GREAT BARRINGTON MA REAL ESTATE HOUSES LAND
Great Barrington MA Real Estate includes the Town of Great Barrington which is bordered by West Stockbridge, Stockbridge and Lee to the north, Tyringham to the northeast, Monterey to the east, New Marlborough to the southeast, Sheffield to the south, Egremont to the southwest, and Alford to the northwest. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 7,104 at the 2010 census. Both a summer resort and home to Ski Butternut, Great Barrington includes the villages of Van Deusenville and Housatonic.
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Great Barrington MA Real Estate
Great Barrington is located within the valley of the Housatonic River, and is also served by the Williams River, Green River and several brooks. To the east of the river, several mountains of the Berkshires rise, including East Mountain (site of Butternut Basin and a state forest), Beartown Mountain (and the majority of Beartown State Forest) and Monument Mountain. The Appalachian Trail crosses through East Mountain State Forest in the southwest corner of town.
The Mahican Indians called the area Mahaiwe, meaning “the place downstream.” It lay on the New England Path, which connected Fort Orange near Albany, New York with Springfield and then Massachusetts Bay. The village was first settled in 1726 and officially incorporated as Great Barrington in 1761, named after the village of Great Barrington in Gloucestershire, England.
The first recorded account of Europeans in the area happened in August 1676, during King Philip’s War. Major John Talcott and his troops chased a group of 200 Mahican Natives west from Westfield, eventually overtaking them at the Housatonic River in what now Great Barrington. According to reports at the time, Talcott’s troops killed twenty-five Indians and imprisoned another twenty. Today, a plaque for John Talcott marks the spot where the massacre is believed to have happened.
On April 25, 1724 Captain John Ashley of Westfield, Massachusetts bought on behalf of himself and a committee of the Massachusetts General Court the land that became the towns of Great Barrington, Sheffield, Egremont, Alford, Mount Washington, and Boston Corner for £460, three barrels of “sider,” and thirty quarts of rum from 21 Native American sachems headed by Conkepot Poneyote. The Konkapot River in southwestern Massachusetts is named after him.
In the summer of 1774, 1,500 men shut down the Berkshire County Court in response to British oppression. In the winter of 1776, Henry Knox passed through Great Barrington while transporting the cannon from Fort Ticonderoga to the Siege of Boston. Due to his time in the area, he established an agricultural interest in the area of Great Barrington.
Great Barrington MA Real Estate
With the arrival of the railroad, Great Barrington developed into a Gilded Age resort community. Wealthy families built grand homes called Berkshire Cottages here, as others would in Lenox and Stockbridge. Among the earliest estates was that built by New York City banker, industrialist and art patron David Leavitt, who built an elaborate 300-acre (1.2 km2) estate, and was soon followed by those of his sons nearby. Leavitt was instrumental in the development of the local Housatonic Railroad, serving as its president.
Later estates included Searles Castle, commissioned in 1888 by the widow of Mark Hopkins together with her second husband, Edward Francis Searles, and “Brookside”, built for William Hall Walker. In 1895, Colonel William L. Brown, part owner of the New York Daily News, presented Great Barrington with a statue of a newsboy, now a landmark on the western edge of town.
Great Barrington today is a vibrant small town, supporting not only a vibrant year round population but second home owners in the surrounding communities. GB as it is known is home to over 55 restaurants and the recently renovated Mahaiwe Theater which is a center for year round music and cultural events.
The town celebrated its 250th anniversary with a large parade on July 10, 2011. Other events celebrating the 250th anniversary were held throughout the year as well.
The “Main Street Reconstruction Project” was launched in 2011, involving major improvements along Main Street between Saint James Place and Cottage Street. The plan elements include new pavement, new sidewalks, sewer and utility improvements, and the removal of the large trees that span Main Street, to be replaced with a much wider array of trees of varying sizes and growth habits. The project had finished its design phase as of 2012, and construction was to be completed in 2016.