The route leads northward through the pleasant hills of Westchester and Kensico, a region undergoing great topographical change owing to the tremendous excavations that are being made for great reservoirs which in conjunction with the Catskill Reservoir system are to furnish New York with a greatly increased water supply. Thence it follows the so-called Harlem valley, through which runs the Harlem division of the New Haven railroad, but which in truth is drained by various streams,some flowing into the Housatonic and some into the Hudson. The Croton valley with its numerous reservoirs and lakelets has become in the last decade a region of gentlemen’s country estates. The Harlem valley is followed to Dover Plains and thence the route continues through the southern spurs of the Taconic range to Amenia and across the Connecticut State line to the beautiful old town of Sharon.
The route leaves the Plaza, 59th St. and Fifth Ave., passing through Central Park, left of the Mall, to Webster’s statue; thence by Seventh Ave. to 145th St. There turn right, crossing Harlem River by Central Bridge, and then turn sharp left into Mott Ave. (5.0). Leaving the General Franz Sigel statue on the left follow Grand Boulevard and Concourse. Straight ahead is Route 3 (p 203), an alternative to Hart’s Corners (21.2). We turn right (9.5) into Pelham Ave. In Poe Park on the left of the Concourse is the home of the poet; further to the left is St. John’s College, R.C. The route now crosses Bronx Park between the Zoological Gardens on the right and the Botanical Gardens on the left. At the forks on the further side (10.5) turn left on White Plains Road through the suburban villages of Mt. Vernon, Bronxville, Tuckahoe, and Crestwood, paralleling the Bronx Parkway. See map.
The Bronx Parkway was first conceived about 189s as a piece of sanitary reclamation to free the Bronx river from pollution; more recently the value of extended park systems has been recognized. Thanks to public-spirited land owners and far-sighted real estate companies, the greater part of the road bordering the Bronx from the Botanical Gardens to Valhalla on the new Kensico Reservoir, a distance of fifteen and one half miles, has been obtained at an unusually low expense. A great proportion has been parked; tracts have been set apart for athletic fields and playgrounds, and disfiguring features have been almost wholly eradicated. When the new roadway is completed in 1918 this will undoubtedly become New Yorkes chief northern artery of travel. The total cost, running into several millions, will be almost trivial as compared with the benefit to the public.
19.0 SCARSDALE. Alt 200 ft. Pop 2717 (1915). Westchester Co.
This is a growing residential district, named for a town in Derbyshire, England. The Wayside Inn, used before the Revolution, stands beside the road and is now a tea house. It was patronized by early drovers from the `far West,’ meaning Ohio, on their way into New York, and was a stopping place for the mail coach, being on the post road. The visitor of today is shown saber marks on the door, said to have been made during a siege by the British, when all was destroyed save the Bible and the cow, which the owner had hidden down cellar, they being his most valuable property. Near this building stands one of the original milestones of the old post road, protected from the elements by a screening boulder. The inscription is almost erased by time, but the date “1771″ is partially visible.
Among the original settlers of this town were the Heathcote and Tompkins families. The former gave it the name of their old English home, meaning “a dale enclosed with rocks,” “scarrs” being “crags.” To the latter belonged Daniel D. Tompkins, who became Vice President of the United States, and Judge Caleb Tompkins, a famous patriot of the Revolution, who was driven from his home by the British, but preserved his life by wading into a swamp and staying there up to his ears until the pursuers passed by. Penimore Cooper once had a chateau here.
At Hartsdale (21.o) the route turns left on Fenimore Road, crossing the Bronx Parkway near the Italian Sunken Gardens and the Tennis Club, and continues westward along Hartsdale Road through Hartsdale Corners.
242 ELMSFORD. Alt 173 ft. Pop (twp) 1380 (1915). Westchester Co.
This village, where the valley of Sawmill River broadens among the hills, is rapidly becoming one of suburban homes.
Here lives Col. J. C. L. Hamilton, the great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton on one side and of Cornelius van Tassel on the other, himself a veteran of the Civil War. His house contains a large collection of valuable historic relics, among them such articles as letters and documents of Revolutionary officers, ancient firearms, the andirons which stood in the gigantic fireplace of the old Van Tassel home, furniture of both old families, and the pewter basin which, according to tradition, served Andre on the day of his capture for a bowl of bread and milk. In the yard of the old Dutch church stands a monument to Isaac Van Wart, one of the captors of Andre. The inscription states that in September, 1780,
“Isaac van Wart accompanied by John Paulding and David Williams, all farmers in the county, intercepted Major Andre on his return from the American lines in the character of a spy, and, notwithstanding the large bribes offered them for his release, nobly disdaining to sacrifice their country for gold, secured and carried him to the commander of the district, whereby the dangerous and traitorous conspiracy of Arnold was brought to light, the insidious designs of the enemy baffled, the American army saved, and our beloved country, now free and independent, rescued from most imminent peril.”
