Charles Butler, a prestigious New York attorney, built Linwood House in 1859. This graceful summer ?cottage' was constructed for his family and named for the home in a book titled The Linwoods, by Catherine Sedgwick, a relative.
Butter's residence was among the first of the elegant summer homes that have come to be known as ?Berkshire Cottages.' Designed in 1885 by Stanford White, Choate's Naumkeag can be seen across the Housatonic River valley. Linwood House was later passed down through the generations to Marguerite Butler Swann and her husband Percy Musgrave.
During his daily bicycle rides to this site from his home in Stockbridge center, Norman Rockwell became acquainted with the Musgrave family. He enjoyed the property's beautiful vistas, but had no idea that it would one day provide the backdrop for a museum established in his honor. The structure of Linwood House remains as it was when Charles Butler lived here, but the building now houses the museum's administrative offices and is not open to the public.