Berkshire County, Massachusetts GenWeb Project


Town Hall - 1531 State Road
Open - Town Clerk, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Annual Town Meeting - Fourth Wednesday of May
SelectmenÕs Meeting Dates, Time & Place
First, Second & Fourth Wednesday - 6:30 PM - Town Hall

Richmond, remarkable for its scenic beauty, is one of the western border-towns of Berkshire County. It has Hancock and Pittsfield on the north, Lenox on the east, West Stockbridge on the south, and Canaan, in New York, on the west. The length north and south is 5 miles, and the width about 4 miles. The assessed area is 11,347 acres. Nearly one half the area is forest, containing the usual flora of the State.

Along the entire eastern side are the Lenox hills, and in the northwest Perry's Peak rises to the height of 2,089 feet. Between is a broad, arable valley, through which runs, northeast and southwest, the Boston and Albany Railroad, having stations at Richmond village, 159 miles west of Boston, and at Richmond Furnace, one mile farther. The town abounds in springs and rivulets, - of which Ford, Roye's, Tracy and other brooks flow into Richmond Pond on the northeast border; while Cone and Griffin brooks, flowing south, unite and form Williams River, a tributary of the Housatonic. The geological formation is Lauzon schists and Levis limestone. Many beds of brown iron-ore are found in the town; and , in 1885 , 38 men were employed in mining and smelting the ore. The other manufactures were boots and shoes, leather, clothing, metallic articles, and beverages. The aggregate value of all goods made was $30,897.

The soil is a clay loam; and the product of the 120 farms in the last census year was valued at $119,244. The population was 854, of whom 203 were voters. The valuation in 1888 was $476,570, with a tax-rate of $14.50 on $1,000. There were 201 taxed dwelling-houses. The public schools were provided with six buildings, valued at some $3,000. The two churches are Congregationalist and Methodist.

Capt. Micah Mudge and Ichabod Wood, with their families, began the settlement of this place in 1760. It bore the Indian names of Mount Ephraim and Yokun or " Yokun-town" until its incorporation under the name of "Richmont," June 21, 1765. In 1785 this was changed to its present name in honor of the Duke of Richmond. The first church was organized in 1765, and the Rev. Job Swift elected pastor. Other early residents include Jacob Bacon, Elizabeth Mudge, John Chamberlain, Elijah Brown, Isaac Brown, David Pixley, Joseph Patterson, Daniel Rowley, Timothy Rowley, Aaron Rowley, Samuel and oseph Cogswell, Joseph and Paul Raymond, John and Daniel Slosson, Prince and Jonathan West, Jacob Redington, Stephen Benton and John Higby.

The original settlers of Yokuntown were Daniel Allen, Moses Ashley, Jacob Bacon, Isaac Brown, Jonathan Bull, Christopher Cartwright, Samuel Chrchill, Titus Curtis, Israel Dewey, Israel Dewey Jr., Solomon Glezen, Charles Goodrich, Samuel Goodrich, Eleanor Gunn, Jonathan Hough, John Ingersoll, Daniel Jones, Elijah Jones, Josiah Jones, Jr, Josiah Jones, Joseph Lee, Edward Martindale, Elisha Martindale, Gershon Martindale, Stephen Nash, Stephen Nash, Jr., Moses Nash, Asa Noble, David Pixley, David Pixley Jr., Abraham Root, Abel Rowe, Ashbel Treat, Timothy Treat, Ezra Whittlesey. All the preceding held approximately 200 acres each. Note: Yokuntown eventually was split off to the Town of Lenox.

Names of the proprietors of the Country Grants were William Phillips Esq of Boston, 120 acres, Israel Williams, Esq of Hatfield 260 acres, Judge Quincy ?hetts 1000 acres, Dr. William Bull's heirs 200 acres, Lemuel Collins 500 acres, Rev Peter Reynold's heirs 480 acres, Rev. Jonathan Edwards 333 acres, Elias Dickinson 210 acres, Elias Willard 140 acres, Noah Isbell 100 acres, Timothy Woodbridge 350 acres, Samuel Whilpley 100 acres, T Williams 200 acres, Rev. S. Williams 240 acres, Ed Gray 140 acres, Caleb Culon 140 acres, Sanford 200 acres, Enos Stone 130 acres, Warham Edwards 160 acres, Thomas Landers 140 acres, Samuel Lathrop 200 acres, James Guthrie 123 acres, Joseph Wright 100 acres, Caleb Bull 70 acres, Isaac Smith 50 acres, Samuel Jerome Jr. 70 acres, Timothy Way 50 acres.

pp. 564-565 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890 and Pgs 184-185, History of Berkshire County, Massachusetts: with biographical sketches of its prominent men, Volume 2, By Thomas Cushing.

Courtesy of Claire Smith and Laurel O'Donnell
Courtesy of Claire Smith and Laurel O'Donnell
Courtesy of Claire Smith and Laurel O'Donnell
Courtesy of Claire Smith and Laurel O'Donnell
Maps 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. The maps of Richmond, Richmond Town Center, and Richmond Furnace are available for viewing.
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