A mile south of the village is the home of Cornelius Van Tassel, whose original house was burned by the British at the time he was carried off a prisoner to the old Sugar House in New York. In a house now known by the name of Feather-stone, Washington and Rochambeau held conferences during important maneuvers. At the Four Corners occurred many of the scenes in Cooper’s “Spy,” and here stood Betty Flannigan’s Tavern, where the soldiers refreshed themselves.
The route continues north, avoiding crossing R.R., and follows the hills above the valley of Sawmill River to Eastview
(26.5), where we pass the beautiful Butler estate and cross the Croton Aqueduct and turn right on the road from Tarrytown, continuing along the valley of the Sawmill river to Neperhan
(29.o). This is a region of bungalows recently taken up for real estate exploitation. The first purchaser, Adriaen van der Donck, in 1639, vainly tried to Hollandize the Indian name into “Nepperheim.”
32.0 PLEASANTVILLE. Alt 300 ft. Pop (twp) 2464 (1915).
This is an old settled community in the midst of pleasant country. It was the `Clark’s Corners’ of ‘early days, when Henry Clark and his wife Rachel conveyed by deed to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church the land for its use. Here the new reservoir system can be clearly traced as it travels over miles of hill and valley.
The route leads over the hills above the Sawmill river valley and through the outskirts of Chappaqua (33.5). The village lies chiefly about the station in the valley below to the left. It is on the divide separating the waters of Sawmill River and those of the Croton valley. To the north is Chappaqua Mountain (739 ft). Russet apples, and cucumbers for pickles, long ago made Chappaqua famous as a farming locality. Near the station is a bronze statue of Mr. Greeley, erected through the efforts of the Chappaqua Historical Society, and on the State Road, north of the station, is the Old Quaker Meeting House (1764) used as a hospital after the battle of White Plains.
In 1851 Horace Greeley, while editor of the “Tribune,” bought a tract of seventy-five acres, on the western edge of which stands the present railroad station. To this retreat, Greeley said, he would “steal from the cityes labors and anxieties, at least one day in each week, to revive as a farmer the memories of my childhoodes humble home.” He drained a swamp, turned it into a model farm, and made it famous as “Greeley Swamp,” celebrating it in his famous book, “What I Know About Farming.” On election day he would travel several miles to the nearest polling place and there gather a crowd of country people around him from far and near, while he gave impromptu orations on live topics. At his farm he received the crushing news of his defeat by Grant in the Presidential election of 1872. Prom this disappointment Greeley never recovered, and he died at the home of his friend, Dr. Choate, near his farm, on Nov. 29, 1872. The Greeley Homestead, like the Jay Homestead, near Katonah, was a well-known station on the `Underground Railway,e by which many hundreds of runaway slaves journeyed from bondage in the South to freedom in Canada. The house was burned several years ago, but was converted ‘into a residence and is now the summer home of Mr. Greeley’s daughter.
The road leads on through the hamlet of Newcastle (37.3). This vicinity was an old Quaker headquarters, and the Friends rode horseback or traveled in droll old fashioned vehicles from the farms around to hold First-Day service in the three meeting houses erected near by. During the Revolution New-castle was included in the “Neutral Ground” and was plundered and harassed. Washington crossed through Newcastle Corners and Mt. Kisco on his way from the battle of White Plains. The Indian chief Wampus had his wigwam near here, and the deed by which he and his associates conveyed the land to Colonel Caleb Heathcote granted him the “tenements, gardens, orchards, arable lands, pastures, feedings, woods, underwoods, meadows, marshes, lakes, ponds, rivers, rivulets, mines, minerals (royal mines only excepted), fishing, fowling, hunting, and hawking rights,” from which it will be seen that the country is extremely rich by nature.
38.0 MT. KISCO. Alt 280 ft. Pop (twp) 2802 (1910), 2902 (1915). Westchester Co.
The village spreads through the valley up on the surrounding hills. The height above, adjacent to Kisco Mountain (620 ft), is a region of attractive homes. There are a number of pretty lakes in the vicinity. The route follows parallel with the R.R. past Bedford Hills Station (40.5). In the hills about here there are many farms which have been made into beautiful residential estates. The Bedford School for Boys is located here. Many Indian relics have been found hereabout.
4300 KATONAH. Alt 300 ft. Pop 950. Westchester Co. Named for an Indian chief.
The village lies in the valley of Cross River near where it joins the Croton. The construction of the new Croton Reservoir occasioned the rebuilding of the village in an attractive situation one mile south of the old site. The country about here and eastward to Ridgefield, Conn., seven miles distant, is one of the country estates of New York residents.
Two miles east of Katonah is the Jay Homestead, residence of John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The estate has been owned by the Jay family since 1743, when Mary, wife of Peter Jay and mother of the Chief Justice, inherited it from her father, Colonel Jacobus van Cortlandt. The Chief Justice built the greater part of the present house, made it his permanent home in 1801 after he had served two terms as Governor of New York, and lived here in retirement until his death in 1829. The noble elms and maples along the nearby roads were set out by him. Like Horace Greeley’s farm, near Chappaqua, the Jay Homestead was a `station’ on the `Underground Railway’ by which fugitive slaves made their way to Canada.
