Is it true what they say about the Dream Away Lodge?
Photo by Megan Haley
Dream Away Lodge in Becket is shrouded in mystery. But are the rumors just that—only rumors? Or was it really a brothel, a speakeasy, a great restaurant, a hangout for famous people? We found that the stories are mostly true.
A rambling farmhouse on October Mountain, it became a hunting lodge in the 1920s. The speakeasy claim is obvious. Men in a remote hunting lodge likely enjoyed illegal alcoholic beverages. It’s possible that women were brought in to enhance the experience, but nobody was ever arrested.
The Dream Away name appeared 20 years later when “Mama” Maria Frasca opened her lodge there. The food soon attracted swarms of visitors, but it was not a conventional restaurant. Mama often said, “I am the menu,” and she was usually the entertainment, too, rushing from stage to kitchen stove with mandolin still in hand. Devoutly religious, she said, “If you gotta God, you got it all.” Legendary Mama ran a clean but quirky house, often featuring her daughters on stage. Several Berkshire residents note that the worst offense at Dream Away was underage drinking, a common practice in Mama’s native Italy. The famous visitor rumors are documented, and they include Milton Berle, Liberace, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie.
With Mama’s departure in the 1970s, the lodge declined until it was sold to Daniel Osmun nearly 20 years later. Osmun, an actor, has maintained the “hippie sweetness” of the place, which today thrives on a sort of theatrical dining experience. The lodge’s past, which lends itself to the present, is very much a part of the mystique.