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flag  History of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA

(Housatonic)

Visit Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA - Three Mile Hill

Great Barrington, Berkshire, MA

Great Barrington, town (township), Berkshire county, southwestern Massachusetts, U.S. It lies along the Housatonic River, in the Berkshire Hills, 19 miles (31 km) south of Pittsfield, and includes the communities of Great Barrington and Housatonic. Settled in 1726, the site was set off from Sheffield and incorporated in 1761. It was probably named for the 2nd Viscount Barrington, a nephew of the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s governor, Samuel Shute.

Great Barrington includes: Berkshire Heights, Brookside, Housatonic, Risingdale, Seekonk, and Van Deusenville.
netronline.com/ mass_lookup.htm

britannica.com

There is MUCH more to discover about Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Great Barrington Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Three Mile Hill
Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA

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Three Mile Hill

Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA

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"Brookside" Residence of Mr. W. H. Walker
The Berkshire Inn
Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA

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The Berkshire Inn

Discover Great Barrington: History, News, Travel, and Stories

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1761 - Great Barrington is incorporated

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
General Henry Knox and his troops passed through here in the winter of 1775-76 with a load of 59 cannons pulled by teams of oxen.
The cannons were captured from the British at Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. They were transported from Lake Champlain to Dorchester Heights, Massachusetts and used by George Washington's army on March 17, 1776 (Evacuation Day) to free Boston from British control during the American Revolutionary War.

General Henry Knox Trail - Historic Marker reads:
"Through this place passed General Henry Knox in the winter of 1775-1776 to deliver to General George Washington at Cambridge the train of artillery from Fort Ticonderoga used to force the British army to evacuate Boston."

1839 - Great Barrington
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Berkshire county. A very pleasant town in the valley of Housatonick river, 125 miles W. by S. from Boston and 14 S. from Lenox. Incorporated, 1761. Population, 1837, 2,440. Monument mountain, in this town, is quite lofty: it presents some wild and picturesque scenery. Here are good iron ore, beautifully variegated marble, and a good mill stream. The soil on the banks of the Housatonick is fertile and the uplands are well adapted for grazing. The manufactures consist of cotton and woolen goods, boots, shoes, leather, hats, pig iron, lasts, tin ware, bevils and guages. Total amount of manufactures in one year, $122,369. This town the same year (1837) produced 2,657 fleeces of merino wool, valued at $3,321.
The New England Gazetteer containing descriptions of all the states, counties and towns in New England: also descriptions of the principal mountains, rivers lakes, capes, bays, harbors, islands and fashionable resorts within that territory. Alphabetically arranged. By John Hayward, author of the Columbian Traveller, Religious Creeds, &c. &c. Boston: John Hayward. Boyd & White, Concord, N.H. 1839
1845 - GREAT BARRINGTON. [Pop. 2,704 Inc. 1761.]
Great Barrington was once a parish of Sheffield, and was the shire or county town from 1761 to 1787, when the courts were removed to Lenox.

The town is well watered by the Housatonic and one of its branches.
Alum Hill and Monument Mountain are interesting to lovers of fine
scenery.

The chief manufactures are of cotton, wool, and iron.

Distance from Lenox, 14 miles ; from Boston, 125.
An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845
1854 - Great Barrington
Great Barrington, a post-village of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, on the E. bank of the Housatonic river and railroad, 85 miles N. from Bridgeport by railroad. It is pleasantly situated in the midst of picturesque scenery, and contains 2 or 3 churches, 2 newspaper offices, a bank, and several manufactories. Population of the township, 3264.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1863 - Drowning
DROWNED.
A son of Mr. George Pinnco, a soldier in the 37th regiment, whose family live in the cottage on the grounds of David Leavitt, Esq., of Gt. Barrington, was drowned in the pond on the same promises, on Saturday afternoon the 16th inst. Mrs. Pinnco had not missed the child five minutes, when it was brought in a corpse. He was discovered by a passer-by, who at first thought some clothes had blown from a line, and, taking a stick, attempted to recover them, and found it was the dead body of the child. The water was only eighteen inches deep where he was found.
The Berkshire County Eagle
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
May 28, 1863
1870 - Mr. David S. Draper, of Great Barrington, Mass., refuses to be qualified as Representative elect, on the ground that he was elected without his consent.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
January 29, 1870
1886 - First Transformer
The first transformer demonstrated by William Stanley in Great Barrington.
www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/ state-history-timeline/ massachusetts.html

1886-03-06 - 1st US alternating current power plant starts, Great Barrington, MA
historyorb.com
1888 - The failure of the Berkshire Woolen Company of Great Barrington, Mass., occurred on the 27th. The mill employed three hundred hands.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
November 3, 1888
Great Barrington Massachusetts, 1890
Great Barrington is an ancient and beautiful town lying in the southwesterly part of Berkshire County, 174 miles west of Boston. It is bounded on the north by West Stockbridge, Stockbridge and Lee; on the east by Tyringham, Monterey and New Marlborough; on the south by Sheffield; on the west by Egremont and Alford. The assessed area is 26,733 acres, which includes 8,061 acres of woodland. The Housatonic Railway runs north and south through the midst.

