River Days


Extracted and edited from “History And Antiquities of Every Town In Massachusetts” by John Warner Barber, 1848.

This town was incorporated in 1762. The Congregational church in this town was formed in 1764, and the Rev. Benjamin Mills was ordained pastor the same year. He resigned in 1774, and died in 1785. Rev. Joseph Kilbourn was settled in 1780, and died within one year; his successor was Rev. Timothy Allen, who was settled in 1785, and continued pastor about ten years. Rev. Isaiah Waters was settled in 1796, and was pastor till 1831; his successor was Rev. Israel G. Rose.

This town is watered by the north branch of Westfield river. The channel of this river in the western part of the town may be regarded as a curiosity. “It is worn into the solid rock in places nearly thirty feet in depth, and may be traced from the bridge nearly sixty rods, appearing as if cut out by human hands.” This town is situated on one of the eastern ridges of the Green mountains. Beryl and emeralds have been found in the town. In 1837, there was in the town one woolen mill; cloth manufactured, 4,500 yards, valued at $5,600. There were 1,000 Saxony, 5,000 merino, and 1,100 other kinds of sheep; Saxony wool produced, 2,500 lbs.; merino, 15,000 lbs.; other kinds of wool, 3,300 lbs.; average weight of fleece, two and three fourths pounds; value of wool, $12,480; capital invested, $106,500. Population, 1,158. Distance, 12 miles from Northampton, 27 from Pittsfield, and 105 from Boston.

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