House o' Dreams
House o’ Dreams is a large stone and board-and-batten cottage on top of
Lavender Mountain. Plans were drawn by Harry Carlson of Cooledge and
Carlson of Boston. It was built in 1922 by students and staff as a gift
to Miss Berry on the 20th anniversary of the Schools. At 1,360 feet
above sea level, 600 feet above Frost Chapel, the House o’ Dreams and
its water/fire tower command a superb view of the campuses, the
reservoir, the city of Rome, the northwest Georgia area, and neighboring
states, Alabama and Tennessee.
Miss Berry's mountain retreat was financed by contributions from Mrs.
Emily Vanderbilt Hammond, alumni, and friends. The landscaping was done
by Mr. Robert B. Cridland from Philadelphia. The terraces for fruit
trees and berry patches, added at Miss Berry's suggestion, were
patterned after the grounds of Castle Nemi in Italy where Eugenia Berry
Ruspoli, Martha Berry's sister, lived.
Many guests have enjoyed Southern hospitality at the House o’ Dreams.
Miss Berry used the house as a retreat as well as a place to entertain.
It is still used for meetings and "dreaming" sessions by faculty,
staff, and student groups.
The mountain supplied all the necessary materials for the house. The
students built the furniture and designed and wove the fabric for
curtains and slipcovers. The house and grounds are maintained by a
caretaker who lives in a small cottage nearby. A grant in the form of a
challenge to Berry alumni and friends was made in 1983 by Mr. and Mrs.
William B. Stokely of Knoxville, Tennessee. The challenge was met, and
through the Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Stokely provided funding for the
full restoration of the mountain-top retreat. Completed in 1984, the
restoration has assured the preservation and continued use of this
historic structure. The drapery fabrics were copied at the Handicrafts
shop for new curtains and slipcovers.