The surface is charmingly diversified by mountain, lake, river, upland and intervale; and, to whatever point the eyes are turned, they rest upon a beautiful and often highly picturesque landscape. Bear Mountain, a long wooded eminence, extends north and south across the projecting eastern angle of the town; and Monument Mountain, in the north, rises abruptly from the left bank of the Housatonic River, and forms a striking picture in the landscape. The principal streams are the Housatonic River, noted for its romantic beauty, which... Read MORE...

1893 - MOST PECULIAR CASE. Stray Bullet Thought to Have Ended Life of Seigfred Alder.
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass., Sept. 5 - The most peculiar case of violent death which has occurred in Great Barrington in years was discovered yesterday when Charles Kellogg found lying at the rear entrance to T. R. Prindle's residence on Mahwaie street, the body of Seigfred Alder, 45, with a rifle bullet wound in his right breast. Kellogg at once informed Medical Examiner Small, who viewed the body and had it taken to Culvert's morgue where an autopsy was performed this morning. Where the shot came from that ended Alder's life is a mystery.

His story is peculiar. Alder was a Swiss weaver and his first appearance in town was about two years ago. He was a tramp and found lodgings in the roundhouse, where he paid his way by helping clean the engines. his food he found where any person would give it to him, and his time between light and darkness was put in doing odd jobs for any who would employ him. He was a steady, hard and good worker, and found plenty to do. Yesterday he had been... Read MORE...

1895 - Great Barrington
Great Barrington, bear'ing-ton, a post-village of Berkshire co, Mass., in Great Barrington township, on the Housatonic River, and on the Housatonic Railroad, 25 miles S. by W. of Pittsfield, 40 miles S.S.E. of Albany, and 28 miles E. of Hudson, N.Y. It is surrounded by picturesque scenery. . It has 4 churches, a savings-bank, a national bank, a high school, a newspaper office, manufactures of woollen goods and lumber, and 2 superior hotels. Quarries of good building-stone have been opened here. Pop. of the township in 1890, 4612/
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1900 - GREAT BARRINGTON. A SERIOUS RUNAWAY.
A runaway occurred yesterday morning which would have resulted seriously if it had not been for the bravery of the driver, Frank McGraw, who clung to the reins until the wagon was smashed into pieces. The horses were a spirited pair owned by W. W. Norton. They were coming down Castle hill, nearly a mile long, when the pole strap broke, letting part of the neck yoke down, and the wagon on to the heels of the horses. They soon became unmanageable and dashed down the steep hill over the rough ground. Mrs. Frederick Darlington and her child were in the rear seat, which was loose, and soon fell to the ground. Mrs. Darlington and her child crawled under the front seat and wrapped the few robes around them. The team continued through the village and toward the bridge which crosses the river. Just before they reached the bridge they gave a sudden turn into the ditch and against the fence. The occupants were thrown with terrible force to the ground. Mrs. Darlington and her son escaped serious... Read MORE...

1903 - FATAL TROLLEY ACCIDENT
A Motorman Killed, and His Wife and Child and Several Passengers Injured in Vermont.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass., May 20. - By the derailing of a trolley car on the Berkshire Street Railway at a point three miles north of here this evening Motorman Gladwin was almost instantly killed, his child probably fatally injured, and his wife and five or six other passengers, together with Conductor Ward, were severely hurt. The accident is believed to have been caused by a stone that had become wedged between the car track and a guide rail on a curve.

As is customary, the car was running at a good rate of speed. When it shot around the curve the car left the rails at a tangent and crashed into a tree. Motorman Gladwin was hurled against the tree and his wife and child, who were on the front seat, were hurled into the front end of the car by impact.
The New York Times
New York, New York
May 30, 1903
1916
Great Barrington, a banking post-village of Berk shire co., Mass., in Great Barrington township (town), on the Housatonic River and on the New York, New Haven and Hartford R.. 17 miles (direct) SSW. of Pittsfield. It is situated in the picturesque Berkshire Hills and is a favorite summer-resort. Many of the private mansion! are among the finest in the United States. The Congregational church contains a magnificent organ with nearly 4000 pipes. The town has manufactures of cotton and woollen goods, electrical appliances, etc. Quarries of good building-stone are worked here. The Sedgwick Institute is located here. Pop. of the town in 19(10, 5854. Elevation, 720 feet.
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in and around Great Barrington, Massachusetts:
Hike Monument Mountain: Start your visit with a hike up Monument Mountain. The trail provides breathtaking views of the Housatonic River Valley and is especially beautiful during the fall foliage season.

Shop in the Downtown Area: Great Barrington's downtown area is filled with quaint boutiques, art galleries, and charming shops. Stroll along Main Street and explore unique shops like Robin's Candy, Gypsy Joynt, and the Barrington Bookstore.

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center: Check the schedule for the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, a beautifully restored historic theater that hosts concerts, films, and live performances throughout the year.

Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum: Just a short drive away in Stockbridge, the Norman Rockwell Museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. Explore Rockwell's iconic paintings, illustrations, and a comprehensive collection of his work.

Berkshire Botanical Garden: If you appreciate botanical beauty, spend some time at the Berkshire Botanical ... Read MORE...

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Updated: 10/2/2023 11:13:17 AM