From Katonah turn right across the R.R., and at fork bear left. Goldens Bridge (45.8) is a crossroads hamlet in a dairying region on the crest of the ridge overlooking the Croton valley. The valleys are everywhere occupied by reservoirs of the Croton system, and the region is owned and maintained by the city of New York.
From the Four Corners turn left across R.R. and long iron bridge over the Croton river. Bearing right along the macadam road the route leads to
48.5 SOMERS. Alt 300 ft. Westchester Co. Settled 1736.
Somers has long been the winter home of circus performers. The curious Elephant Monument at the fork commemorates `Old Bet,’ said to have been the first member of her tribe to be brought to this land, and imported in 1815 by Hachaliah Bailey, a resident of Somers, credited with being the originator of the traveling menagerie in this country. For years Bet was `the whole show’ that Bailey had to offer, and never failed to “amaze the gazing rustics ranged around.” Bailey was also a popular Boniface in his day, and kept the Elephant Hotel, which stood opposite the monument.
Somers was part of the old Cortlandt Manor. First called Stephen Town, it was changed in 1808 in honor of Captain Richard Somers of Tripolitan War fame. One of the early inhabitants was John Hemp-stead, who, according to his tombstone in the Somers Plain burying ground, lived to the good old age of 107 years, 5 months, and 21 days.
Keeping to the left of the monument, at the watering trough one quarter of a mile beyond take left fork. Two miles beyond turn right and bear left along the Croton valley into
54.5 BREWSTER. Alt 420 ft. Pop 1296 (1910), 1402 (1915). Putnam Co. Mfg. condensed milk; R.R. repair shops.
Brewster lies in the midst of attractive lakes and reservoirs among the hills, and is famous for its fishing.
The iron mines in the vicinity were formerly of some importance. Mining in a small way was carried on as early as 1806. The Tilly Poster mine has a special interest. In 1830 one Tilly Poster bought a tract of iron deposits, but not until 1853, eleven years after his death, was it developed. In 1870 a cave-in killed six men, and in 1895 thirteen similarly lost their lives, whereupon the State forbade further operation. It is now owned by the Lackawanna Steel Company.
The new macadam State Road from Brewster to Pawling and northward is almost unmistakably identified by white rail fences and frequent signs. From Brewster R.R. station turn right, and three quarters of a mile beyond cross bridge and turn left. At watering trough at fork bear left along winding macadam road with heavy grades into
67.5 PAWLING. Alt 450 ft. Pop (twp) 848 (1910), 1050 (1915). Dutchess Co.
Pawling is a pleasant village among the hills and charming lakes of Dutchess Co. On the west is Mt. Tom (1000 ft), and on the east, Purgatory Hill (900 ft). On Mizzentop (1300 ft), east of Purgatory Hill, is the Mizzentop Hotel, commanding an extended view. At the entrance to the village and opposite the golf grounds stands a tree which marks the site of Washington’s headquarters from Sept. 12 to Nov. 27, 1778. During this period a wing of the Continental Army encamped on Quaker Hill, three miles to the east. On Quaker Hill, formerly called the `Oblong Meeting,’ by the Quakers, is the old Quaker Meeting House which was used as a military hospital during the Revolution. The house occupied by Washington and Lafayette remains here, but slightly altered. To the right, leaving the village, are the handsome buildings of the Pawling School for Boys.
The route follows northward through the valley of Swamp River. Just before reaching Wingdale we pass the site of the proposed State Prison, which changes of administration and policy have left unbuilt.
On the corner at the right in Wingdale (74.o) is the brick Colonial homestead of the Wing family, which sheltered Washington on one occasion. Near the station, half a mile to the left, are marble working shops, the stone for which is quarried in the hills about three miles to the northeast. These quarries in the past ten years have furnished the beautiful white marble for the Tiffany Building, the U.S. Treasury, and the Stock Exchange in New York City, and for the Senate Building in Washington. From the west enters Route 4 n.
The route climbs a hill, continuing straight northward along the valley of Ten Mile River. The road to the right with trolley leads to Webotuck, and beyond to the valley of the Housatonic. At South Dover (75.o), in the hills to the left is Dover Furnace, where iron was smelted in Colonial times and up to forty years ago.
81.5 DOVER PLAINS. Alt 400 ft. Pop (twp) 800. Dutchess Co.
The village at the end of the Harlem division has a considerable population of railway men. On the corner at the right of Main St. is a century-old building, now a tea house.
To the west is Chestnut Ridge (1200 ft), part of the water-shed between the Hudson and the Housatonic rivers. About a mile southwest of the village a stream flowing down from the western hills in a succession of cascades has worn at the falls by the action of revolving stones smooth round holes in the limestone rock, called The Wells. Higher up in a wooded gorge is The Old Stone Church, an extensive cavern in the form of a Gothic arch with a span of about 25 feet. “The massive, sombre archway of the cave, the pulpit rock, the walls almost perfectly arched, covered with green moss and white lichen, the sound of falling water, all contribute to make it a church of Nature’s own fashioning,a little cathedral not made with hands.”
