Station.