Stockbridge is a town in Berkshire County in western Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,947 at the 2010 census. A year-round resort area, Stockbridge is home to the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Austen Riggs Center (a noted psychiatric treatment center), and Chesterwood, home and studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French.
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||23.7 sq mi (61.3 km2)|
|• Land||22.7 sq mi (58.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)|
|Elevation||842 ft (257 m)|
|• Density||86/sq mi (33.1/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0618274|
Stockbridge was first settled by English missionaries in 1734, who established it as a mission for the Mahican Indian tribe known as the Stockbridge Indians. The township was set aside for the tribe by English colonists as a reward for their assistance against the French in the French and Indian Wars. The Reverend John Sergeant from Newark, New Jersey, was their missionary. Sergeant was succeeded in this post by Jonathan Edwards, a notable Christian theologian associated with the First Great Awakening.
Although the Massachusetts General Court had assured the Stockbridge Indians that their land would never be sold, the agreement was rescinded. Despite the aid by the tribe during the Revolutionary War, the state forced their relocation to the west, first to New York State and then to Wisconsin. The village was taken over by British-American settlers.
With the arrival of the railroad in 1850, Stockbridge developed as a summer resort for the wealthy of Boston and other major cities. Many large houses, called Berkshire Cottages, were built in the area before World War I and the advent of the income tax. One estate on the Lenox border, Tanglewood, was adapted for use as the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Since 1853, Stockbridge has benefited from the presence of the Laurel Hill Association, a village beautification society. The Stockbridge Bowl Association maintains and preserves the natural beauty of Stockbridge Bowl and the surrounding Bullard Woods.
Stockbridge was the home of Elizabeth Freeman, a freed slave, late in her life. The former slave engaged the attorney Theodore Sedgwick to file a freedom suit on her behalf, based on the statements in the new state constitution in 1780. In the case with a slave named Brom, the county court ruled that they were both free under the constitution. Their case served as precedent to a later case before the State Supreme Court, effectively ending slavery in Massachusetts. Freeman transferred as a free woman to work in the household of Sedgwick, who became a state judge. Also working in the household was Agrippa Hull, a free black veteran of the war, who became the largest black landowner in Stockbridge. Freeman was buried in the Sedgwick family plot at the Stockbridge Cemetery.
Catharine Maria Sedgwick, a daughter of Theodore and his wife, became a renowned 19th-century literary figure. She was born in Stockbridge in 1789. She is the author of six novels, including her most famous, Hope Leslie (1827).
In the Curtisville area, now known as the Interlaken part of Stockbridge, Albrecht Pagenstecher, an immigrant from Saxony, established the first wood-based newsprint paper mill in the United States, in March 1867. Pagenstecher later went on to found "numerous pulp and paper mills throughout the Northeast and Canada" and serve on the Board of Directors of the International Paper Company.
The town has a tradition as an art colony. The sculptor Daniel Chester French lived and worked at his home and studio called Chesterwood. Norman Rockwell painted many of his works in Stockbridge, home to the Norman Rockwell Museum.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.7 sq mi (61.3 km2), of which 22.7 sq mi (58.9 km2) is land and 0.93 sq mi (2.4 km2), or 3.97%, is water. Stockbridge is bordered by Richmond to the northwest, Lenox to the north and northeast, Lee to the east, Great Barrington to the south, and West Stockbridge to the west. The town is located 13.5 miles (21.7 km) south of Pittsfield, 35 miles (56 km) southeast of Albany, New York, 45 miles (72 km) west-northwest of Springfield, and 130 miles (210 km) west of Boston.