A mile beyond Dover Plains the road to the left leads over Plymouth Hill to Millbrook and Poughkeepsie. The main route, straight ahead, follows the valley of Ten Mile River and forks left with the R.R. through a narrow gorge worn by Wassaic Creek, the hills rising on either side to 1300 feet. The village of Wassaic (87.3), whose Indian name means “difficult,” or “hard working,” lies at the entrance of the narrow valley to the left, called Turkey Hollow. Here is one of the earliest established of Borden’s Condensed Milk factories.
90.5 AMENIA. Alt 573 ft. Pop 300. Dutchess Co.
The name of this village was devised from the Latin word meaning “pleasant,” by the same early scholar who also gave Vermont its Latin name. The iron ores of the region were still smelted here in a single furnace up to a few years ago. The old Academy in Amenia was famous in its time, as was its autumnal agricultural fair. Route 4 n (p 231) enters here.
Bearing right across the R.R. (92.7), past Sharon Station, a mile ‘beyond the route crosses the boundary line of Connecticut, marked by a stone post. From this point on the route is clearly marked by the Connecticut Highway Commission with blue bands on telegraph poles and fence posts.
Note. An alternate route to Lakeville follows the R.R. north to Millerton (99.5), thence eastward with the Central N. E. R.R. to Lakeville (103.5).
95.4 SHARON. Alt 780 ft. Pop (twp) 1880. Litchfield Co., Conn. Settled 1732. Indian name Poconnuck.
This is a village of rural loveliness which attracts many summer boarders. The `Street,’ 200 feet wide and two miles long, is bordered by grand old elms forming a natural arbor. The Soldiers’ Monument with a stone cannon, and a stone clock tower are the modern features of the village. The Governor John Cotton Smith House, a fine specimen of Georgian architecture, is still perfectly preserved. The fine old George King brick house (1800) is at the head of the street. The C. C. Tiffany house (1757) is perhaps the oldest in the town. The old Pardee brick house (1782) stands by the Stone Bridge. The Prindle house is a spacious gambrel-roof dwelling on Gay St. near the charming lakelet which furnishes a natural reservoir for the village water supply. The picturesque old Gay House has the builder’s initials “M. G. 1765″ on a stone in the gable.
In the early days Sharon was a place of busy and varied industries. Iron was manufactured here as early as 1743, and continued an important industry up to fifty years ago. During the Civil War munitions were made here, and it was then in the shops of the Hotchkiss Company in this village that the Hotchkiss explosive shell for rifled guns was invented, which led to the expansion of the company and its removal to Bridgeport.
To the north of the village is Mudge Pond, or Crystal Lake, and beyond, Indian Mountain (1200 ft). At the western foot of the mountain, on the State line, lies Indian Pond, now called Wequagnock Lake. On the edge of this lake was an Indian village where the Moravians early established a mission that did great work among the Indians. To the Moravians it was known as ” Gnadensee,” the Lake of Grace.
From Sharon the route runs northward past Lake Wononpakook and Lake Wononskopomuc, the latter an Indian word meaning “sparkling water.” Between the lakes, as the road forks right, is situated the widely known Hotchkiss School, for boys, an important feeder to Yale. On the right, half a mile from Lakeville, is the residence of Hon. Wm. Travers Jerome, formerly District Attorney of New York City.
101.5 LAKEVILLE. AU 800 ft. Pop 1050. Litchfield Co.
Lakeville is beautifully situated, with mountains rising all about it to more than 2000 feet. There are some fine old Colonial residences in and about the village. The mansion with Ionic portico was built in 1808 by John Milton Holley. Holleywood, the residence of Governor Holley, was built in 1852. Cloverly, built by General Elisha Sterling before 1800, is now the residence of Mrs. Fiske Arons. The residence of William B. Perry was built in 1795 for the village tavern, by
Peter Farnam, and has recently been restored as the Farnam Tavern. Many modern summer cottages overlook the lake. Route 4 n enters from the west (p 232).
The early prosperity of Lakeville was due to the iron ore in this vicinity, which was first mined in 1734. Ore Hill, just to the west of Lake Wononskopomuc, and Red Mountain and Mine Mountain to the south, all indicate by their names the presence of mineral ores. The brown hematite, or limonite, ore occurs in the so-called Stockbridge limestone which underlies Salisbury. This is of lower Ordovician age, and has a thickness of 500 feet, overlying the Berkshire Hudson schist which forms the mass of Bear Mountain, Salisbury. Smelted with charcoal it furnishes a very pure iron, much valued for its toughness. Most of the mining today is done at Ore Hill and the product smelted at Lime Rock, chiefly by the Barnum & Richardson Company, who produce a high grade charcoal iron, the demand for which is greatly in excess of the supply.
