Clarksburg, Massachusetts, USA (Briggsville) - Clarksburg Massachusetts, 1890
Clarksburg lies in the form of a parallelogram, seven miles long and two and a half miles wide, at the northern border of Berkshire County, about 120 miles northwest of Boston. It is bounded on the north by Stamford, N. H., east by Florida, south by North Adams, and west by Williamstown. There are 78 farms, containing 8,546 acres. The dwelling-houses number 128; and these afford shelter for the 708 inhabitants, 160 of whom are voters.
The land is mountainous, having, for its formative rock, granite, Levis limestone, and Lauzon schist. Mount Hazen, northwest of the centre, rises to the height of 2,272 feet. Its latitude is 42° 44' north, and longitude 73° 9' west. Northam Brook courses down from its southern side into the Hoosac River; and the north branch of the latter, in the eastern part of the town, with its affluents, Hudson's Brook, Muddy Brook and Beaver Creek, furnishes motive power of much value.
The forests, which cover more than one half the area of the town, consist mainly of oak, chestnut, spruce and hemlock. The people are principally engaged in farming, lumbering and the manufacture of powder, bricks and woollen cloth There are several saw mills, grist mills, a woolen and a carding mill, and a number of powder mills. The aggregate value of the manufactures, in the census year of 1885, was $266,875. The farm stock and the products are in the usual proportion. The aggregate value of the latter in the year mentioned was $67,969. The valuation in 1888 was $207,453, with a tax-rate of $20.50 on $1,000.
The town has three school buildings and a Sunday-school library. The villages are Briggsville and Powder Mills; the post-offices the first and Clarksburg; North Adams post-office, less than a mile from the middle of the town line, being also used; and this place affords railroad communication.
The snows in this region are deep, and the climate is severe but salubrious. In 1885 there were 13 residents over 80 years of age.
The settlement of this town was commenced in 1769 by Captain Mathew Ketchum, Nicholas Clark and others. It was named from one of its leading families, and incorporated March 2, 1798. A part of its territory was annexed to Florida, May 2, 1848. A man by the name of Hudson is supposed to have been the first white person who felled a tree in the town. His name is perpetuated by Hudson's Brook, which, soon after entering the town of North Adams, passes under a natural bridge.
A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts, with Numerous Illustrations Rev. Elias Nason, M.A.; revised and enlarged by George J. Varney. Boston: B.B. Russell. 1890, 724 pages
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