Set among the Berkshire Mountains, Stockbridge is drained by the Housatonic River, which runs through the center of town. The river is fed by several marshy brooks and lakes, including Mohawk Lake to the west, Agawam Lake to the south, Lake Averic in the northwest, and Lake Mahkeenac, also known as the Stockbridge Bowl, to the north. Stockbridge Bowl is the site of a town beach, a boating club, and a summer camp, Camp Mah-Kee-Nac. North of the bowl lies parts of Tanglewood. To either side of the bowl lie West Stockbridge Mountain and Rattlesnake Hill. To the south, Monument Mountain peaks on the Great Barrington town line, and Beartown Mountain peaks to the east, closer to the Lee town line.
The town is nearly bisected by Interstate 90, the Massachusetts Turnpike. There are exits in neighboring West Stockbridge and Lee. Several state routes, including Route 102, Route 183 and U.S. Route 7 all pass through town, with Routes 102 and 7 sharing a short stretch in downtown Stockbridge, and Routes 102 and 183 meeting in the village of Larrywaug. In this village are the Berkshire Botanical Gardens and the Norman Rockwell Museum. South of there, in the village of Glendale, Massachusetts lies Chesterwood.
The Housatonic Railroad, the main rail line between Pittsfield and Great Barrington, passes through the town and lies mostly on the southern bank of the river. The town lies along a Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) bus line, which provides service between Pittsfield and Great Barrington. Pittsfield is also the site of the nearest regional bus service, as well as regional Amtrak service. There are local airports in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, and the nearest national air service is located at Albany International Airport in New York.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,276 people, 991 households, and 567 families residing in the town. By population, Stockbridge ranks twelfth out of the 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County, and 285th out of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 99.2 people per square mile (38.3/km²), which ranks 12th in the county and 281st in the Commonwealth. There were 1,571 housing units at an average density of 68.5 per square mile (26.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.92% White, 1.23% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.97% from other races, and 0.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.90% of the population.
There were 991 households out of which 18.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.4% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.7% were non-families. Of all households 36.7% were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.67.
In the town, the population was spread out with 15.2% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 33.5% from 45 to 64, and 22.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $48,571, and the median income for a family was $59,556. Males had a median income of $32,500 versus $27,969 for females. The per capita income for the town was $32,499. About 1.7% of families and 8.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.2% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.
Stockbridge is governed by open town meeting, held annually on the third Monday in May, and by an elected three-member Board of Selectmen. The town operates its own police, fire and public works departments, with two fire stations and two post offices. The town's library, located in the central village, is connected to the regional library network. The nearest hospital, Fairview Hospital, is located in neighboring Great Barrington.
On the state level, Stockbridge is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by the Fourth Berkshire district, which covers southern Berkshire County, as well as the westernmost towns in Hampden County. In the Massachusetts Senate, the town is represented by the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin district, which includes all of Berkshire County and western Hampshire and Franklin counties. The town is patrolled by the First (Lee) Station of Barracks "B" of the Massachusetts State Police.
On the national level, Stockbridge is represented in the United States House of Representatives as part of Massachusetts's 1st congressional district, and has been represented by Richard Neal of Springfield since January 2013. Massachusetts is currently represented in the United States Senate by senior Senator Elizabeth Warren and junior Senator Ed Markey.
The first school in Stockbridge was opened in 1737 under the direction of John Sergeant, a missionary to the local Mohican Indians. It served as a school for the Christian education of Indian children. During the pre-American Revolutionary War years, several small schools were established to serve the children of new settlers scattered further outside the village. The founding of the semi-private Academy after the Revolutionary War marked the beginning of a more structured commitment to secondary education in the town. Three of the four students in the first graduating class of Williams College in 1795 were alumni of the Academy.
In the early and mid-1800s Stockbridge schools earned the distinction of educating three Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States who served on the high court at the same time. All educated in Stockbridge, Stephen Johnson Field, Henry Billings Brown  and David Josiah Brewer  served together as Associate Justices from 1891 to 1897.
