THIS town began to be settled about 1783. Dr. Daniel Nelson settled in it in that year, and in the course of two years he was joined by Paul Knowlton, Sylvanus Clark, Nathan Drury, Esq., Jesse King, Esq., and Stephen Staples. Soon after 1795 there was a considerable accession of inhabitants. The length of the township on an average may be about 4 miles. It was incorporated in 1805. It being situated on the height of the Green mountain range, the surface is broken and the climate cold and severe. The people derive their support chiefly from their stock and dairies. A Congregational church was formed May 4, 1814, consisting of 11 members. A Baptist church was organized in 1810, with about 20 members. Their meeting-house was built in 1824. There are a few Methodists in the town, living mostly on Deerfield river. Situated 27 miles N. N. E. of Lenox, and 120 W. by N. of Boston. Number of inhabitants 457.
THE settlement of this town commenced about 1730. The lower part of it was settled in connection with Sheffield. Some families it is said were located above the bridge before 1730. Of these were Laurens and Sydney Suydam (supposed to have been brothers), from Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Some of the first settlers were Dutch, others were English. Among the latter were Joshua White, Moses Ingersoll, Moses and William King, Thomas Dewey, Hezekiah Phelps, Israel Orton, and Joshua Root.
This town is formed of parts of the upper and lower Housatonic townships, surveyed by authority of the general court in 1736. There were 30 proprietors of the upper Housatonic township. House or home lots were laid out for them on both sides of the river from the bridge to Monument mountain. Here improvements were begun. From the house lots, long parallel lots were laid out to Tyringham line. The Hop lands (so called), in the north-east part of the town, in the region of Hop brook, were laid out in a similar manner. The land on Monument mountain and part of the north plain was laid out in equalizing lots, that is, in lots so proportioned as to render the preceding divisions equal to the particular right of each individual. The tract embraced in the present town was formed into a parish about 1740, and called the second parish of Sheffield. In 1761 it was selected as the seat of justice for the county of Berkshire, and in the course of that year it was incorporated a town by the present name. County buildings were afterwards erected in the town, and courts held here till 1787, when they were removed to Lenox. The town is about 7 miles in length, and 6 in breadth. About. 1755, in the second French war, a block-house was built, about a mile above the bridge on the west side of the river, as a place of security to which the inhabitants might flee in case of an attack.
In 1743 (when there were only 30 families in the place) the people employed the Rev. Samuel Hopkins, afterwards Dr. Hopkins, to preach with them, and after a short trial settled him the same year in the ministry. He was ordained, the 28th of Dec., on which day the church was organized. He was dismissed at his own request on the 18th of Jan. 1769.