Berkshire County, Massachusetts GenWeb Project


Town Hall - 462 Main Street - (413) 684-6111
Open - Monday thru Thursday - 8 AM - 4 PM
Annual Town Meeting - First Monday in May
Selectmens Meeting Dates, Time & Place
Second and Fourth Mondays, 7:30 PM
Town Hall - Ashuelot Room

Dalton, long celebrated for the manufacture of paper, was detached from Pittsfield, and incorporated March 20, 1784. It was named in honor of the Hon. Tristram Dalton, then speaker of the House of Representatives. It is a long, narrow township in the central part of Berkshire County, intersected by the Boston and Albany Railroad, 146 miles west of Boston; and bounded north by Cheshire, east by Windsor and Hinsdale, south by Washington, and west by Pittsfield, Lanesborough and Cheshire. The number of inhabitants is 1252; of dwelling-houses 225; of farms, 84; and of acres in woodland, 5,020. The surface of the town is uneven, and the soil is good. A range of hills extends through the northern part, and there are highlands in the southern section of the town.

Through the pleasant and much-admired valley between these eminences flows an eastern branch of the Housatonic River, which, with its affluents, beautifies the landscape, and affords important motive-power. The central village is enclosed on three sides by this river, and, occupying an elevated site, commands a very beautiful prospect of the valley and surrounding country. The town has six paper-mills, turning out writing and other paper to the value of more than $500,000 per annum. It has one cotton-mill, two woollen, and eight or nine saw mills. Some atention, though less than formerly, is given to the growing of wool, the number of sheep being 542; and large quantities of wood and bark are prepared for market. Dalton has one post office, on hotel, and a public hall and library; eight school-districts; a Congregational church (founded Feb 16, 1785), whose pastor is the Rev. Richard S. Billings; and a Methodist church, under the care of the Rev. N.J. Tilley.

Of the soldiers furnished by the town for the late war, only three were lost. The valuation of the town is $109,546; and the rate of taxation $1.60 per $100.

This town, once known as the "Ashuelot Equivalent," was granted to Oliver Partridge and others of Hatfield in lieu of a township in New Hampshire supposed by the early surveyors to lie in Massachusetts. A settlement was commenced in 1755. The records of the place during the Revolution have not been preserved; but it appears that the people were strongly disaffected towards the government during Shays's Rebellion. The manufacture of paper was commenced here in 1802 by Henry Wiswall, Zenas Crane and John Willard. Their establishment was called "Old Berkshire," and goods of this stamp were long in the highest repute. The next paper mill was built in 1809.

The Rev. James Thompson, the first minister of the town, was settled in March, 1795. He was succeeded by Rev. Ebenezer Jennings, who continued as pastor until 1834, when he was followed by the Rev. Harper Boise.

Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts, by the Rev. Elias Nason, M.A.; Boston: Published by B.B. Russell, 55 Cornhill, 1874.

Courtesy of Claire Smith and Laurel O'Donnell
By Frederick Bailey
Courtesy of Claire Smith and Laurel O'Donnell
Courtesy of Claire Smith and Laurel O'Donnell
aka Old South Burial Grounds
Old South Burial Grounds
Transcribed by Sylvia Eddy
Dalton from "County Atlas of Berkshire, Massachusetts. From actual survey by and under the Direction of F. W. Beers, Published by R. T. White & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York, 1876."   Some maps have names of residents.
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