Students from Stockbridge, its small villages of Interlaken, Glendale and Larrywaug, and from the nearby town of West Stockbridge attended the town's Williams High School, established in 1872. In April 1968 the school closed after nearly a decade of contentious school regionalization debates and failed ballot measures. After the state refused in 1964 to help fund a new high school building, Stockbridge voters approved a regionalization plan to join Great Barrington and West Stockbridge in a consolidated school district. In 1968 Stockbridge students joined those from Great Barrington's Searles High School in transferring to a new regional high school located in Great Barrington.
The building of the former Stockbridge Plain School, completed in 1914, was shared by the elementary school and Williams High School, until the opening of Monument Mountain Regional High School in 1968. Stockbridge Plain School for several years then became one of the elementary schools in the new Berkshire Hills Regional School District. A renovation of the building was completed in 2008, and it now serves as the new town offices.
Today, Stockbridge, along with West Stockbridge and Great Barrington, remain members of the Berkshire Hills Regional School District. All students in the district attend school in Great Barrington, with elementary students attending Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School, middle school students attending Monument Valley Regional Middle School, and high school students attending Monument Mountain Regional High School. In addition to public schools, there are private and religious schools located in the neighboring towns.
The nearest community college is the South County branch of Berkshire Community College in Great Barrington. The nearest state college is Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nearest private college is Bard College at Simon's Rock, also in Great Barrington. Less than an hour’s drive away, in Albany, New York, is a state university, University at Albany, SUNY, and also several private colleges.
Longtime Stockbridge resident Norman Rockwell illustrated the town in his 1967 painting, Main Street, Stockbridge at Christmas. He frequently used Stockbridge residents in his drawings and paintings, such as William Obanhein's appearance in the advertisement "Policeman with Boys."
Inspired by the river during his honeymoon, the American classical music composer Charles Ives wrote The Housatonic at Stockbridge as part of his composition Three Places in New England.
Allen Towner Treadway (September 16, 1867 – February 16, 1947) was a Massachusetts Republican who served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, as a member, and President of, the Massachusetts Senate and a member of the United States House of Representatives from March 4, 1913, until January 3, 1945. Treadway represented Massachusetts's first congressional district for sixteen consecutive terms.
Treadway was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts to William Denton Treadway and Harriet (Heaton) Treadway. Treadway graduated from Amherst College in 1886. He served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1904, and in the Massachusetts Senate from 1908 to 1911. He is buried in Stockbridge Cemetery, in his home town of Stockbridge.Chesterwood (Massachusetts)
Chesterwood was the summer estate and studio of American sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) located at 4 Williamsville Road in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Most of French's originally 150-acre (61 ha) estate is now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which operates the property as a museum and sculpture garden. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 in recognition of French's importance in American sculpture.George H. Boughton
This page is about the NY politician, for the painter see George Henry BoughtonGeorge Hezekiah Boughton (July 31, 1792 – April 28, 1866) was an American politician.Henry W. Dwight
Henry Williams Dwight (February 26, 1788 – February 21, 1845) was a lawyer and politician who became U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.John Bacon (Massachusetts)
John Bacon (April 5, 1738 – October 25, 1820) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts.
John Bacon was born in Canterbury, Connecticut on April 5, 1738. Upon graduating from Princeton College he spent some time preaching in Somerset County, Maryland. On 25 September 1771 he and Mr. John Hunt were appointed as colleague pastors over the Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts. Bacon ran into difficulties with his congregation over doctrinal issues and his preaching style, which was described as "argumentative... approaching the severe." He was dismissed from the Old South Church on 8 February 1775.
