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For as long as Dorinda Medley has graced our screens, her storied Berkshires vacation home has been a major part of her storyline. It's where she can unleash her decoration-obsessed prowess, it's where she can “make it nice” for her Real Housewives of New York City castmates, and it's long been her retreat away from the chaos and noise of Manhattan.
And while we always knew that Dorinda’s late husband, Richard Medley, had purchased the stately Great Barrington mansion for her, it wasn’t until a recent interview with Saratoga Living that we learned the intimate details of how her lifelong relationship with the home came to be.
“So, my great-grandfather came to America from Italy as a very accomplished mason,” she explained. “Back then, Great Barrington was sectored and the Italian quarter was where all the masons lived. My great grandfather had his own mason business, and when physicist William Stanley [whose company was bought by GE] came up and had this beautiful home built by Stanford White, all his men did the stonework. They called it 'Blue Stone Manor' because the stone was taken from the grounds. My great-grandfather worked on it, my grandfather worked on it. So, the house had a lot of history for me.”
While growing up in the same town as the home her family had built, Dorinda reminisced, “My Dad would drive us by the house, and I would say, ‘One day, Dad, I’m going to get really rich, and I’m going to buy the house for us. I’m never going to get married, Mom and you are going to live there, and we’re never going to leave Great Barrington!’ And he said, ‘Yes we are, princess,’ and it became this fabled, ‘there’s your house on the hill, Dorinda.’”
Fast forward a few decades, to when Dorinda was dating her soon-to-be husband Richard (whose birthday is actually today, he would be 68 years old).
“So, I told Richard this story over and over again, and it was always this house that no one wanted, because it was old. About a month before I got married to Richard, we drove up to the Berkshires and he said, ‘Let’s go by that house you like.’ And there was no gate there, and we were going up the driveway and I said, ‘We can’t go in there,’ and he said, ‘Yes you can; this is your house now, and I want you to have something from me that’s not part of our marriage, that’s just yours.’ So, a month before our wedding, Richard Medley bought me the house of my childhood dreams," she explained.
Officially the most thoughtful, extravagant, selfless wedding gift of all time, Blue Stone Manor is suddenly anew in our eyes, now that we know the full history and romance of the home. Also… we’re not crying, you’re crying!
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