Berkshire Cottages

The Berkshire Reader

Northern Berkshire County

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Berkshire County

Vital Records

Each of the following books are part of the “Vital Records to 1850” Published by the New-England Historic Genealogical Society, at the Charge of the Eddy Town-Record Funds. Each volume contains Births, Marriages and Deaths for a specific town.

Alford, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850; Published in 1903.
Becket, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850; Published in 1903.
Dalton, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850; Published in 1906.
Hinsdale, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850; Published in 1902.
Lee, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850; Published in 1902.
New Ashford, Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850; Published in 1902.

Town Profiles & Histories

History of North Adams, History of North Adams, Mass. by W. F. Spear. Adapted & edited from the 1885 book Town history of North Adams. Includes material on founding, churches, schools, prominent citizens, Hoosac Tunnel, Fort Massachusetts, industry and manufactories and much more.

A New England Village, by Leverett W. Spring —Originally published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 1871. This adaptation describes the history of the town of Stockbridge, John Sergeant and his relationship with Native American tribes, Jonathan Edwards, Cyrus Field, Library founding and other elements of early Stockbridge history.

Adams and North Adams, by Clinton Q. Richmond. Twenty-one page article describing the history of Adams and North Adams, Massachusetts. Some of the topics addressed include geography, Fort Massachusetts, Ephraim Williams, French & Indian War, Manufacturing companies, prominent citizens, the state Normal School and the eventual split of Adams into two towns. Adapted from New England Magazine, 1899. Illustrated.

Historical Sketch of Pittsfield, by Frank W. Kaan Vintage. This 1885 article, adapted from Bay State Monthly, describes the founding and early history of Pittsfield. Illustrated.

Other Berkshire Articles

Literary Associations of Berkshire County is a adapted from a 1893 article describing the many authors of Berkshire County including: Catherine Sedgwick, William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, the Field brothers and many others. Some discussion of the author's books and relationships—includes a number of towns in the county.

The Home of Josh Billings, by Edith Parker Thomson. — Short article describing the author Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885), who had the pen name of "Josh Billings" Shaw was a well-known humorist and was said to be better known than his contemporary, Mark Twain—he is often quoted even today. Shaw was originally from Lanesborough, a focus of this article.

The Old Pittsfield Church And Its Three Meeting-Houses, A Chapter of Evolution, by Mrs. H. M. Plunkett. This edited vintage 1893 article, was originally published in New England Monthly. Article provides a history of the three sequential meeting-houses (churches) in Pittsfield. Interesting look at ecclesiastical history and touches on early issues regarding separation of church & state. Illustrated.

Williams College, by Leverett W. Spring. Originally published in 1883, this edited version describes the founding and early history of Williams College, including profiles of the early Presidents of the College, their leadership and concerns.

The Story Of The Hoosac Tunnel. Edited and adapted from a 1882 article outlining the lengthy development of the Hoosac tunnel from initial conception to completion. Includes funding, engineering issues, trade, and much more. Excellent overview for a monumental feat at that time.

Books & articles appearing here are modified adaptations
from a private collection of vintage books & magazines.
Reproduction of these pages is prohibited
without written permission.
© Laurel O'Donnell, 1996-2006.