After leaving the church Bacon moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He was a charter member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as a Magistrate, Representative, Associate and Presiding Judge of the Common Pleas, Member and President of the State Senate, and Member of Congress.Bacon married Elizabeth, the widow of Alexander Cumming and daughter of Ezekiel Goldthwait, Register of the Deeds for Suffolk County, and died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, October 25, 1820. Bacon is interred in the Stockbridge Cemetery.John Z. Goodrich
John Zacheus Goodrich was an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives and the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. He was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts on September 27, 1804. He attended the common schools and Lenox Academy. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and engaged in manufacturing; he graduated from Williams College in 1848.Goodrich served in the Massachusetts State Senate, and was elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses (March 4, 1851 – March 3, 1855). He was a member of the 1861 Peace Conference held in Washington, D.C.. He was elected as a Republican Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1860 and served from January 1, 1861, until his resignation on March 29, 1861. He also served as the president of the Union Emigration Society, a group dedicated to organizing the North for political action.Goodrich was appointed collector of customs at Boston on March 13 and served until March 11, 1865. He retired from public life and died in Stockbridge, Massachusetts on April 19, 1885. His interment was in Stockbridge Cemetery.Kripalu Center
The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is a non-profit organization that operates a health and yoga retreat in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Its 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) facility is a former Jesuit novitiate and juniorate seminary built in 1957. The center has described itself as North America's largest residential facility for holistic health and education. With 2013 revenue of $34.7 million, it employed about 626 people as of 2008 and can accommodate more than 650 overnight guests.Martin Richard Hoffmann
Martin Richard Hoffmann (April 20, 1932 – July 14, 2014) was a U.S. administrator. He served as the United States Secretary of the Army between 1975-77.Merwin House (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
Merwin House, also known as Tranquility, is a house located at 14 Main Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It is now a non-profit museum operated by Historic New England and sometimes open to the public. An admission fee is charged.
The original brick, Federal-style house was constructed c. 1825 by the Dresser family, who sold it to William and Elizabeth Doane of New York City as a summer home in 1875. They doubled its size by adding a shingle-style ell, and also remodeled its interior. It was donated to the public by the Doanes' daughter, Vipont Merwin, who was born in the house in 1878 and died there in 1965. The property was acquired by Historic New England in 1966, whereupon it became a museum.The house currently reflects furnishings and a lifestyle of the late 19th century, with period antiques and items collected during world travel.Mission House (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
The Mission House is an historic house located at 19 Main Street, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It was built between 1739 and 1742 by a Christian missionary to the local Mahicans. It is a National Historic Landmark, designated in 1968 as a rare surviving example of a colonial mission house. It is now owned and operated as a nonprofit museum by the Trustees of Reservations.
The town of Stockbridge was established in the late 1730s as a mission community to the Mahicans. John Sergeant was the first missionary, formally beginning his service in 1735. His first house, built in the valley where the Indians lived, has not survived; this house was built in the white community on the hill above the town following his marriage in 1739. It remained in the Sergeant family until the 1870s, and survived Gilded Age developments of the late 19th century.
In the 1920s the house was purchased by Mabel Choate, owner of the nearby Naumkeag estate, and moved down into the valley. She and landscape designer Fletcher Steele restored the building, furnished it with 18th century pieces, and designed gardens to Steele's vision of what a colonial landscape might have been. Choate opened the house as a museum in 1930, and donated it (and eventually Naumkeag as well) to the Trustees of Reservations, who operate both properties as museums.Monument Mountain (Berkshire County, Massachusetts)
This article is about the mountain. For the open space reservation located on the mountain, see Monument Mountain (reservation)Monument Mountain is a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) long quartzite ridgeline located in Great Barrington and Stockbridge, Massachusetts in the Berkshires geology. Beside the high point, 1,739 feet (530 m), the mountain has several other distinct peaks, most notably the open, knife-edge Squaw Peak, 1,642 feet (500 m) located on the southeast side of the mountain within the 503-acre (204 ha) Monument Mountain reservation managed by The Trustees of Reservations. The mountain receives over 20,000 visitors per year.
Devil's Pulpit, part of Squaw Peak, is a free-standing pillar of stone. Flag Rock, located on the southwest side of the mountain, is an open ledge overlooking the village of Housatonic. The only official trails on the mountain ascend Squaw Peak from a parking lot on Massachusetts Route 7 north of Great Barrington center. There is no fee for members of The Trustees and a parking fee of $5 for non-members. An unnamed waterfall is located to the northeast of Squaw Peak along the Hickey Trail.
