Berkshires Regional Histories

Read about the history of Sheffield, Great Barrington, Route 7 to Pittsfield, and much, much more.

We also stock a complete line of local and regional historical books on Berkshire towns including: Stockbridge, West Stockbridge and Lenox; Sheffield, Great Barrington, Monterey and Otis, MA;The Hudson Valley, the Catskills and the Adirondacks

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Published by The New Marlborough Historical Society in Mill River, MA, this book is a cooperative effort by a dedicated group of people who cherish our historic past. Small towns make up the backbone of this nation of ours, but only a few people take time to document their history. Regrettably, that is how much of history is lost. We do not want that to happen here. Long forgotten stories about significant people are documented in this lavishly illustrated history of New Marlborough.
This is an extremely useful book which one returns to again and again as a reference work. Its scope is the broadest, taking in every aspect of Indian life as the early explorers and the colonists found it, from personal appearance and characteristics to diet and agriculture, social organization, and intertribal relations. In addition, the reader learns a great deal about the New England environment, its plants, natural resources, and forest composition, and how it was shaped by the Indians.
By David King
For about 200 years, Indian life and culture were thriving in the Berkshires and Hudson River Valley. What tribes were living here and how did they live? What led to their disappearance by the early 1800s?This book is designed to help both visitors and residents explore that history, and examine the countless reminders of the rich Indian culture: What do the many place names mean? What is the Indian connection to well-known mountains and other landmarks? And how can you find out more?
A little-known piece of American history is at the center of this humorous story. When the people of Cheshire, MA, hear that President Jefferson is eating cheddar made in Norton, CT, instead of their own, they decide to “do something” about it. Against all odds, they make a 1235-pound wheel of cheese and ship it to the president, who declares it the best that he has ever tasted. The author and illustrator bring to life an incident right out of history in this droll picture book enhanced by lively, color-washed pen-and-ink drawings.
The sudden judicial emancipation of enslaved Blacks in Massachusetts in 1781 is one square of the patchwork blanket that is the history of the Sheffield-Great Barrington- Stockbridge corridor of the Housatonic River Valley. This book featherstitches fresh archival research with anecdote-laden newspaper articles and interviews to create a rich folk tapestry of how – with patience, grit and courage – an African American community emerged over two and a half centuries.
Josh Billings: His Book
by Josh Billings
Paul Metcalf’s introduction provides biographical background necessary to understand and interpret the writings of Henry Wheeler Shaw (alias Josh Billings). Following this introduction are 85 of Billings’ writings.
Drawing upon Berkshire County diaries, letters, newspaper and military reports, church journals, and even gravestones, Stuart Murray tells the stories of New England factory and farmboy soldiers, the celebrated 54th (the African American regiment featured in the film “Glory”), Medal of Honor winners, Confederate generals, women volunteers, prisoners of war, leading abolitionists, pacifists, shopkeepers, poets, writers (including Melville), artists, politicians, and others. This portrait of the war’s horrors and glories will fascinate residents of New England and all Civil War buffs. We are glad to offer this book at a special 50% off – normally $18.95, now only $9.48!