William and Elizabeth Doane purchased this handsome house in 1875 as their summer retreat. They named it "Tranquility," as it overlooks a peaceful bend in the Housatonic River. During this period, the town of Stockbridge, in the heart of the Berkshires, was becoming a popular summer destination for New Yorkers like the Doanes.
In 1900, the Doanes renovated the house substantially, adding a Shingle-style wing that wrapped around the back of the house and included a capacious porch overlooking the river. The Doanes and their daughter, Vipont Merwin, traveled extensively, collecting European and American furnishings and objects to decorate their home.
Merwin House is the temporary home of the Stockbridge Library and Museum while the library is being renovated. Highlights of the library's collection are on display and open to the public on Fridays, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.