Ethan Allen lived here in his youth and later was interested in the iron works, as was also Robert Livingston, who purchased the Jabez Swift house of 1773 on Old Town Hill, occupied for a time by the wife of General Montgomery. Cornelius Knickerbocker and other Dutch-men from New York also made their homes here.
From Lakeville the route continues northward, keeping to the left of the railway underpass. As from the beginning of the Connecticut line, the route as far as Salisbury is marked by blue bands on the telegraph poles and fence posts.
103.5 SALISBURY. Alt 685 ft. Pop (twp) 3522. Litchfield Co. Settled 1720. Indian name Weatogue. Mfg. iron, car wheels, and knife handles.
On the shady main street of the village are some fine old houses. The John Churchill Coffing homestead is now the residence of Hon. Donald T. Warner. The old Bushnell
Tavern stands in striking contrast to the Scoville Memorial Library, an attractive building of gray granite with a square tower. The old Stiles House of 1772 still stands on Salisbury St. At the northern end of the village is the Thomas Ball homestead of 1745, near Ball Brook. The Salisbury School for boys is located on a. hilltop overlooking the town.
To the east of Salisbury lies Mt. Prospect (1475 ft). To the west is the great mountain mass of Mt. Riga, culminating in Bear Mountain (2355 ft), the highest point in Connecticut, in the extreme northwest corner of the State. On its summit is a monument with a gilded globe, erected by Robbins Battell of Norfolk. Several roads lead up Mt. Riga, where formerly the iron mines were extensively worked, and where there were furnaces for smelting the ore. The road from Salisbury to the old furnace winds for four miles along a tumbling brook.
Its Indian name was Wachocastinook, but it also bears the Dutch name of Fellkill. Near the old furnace is the Pettee homestead, built by one of the old iron masters of a century ago. From Salisbury a road leads down the valley of the Salmon Creek to Lime Rock, where are the iron smelting works. A mile above are the falls of the Housatonic, sometimes called Canaan Falls, which have a drop of about 60 feet.
The township of Salisbury, the most northwesterly and the highest in Connecticut, was settled by Dutchmen from Livingston manor. It was in 1720 that, attracted by the deposits of iron thus early discovered, they bought a tract of land bordering the Housatonic, called Weatogue, “the wigwam place.” This lay on the Indian trail which ran from the Stockbridge wigwams to those of the Schaghticokes, below the village of Kent. The English Puritans from Windsor followed a year later, likewise attracted by the ore deposits.
The first furnace and forge was erected in 1734, and in 1762 another extensive plant was organized by Ethan Allen. There was relatively as great excitement on the Connecticut border over Ore Hill and Mt. Riga as over the California gold fields in ’49. Skilled workmen from Russia and Switzerland were imported to smelt the ores, and it still remains an open question as to whether the mountain was named from Mt. Rigi in Switzerland or from Riga whence the Russians came in 1781 to work at Balls Porge. These foreigners have left some interesting place names round about here. Barack Matiff is the name applied to a mountain near Salisbury under the shadow of which Alexander Hamilton studied civil engineering at the home of Samuel Moore, an eminent mathematician of the time.
Copper, too, was mined in Salisbury in Revolutionary times, and the first copper cents were coined here. At the outbreak of the Revolution the iron works of Salisbury were taken over by the Government. Here were cast the cannon for the frigate “Constitution,” also shot, shell; anchors, and other war materials as well as the iron from which was made the chain stretched across the Hudson at West Point to bar the British fleet. General Knox was for a time in charge here of casting cannon for the Continental Army. Just after the Revolution these ore beds were thought to be the most important in the country, and Salisbury looked forward to becoming the `Birmingham of America.e After 1800, however, Pennsylvania came to the front and the Connecticut production rapidly dwindled in significance.
THE HOUSATONIC VALLEY both above and below Canaan clearly shows the different effects of the same stream working on softer and harder rock. “The upper valley, generally called the Berkshire valley, is broadly open along a belt of weak limestones which have wasted away on either side of the hard rocks that enclose them on the east and west; the lower valley crosses the upland of western Connecticut, a region chiefly composed of resistant crystalline rocks, and here the side slopes are for the most part bold and steep. Indeed, here the rocks are so resistant that the river has not yet been able to cut down all of its channel to a smooth and gentle grade. In its course of fifty-seven miles from Falls Village, where it leaves the limestone belt, to Derby, where it meets tidewater, this strong stream descends 560 feet. It is on account of so great a distance over which the lower Housatonic has to cut its way across hard rocks that its upper course, even on the weak rocks of the Berkshire valley, is still held almost 1000 feet above sea level.
“The Berkshire valley is also varied by a number of isolated hills or mountains. Here they consist of resistant schists that stand above the limestone floor. Greylock is the chief of these; for its summit not only rises above the Berkshire valley, but dominates the upland levels on the east and west as well, reaching the greatest altitude of any mountain in Massachusetts. Smaller and lower residuals are seen south of Pitts-field, where they contribute largely to the attraction of the picturesque district about Stockbridge and Great Barrington. Bear Mountain, in the extreme northwestern part of Connecticut, the highest summit in the State, may be for our purposes likened to Greylock.”WM. MORRIS DAVIS.