Views from Squaw Peak include the Housatonic River Valley, The Berkshires, the Taconic Mountains, and the Catskill Mountains of New York.
The west side of Monument Mountain drains into the Housatonic River thence into Long Island Sound. The east side of Monument Mountain drains into Konkapot Brook thence into the Housatonic River.Moses Ashley Curtis
Moses Ashley Curtis (11 May 1808 – 10 April 1872) was a noted American botanist.National Shrine of The Divine Mercy (Stockbridge, Massachusetts)
The National Shrine of The Divine Mercy is a Roman Catholic shrine located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
The priests and Roman Catholic and brothers of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary have resided on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, since June 1944. Father Walter Pelczynski, MIC, with the assistance of local clergy and friends of the Marian community, initially purchased 50 of the 370 acres (1.5 km2) that constituted the "Eden Hill" estate in November, 1943. The house was to serve as the novitiate for a newly formed province. An image of "The Divine Mercy" was enshrined in one of the small chapels where the members of the community prayed daily a perpetual novena to the Divine Mercy.
Pilgrims began to arrive the very next spring to celebrate the Feast of The Divine Mercy (the Sunday after Easter). By the end of World War II in 1945, pilgrims in growing numbers came to offer thanksgiving for graces received through the Divine Mercy message and devotion. They urged the Marians to build a shrine to Jesus, The Divine Mercy, as a votive of thanks. The Fathers decided to accede to the requests since there was also a need for a larger chapel to accommodate a growing community.
The construction of the present Shrine began in 1950 and was completed and solemnly dedicated by Springfield Bishop Christopher Weldon in 1960. In 1996, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared it a National Shrine in accord with Church law. The National Shrine has drawn thousands of pilgrims from around the world.Naumkeag
Naumkeag is the former country estate of noted New York City lawyer Joseph Hodges Choate located at 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The estate's centerpiece is a 44-room, Shingle Style country house designed principally by Stanford White of McKim, Mead & White, and constructed in 1886 and 1887.
The estate is noted for its large gardens, which were designed in the mid-20th century by noted landscape designer Fletcher Steele in conjunction with Choate's daughter Mabel. A National Historic Landmark District, Naumkeag is now owned by The Trustees of Reservations, who operate it as a nonprofit museum.Norman Rockwell Museum
The Norman Rockwell Museum is an art museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, dedicated to the art of Norman Rockwell. It is home to the world's largest collection of original Rockwell art.Stockbridge Bowl
Stockbridge Bowl, also known as Lake Mahkeenac, is a 372-acre (1.51 km2) artificially impounded body of water that is 4 km (2.5 mi) north of the village of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Above the lake’s north side with sweeping views to the south is Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.Tanglewood
Tanglewood is a music venue in the towns of Lenox and Stockbridge in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. It has been the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937. Tanglewood is also home to three music schools: the Tanglewood Music Center, Days in the Arts and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Besides classical music, Tanglewood hosts the Festival of Contemporary Music, jazz and popular artists, concerts, and frequent appearances by James Taylor, John Williams, and the Boston Pops.West Stockbridge, Massachusetts
West Stockbridge is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,306 at the 2010 census.Wheatleigh
Wheatleigh is a historic country estate on West Hawthorne Road in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, United States. Built in 1893 to a design by Peabody and Stearns, it is one of the few surviving great Berkshire Cottages of the late 19th century, with grounds landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted. Its estate now reduced to 22 acres (8.9 ha), Wheatleigh was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. It is now operated as a hotel.
|Climate data for Stockbridge, Massachusetts (1981–2010 normals)|
|Average high °F (°C)||32.5
|Average low °F (°C)||12.7
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.67
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||16.2
|Average precipitation days||10||9||11||12||12||11||11||11||10||9||11||10||127|
|Source #1: |
|Source #2: |
Municipalities and communities of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States