Ethelwynde was originally created in 1875 for Henri Braem, U.S. Ambassador to Denmark. From 1893 through 1925, the property was the country retreat for the family of Mrs. Katharine Wilson Taylor Winthrop. She was a renowned gardener and botanist whose specimen plantings still grace the property. Mrs. Winthrop's hosted what the New York Times called some of "the definitive parties of the season" at her home. She was the daughter of Moses Taylor, one of the great railroad, iron and coal financiers of the 19th century and the first president of City Bank (now Citicorp). Her husband was Robert Winthrop, direct descendent of Massachusetts founding Governor John Winthrop and a significant financier and political figure in his own right. The association with the Winthrop family is why the Ethelwynde estate is also referred to as Winthrop Estate.
The Winthrop Family sold the property to Halstead Lindley, who embarked on building a new home for his wife, Emily Low Bacon, of Boston who had summered in Lenox throughout her childhood. Mr. Lindsley, was a mining engineer by training and was the founder and owner of some of the largest copper, nickel, silver and gold mines throughout the world. He replaced the original wood-framed Ethelwynde house, with a grander home built from Weymouth Granite based on English precedents with hand-carved marble fireplaces, multi-layered dental molding in the formal dining room, a proper conservatory, and numerous bedrooms. Mr. Lindsley commissioned bath fixtures made of solid nickel from his mines, which remain in place. He had his library built from Purple Heart logs floated up the Amazon River by one of his mining companies Mr. and Mrs. Lindsley made Ethelwynde their summer home until through the middle of the 1940s.
After Mr. Lindsley’s passed away, the estate was sold in 1948 to Isabella Hunnewell Dexter. She was a member of the prominent Boston-based Hunnewell family, major horticulturists and Boston philanthropists. One can imagine she was particularly attracted to Ethelwynde’s landscape and stunning views as they reminded her of her families Boston area's estates. She was married to Gordon Dexter, a direct descendent of John Singleton Copley and she donated several of Copley's portraits to the National Gallery in Washington D.C.
The property was then owned by Mr. Chester Hammond, president and chairman of the H.F. Livermore Corporation who bought the property for his mother. In 1954, the property was sold to Sally Schieffelin, widow of Mr. George Schieffelin who was president of the Schieffelien Liquor Conglomerate. She was known for her Pekinese dogs, and her support of the Lenox Library and her trust still provides annual donations to the Lenox Library. In 1976, Dr. Milos Krofta, president and founder of the Krofta Engineering Corporation of Lenox purchased Ethelwynde to use as the international headquarters of his water purification firm, Krofta Waters.
In 2003, the property was purchased by Ethan and Jamie Berg who embarked on a multi-year restoration of the building and especially, the grounds. While it has been mostly used as a private family retreat, it has also been the home of The Lenox Athenauem, hosting musical recitals including musicians such as Yo Yo Ma and Manny Ax, book authors including Simon Winchester, and TEDxBerkshires. The estate is a unique combination of 45 acres of privacy and extreme proximity to both the center of Lenox and Tanglewood.