“From Salisbury to Williamstown and thence to Bennington,” wrote Henry Ward Beecher, “there stretches a country of valleys and lakes and mountains that is to be as celebrated as the English lake district or the hill country of Palestine.” The broad limestone valley extending northward from Sailsbury and Canaan, Conn., to Pittsfield is a notable topographic feature and a distinctive agricultural region with a rich lime-stone soil. Route 8 leads east to Winsted and Hartford.
Alternate route via Under Mountain Road to Great Barrington, 17.5 m.
From the monument in the fork, bear to the left. The route with yellow markers to the right leads to Canaan. To the left is the Lion’s Head, a spur of Mt. Riga. To the east of Chapinville is Grassland Farms, the summer estate of Robert and Herbert Scoville of New York City, famous for its Guernseys. Near at hand are the twin lakes, Panaheconnok and Hokonkamok, or Washining and Washinee, the “Laughing Water” and the “Smiling Water.” On the shores are many summer camps. North of the lakes rises Babes Hill, east is Miles Mountain and bold Tom’s Barack.
To the west the summit of Bear Mountain rises sheer i800 feet above us at a lateral distance of less than one mile from the road. At the State boundary one may turn aside to the left to visit Sage’s Ravine. The road (800 ft) runs parallel with the summit line of the Taconic range at a sufficient distance to command a fine perspective. It passes the foot of Mt. Everett (2624 ft), the second highest peak in Massachusetts, the summit of which is less than two miles distant. Locally it is known as The Dome and dominates the country round about. There has here been created a State Reservation of several hundred acres through which run practicable roads. Four miles to the west are the famous Bash Bish Falls, a cascade of fascinating beauty. As the mountain recedes from the road, to the left in a natural amphitheatre is the Berkshire School for Boys (p S00). The road to the right leads to Sheffield.
13.0 SOUTH EGREMONT. Alt 750 ft. Pop (twp) 605 (1910), 599 (1915). Berkshire Co.
One of the most serious engagements of Shays’ Rebellion took place here. Route 4 n (p 233) enters from the left.
The route bears right, crossing a small iron bridge, following signs to Great Barrington. In a small park to the right is a Newsboys’ Monument. The route crosses the R.R. into Maple Ave., turning into Main St.
17.5 GREAT BARRINGTON (p 247).
From Salisbury to Canaan, the main route, a portion of the East and West Connecticut State Trunk Highway running through to Winsted and Hartford, is marked by yellow bands on poles and posts. From Canaan northward, through the Berkshires into Vermont, the route is marked by blue bands on telegraph poles and fence posts, except for the short stretch, Lenox to Pittsfield, which lying on the east and west route from Albany to Boston is marked by red bands.
From Salisbury bear right at the monument in the fork, crossing R.R., following the yellow bands on poles and posts, and crossing by a long wooden bridge the Housatonic river.
111.5 CANAAN. Alt 694 ft, R.R. Pop (twp) 702. Litchfield Co. Inc. 1739. Named as the “Promised Land.” Mfg. iron and dairy products; marble and lime.
Canaan is a rural village and summer resort at the southern gateway of the Berkshires in the valley of the Blackberry river, or Bromfoxit, surrounded by undulating hills. To the south lies the rugged mass of Canaan Mountain, culminating in Bradford Mountain (1927 ft). The Boy Scouts of Canaan have blazed a trail up the mountain, the summit of which commands a splendid view.
The first turnpike between Boston and the Hudson passed through Canaan. The Tavern which was erected in 1751 by Capt. I. Lawrence is still standing. Its broad stone doorstep is a memorial to Isaac Lawrence and his family. “At Canaan, before the Tavern,” Hawthorne wrote in his notes in 1838, “there is -a doorstep two or three paces large in each of its dimensions; and on this is inscribed the date when the builder of the house came to the town,namely, 1741. . . . Then follows the age and death of the patriarch (at over 90)…. It would seem as if they were buried there; and many people take that idea. It is odd to put a family record on a ‘spot where it is sure to be trampled under foot.”
On the Blackberry river stands the house (1747) of an iron-master pioneer, Squire Samuel Forbes; it is now the home of Mrs. Mary G. Adam. In the old Douglass place, south of the village, a company of Hessians were housed as prisoners for some days on their way from New York to Boston. North-west of the town is the old Jonathan Gillette house.
Note. At Falls Village in the township of Canaan, three miles south, were the railroad repair shops, on the site of the old Ames foundries which produced some of the heaviest fortress cannon during the Revolutionary War. Asaph Hall, astronomer, and discoverer of the moons of Mars, has a summer residence here. The great Falls of the Housatonic near the village plunge over rocky ledges for about 60 feet. A $r,000,000 hydro-electric plant here furnishes power to Hartford and Bristol.
