Berkshire County, MA: history, population, rivers, lakes, mountains, resorts, hotels, motels, inns, and landmarks.

New England > Massachusetts > Berkshire County

Berkshire County, Massachusetts

Lenox is the chief town. This county was incorporated in 1776. Population, 1820, 35,666; 1830, 37,825, and in 1837, 39,101; area, 860 square miles. Bounded N. by Bennington county, Vt., W. by Rensselaer and Columbia counties, N.Y., S. by Litchfield county, Ct., and E. by Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties. This county is rough and hilly in many parts, but it affords considerable very fine land, and produces much wool, all sorts of grain, and exports great quantities of beef, pork, butter, &c. The number of sheep in this county in 1837 was 136,962. Berkshire is the most elevated county in the state. The Green and Taughkannic [Taconic] Mountains cross it from N. to S.; the average height of which is about 1,200 feet above the level of the sea. The Housatonick and Hoosick are its chief rivers. The former empties into Long Island Sound; the latter into the Hudson: 29 towns; 45 inhabitants to a square mile. "This county possesses, in rich and inexhaustible abundance, three of the most important articles of commerce of the world, Iron, Marble and Lime, and its woods and water power are fully sufficient to enable it to fit them for the purposes of life." The tonnage of this county to its marts of trade, principally on the Hudson, amounted, in 1834, to no less than 34,075 tons. At the present time it probably exceeds 40,000 tons. The enterprize of a railroad from Boston to Albany will soon be accomplished, and cannot fail of being exceedingly beneficial, not only to this county but to the commonwealth at large.

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