Becket MA Real Estate includes Middlefield, Chester, October Mountain State Forest, and the Town of Becket. Becket is located on the eastern border of Berkshire County, at the junction of Hampshire County and Hampden County. Becket is bordered by Washington to the northwest, Middlefield to the northeast, Chester and Blandford to the east, Otis to the south, and Tyringham and Lee to the west. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,779 at the 2010 census.
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Becket MA Real Estate
Becket was first settled in 1740 and was officially incorporated in 1765. The original “Beckett” for which the town of Becket was named, is an estate or “tithing” located in Shrivenham, formerly in Berkshire, England.
Sir Francis Bernard, the Royal Governor of Massachusetts in 1765, was a close friend of Lord Barrington and was himself a native of Berkshire, England. It is said that he often went on holiday in the beautiful surroundings of Beckett, and that these pleasant memories influenced him in 1765 to give the name Becket to Township Number Four when he approved its incorporation.
The Town of Becket is an upland town that was established in 1765, having begun as Plantation Number 4. The town was originally laid out in 1735 along with three other towns along the wilderness trail that connected the lower Housatonic Valley with the Connecticut Valley and Boston. The intention was to develop the wilderness that bordered the trail and therefore to make the trail safer to travel. Sixty-three home lots were laid out in the first settlement effort, “in a compact and defensible form” as the documents of the time said. Population growth, though slow, has been steady in the rural community. In 1776, there were 414 residents; in 1900 there were 994 residents; the modern town boasts about 1700 residents.
Becket MA Real Estate
In 1798, Becket tried a noble experiment, which foreshadowed the future in America and which was unique among the frontier towns of the 18th century. The people of Becket could see the problems they and their neighboring communities were having supporting a church and minister using mandated tax monies. There were splits in the congregations, secessions of church members, and interminable battles and quarrels as a religiously diverse population opposed being forced to pay for the support of a minister with whose doctrines they disagreed. In response to this problem the Congregational residents of Becket formed a Congregational Church Society which relied solely on the voluntary contributions of its members to support its church, a church funding structure which is now in use everywhere in the United States.
From its earliest days, Becket was involved in the woodland industries of lumber and quarries. As time went on, dairy production, basketry and silk also were products of the town. After a flood in the early twentieth century, most of the industries died out, and today Becket is mostly known as a resort town with an artists’ community surrounding the Jacob’s Pillow Company.