From Canaan, follow blue markers northward across R.R. and over the broadening intervales of the Housatonic to Ashley Falls (114.0). Here we cross the Konkapot river, which comes down from Monterey and the highlands to the east.
About a mile or so south of the village center of Sheffield is the site of the old Sheffield Inn mentioned by Holmes in “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.” At the forks of the road as one comes to the village is an enormous elm tree around which it was the custom for many years to hold memorial exercises.
118.0 SHEFFIELD. Alt 679 ft, R.R. Pop 1817 (1910), 1862 (1915). Berkshire Co. Inc. 1733. Indian name Housatonnuc, “over the mountain.”
Sheffield is a quiet village with one long elm-shaded main street. The Housatonic valley here is “full of rural simplicity and beauty, richly decorated with lovely valley and majestic mountain scenery.” To the west, Mt. Everett, locally called The Dome (2624 ft), rises nobly, dominating the scene. The pleasant Pine Knoll Park with a bit of the primeval pine forest is a public reservation.
F. A. P. Barnard, a former President of Columbia College, Rev. Orville Dewey, the wellknown Unitarian clergyman and one of the notables of the Dewey family, and George Root, the composer of “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching,” were natives of this town.
Formerly much tobacco was raised in the neighborhood, and the marble quarries in the vicinity were extensively worked. They supplied the marble used in the construction of Girard College in Philadelphia. Today this is a quiet community whose only productiveness is along agricultural lines.
Our road follows the winding river valley through some of the loveliest of the Berkshire landscapes. A mile beyond the Great Barrington town line we cross the Green river, celebrated by Bryant in one of his finest poems.
124.0 GREAT BARRINGTON. Alt 726 ft. Pop 5926 (1910), 6612 (1915). Berkshire Co. Settled 1733. Mfg. paper, cotton yarns, bedspreads, and thermos bottles.
Great Barrington is a thriving residential town and the distributing center for the southern Berkshires. The beautiful region round about has in recent years vied with Lenox and Stockbridge as a fashionable resort. “It is one of those places,” said Henry Ward Beecher, “which one never enters without wishing never to leave. It rests beneath the branches of great numbers of the stateliest elms.”
Near the center of the village, opposite the Berkshire Inn, is Barrington House, a magnificent blue limestone mansion in French Renaissance style, erected by the late Mrs. Edward F. Searles at a cost of well over a million dollars. On the same side of the street is the handsome Congregational Church and the Hopkins Memorial Manse. The church contains an enormous organ of 3954 pipes and 60 speaking stops, with an echo organ concealed in the wall and operated by two and a half miles of electric wire. Further north is the Mason Public Library, one of the most attractive pieces of Colonial architecture to be found anywhere. Opposite is the Colonial club house and auditorium of the Thursday Morning Club, a public welfare association of Great Barrington. Behind the Berkshire Inn is the Henderson house, built by General Dwight, said to be the oldest in the region. At the time of the Revolution it was used as a storehouse for supplies, and here, in 1777, General Burgoyne was lodged when on his way to Boston as a prisoner of war. In 1821 it was the scene of the marriage of William Cullen Bryant to Frances Fairchild of this town.
William Cullen Bryant (17941878) was the town clerk of Great Barrington from 1815 to 1825, and many of the town records are in his writing. For a year after his marriage the poet occupied the old house on Taylor Hill,200 yards south of the Henderson house,where many of his poems were in-spired, including “The Death of the Flowers,” beginning with the much-quoted “The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year.” He put into verse the Indian legend of Oucannawa, the Indian maiden who, forbidden by the laws of her tribe to marry her cousin lover, leaped to her death from a precipice on Monument Mountain.
On Berkshire Heights, west of the town, and the adjacent hills, there are numerous fine country estates, which, however, are so concealed by trees that little of them is seen from the road. At Edgewood Farms, the home of the late Dr. Pearson, are being carried on interesting demonstrations to stimulate the interest of surrounding farmers in the agricultural possibilities of the land. South from the center of the village is the Sedgwick School, moved here in 186g. About a mile and a half south from the village are the grounds of the Housatonic Agricultural Society, whose annual fair in September is a genuine oldtime country fair. In this same region is the Hallock School, a college preparatory school for boys and also Brookside Farms, the estate of William Hall Walker of New York, notable for the Walled Gardens, upon which over $200,000 have been expended. The Wyantenuck Country Club, with an eighteen-hole golf course, tennis courts, auditorium, and swimming pool, is a mile and a half southwest of the village.
A settlement grew up here at the principal ford across the Housatonic on the trail from Springfield to Fort Orange near Albany. This followed an earlier Indian trail and was known to the Dutch as The New England Path. Originally known as the upper Housatonic Township, the settlement was after 1743 known as Sheffield North Parish until 1761, when on incorporation it was named in honor of Viscount Barrington. The “Great” was preserved to distinguish it from Barrington, R.I., which, because of the uncertainty of the State boundaries, was formerly considered as possibly within the limits of Massachusetts. The first trail from the Connecticut valley to Albany in Colonial times passed up the valley of the Westfield river through Monterey, Great Barrington, and Stockbridge. This was the course followed by Major Talcott in his pursuit of King Philipes Indians in 1766, and became the route of the military road used through the Revolution,the route over which Burgoyne and his soldiers were taken to Boston. Talcott’s skirmish with the Indians is commemorated by a monument on Bridge St. near the Searles High School.
