These houses, or forts, as they were called, were built of hewn logs, and served the double purpose of houses to live in, and a defence against the sudden, and often fatal, attacks of the Indians. They were built with port-holes through the sides, through which those within could fire, with elevated stands for a watch, where they could better see the approach of the enemy, and give the alarm. These houses were occupied by those by whose name they were called, and the occupants were among the first settlers in this town. At a proprietors' meeting held in Deerfield, in June, 1739, it was voted that a meeting-house should be built, 59 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 23 feet between joists. This house was built in two years after the first settlement of the town. It was situated on Huckle Hill, and was the first meeting-house built in Fall Town. In Oct. 1740, it was voted that there be £20 paid out for the support of preaching. And at an adjourned meeting it was voted that a committee be chosen to cut the brush and burn them ten rods round the meeting-house. Rev. John Norton, from Windham, Con., the first minister, was ordained in 1741, and was dismissed, on account of the unsettled state of the times, in 1745. In the first French war, he acted for a season as chaplain at the fort which was kept at Hoosic, near Adams. He was there at the time that fort was surprised and taken by a party of French and Indians, whence he was carried captive into Canada. After his release, he was installed a pastor in Chatham, Con. From 1750 to 1761 there was no ordained preacher in Fall Town. The Rev. Job Wright, the next minister, was settled in 1761. About 1755, commenced the French and Indian war, in which the settlers in the town suffered severely; while it continued, the people lived mostly in Burk's fort. Every man that was capable, bore arms, and, in some cases, females were under the necessity of bearing arms to defend their dwellings from the attacks of a barbarous enemy. When the men went into the fields, they took their arms with the, and constantly had some one on guard. Agriculture and education were but little attended to. The Indians were almost constantly lurking in the woods, which kept them in a perpetual state of danger and alarm.
Fall Town was incorporated into a township in 1762, by the name of Bernardston, after Governor Bernard, the provincial governor of Massachusetts. The first selectmen were Messrs. John Burk, Rememberence Sheldon and Moses Scott. During the Revolutionary war the inhabitants of Bernardston furnished their full quota of men and means during the continuance of the struggle, and made many sacrifices for the American cause. In Jan. 1782, a vote was passed "that those persons who are professed Baptists, and have attended that particular form of worship, shall be free from the minister tax;" this appears to be the first account of the Baptist society in this town. The Rev. Amasa Cook, the third settled minister in this town, was ordained in Dec. 1783. In 1790, the first census was taken by Mr. David Saxton, of Deerfield, by order of the general government. The population of the town at that period was 691, being divided into 108 families. In 1789 the Baptists society was organized, and in 1790 their first meeting-house was built, and the same year Elder Hodge was ordained, and continued here about ten years. He was succeeded by Elder Rogers and Elder Green. The present Baptists meeting-house was built in 1817. In 1821 the Universalist society was organized, and their meeting-house was built in 1823, and the same year Dr. Brooks was ordained as minister. The first Orthodox Congregational society was organized in 1823.
The following is a representation of the public buildings and Cushman's tavern, in the central part of the village, as they appear when passing through to the northward. The Universalist church is the one-story building with four windows, on the western side; Cushman's tavern appears on the left. The distance between this tavern and the Universalist church is about 35 rods. In the engra-