At the eastern end of the bridge which crossed the Housatonic was an inn, kept by Landlord Root. He was the first man brought to trial in Berkshire County, it being charged that he “did wittingly and willfully suffer and permit singing, fiddling, and dancing in his dwelling house, it being a tavern and a public house.” On pleading guilty he was mulcted ten shillings and costs. A Mr. Van Rensselaer, a young gentleman from Albany, rode up one evening to the inn in the pouring rain. The innkeeper, who knew him, asked him where he had crossed the river. He answered, “On the bridge.” Mr. Root replied that that was impossible because it had been razed that very day and that not a plank had been laid on it. In the morning Mr. Van Rensselaer went, at the solicitation of his host, to view the bridge; and, finding it a naked frame, gazed for a moment with astonishment, and fainted.
The Rev. Samuel Hopkins, the author of a system of divinity known as “Hopkinsian,” was dismissed from the pastorate here in 1769 and moved to Newport. Mrs. Stowe made him the hero of her “Ministeres Wooing.”
Two roads lead to Stockbridge from Great Barrington, of which the shorter, to the right, climbs through the notch south of Monument Mountain. The main road, with blue markers, however, leads north beside the R.R. to Van Deusenville (127.5). The righthand road here also leads over the picturesque notch above mentioned and is often preferred on account of the magnificent view. A mile up this road is the stone house (1771) of Isaac Van Deusen, the Dutch settler.
Continuing on the main road we enter the intervale between Monument Mountain (1710 ft) on the right and Tom Ball Mountain (1930 ft) on the left. In the hamlet of Housatonic (128.8) are cotton factories and a hydro-electric power plant with a 28-foot dam and a fall of 46 feet, developing 3000 h.p.
The Indian term Housatonic means “beyond the mountain,” and was applied to this region by the Hudson River Indians; some authorities support a derivation, “proud river flowing through the rocks.”
In Glendale (132.5), in Stockbridge township, is the residence and studio of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the “Concord Minute Man,” and ” John Harvard,” and the bronze doors of the Boston Public Library.
133.6 STOCKBRIDGE. Alt 839 ft. Pop 1933 (1910), 1894 (1915). Berkshire Co. Settled 1734.
This idyllic village on the Housatonic meadows with a classic poise in its dignified neatness has been a favorite summer resort of literary and artistic people almost ever since the days when Jonathan Edwards preached to the “good Indians.” To the north it merges socially and scenically into Lenox.
At the eastern end of Main St. is Laurel Hill, a park where The Laurel Hill Association was organized in 1853 with the aim of increasing the natural beauty of the village. This was the first Village Improvement Society in the United States, and was organized largely through the efforts of Mrs. John Z. Goodrich. The hill was presented to the town by the Sedgwick family, and a rostrum has been recently erected there to the memory of Henry D. Sedgwick, one of the founders of the society whose annual meetings are held here.
St. Paul’s Church, a handsome Norman structure designed by McKim, is richly decorated; the Baptistry is by Saint-Gaudens, the pulpit is Florentine. One of the memorial windows is to the memory of the son of the Hon. J. H. Choate. The bell and the clock were given by M. B. Field and G. P. R. James, the English novelist, resident of Stockbridge for two years. The Red Lion Inn, opposite the church, was opened in 1773, but the present building dates from 1897. The Plumb Collection of Colonial china and pewter is on view here.
Further along Main St. on the left is the Sedgwick home-stead, where Catharine Sedgwick was born and where Sedgwicks still live. The family has always taken a prominent part in local affairs. When Longfellow was visiting Miss Appleton here he was told that the very grasshoppers cry “,Sedgwick, Sedgwick, Sedgwick!” The sun-dial on the lawn of the Caldwell estate across the street marks the site of Jonathan Edwards’ study, where the great divine wrote “The Freedom of the Will,” still acclaimed as the intellectual master-piece of American letters. Aaron Burr, his brilliant grandson, spent much of his boyhood here. The Casino, close by, is one of the centers of social activity for the whole region. In addition to dances, concerts, and the other usual entertainments there is an annual flower show, and also an annual exhibition of paintings and sculpture where all artists living or painting in the Berkshires are privileged to exhibit.
On the Green near the Town Hall is the Field Memorial Tower, built by David Dudley Field in memory of his grand-children. It stands on the site of the first meeting house, and the chimes recall the hoarse conch shell used by its Indian worshipers to call the congregation.
The Rev. David Dudley Pield was one of the noteworthy persons of this region whose children became national figures. Cyrus W. Pield was the founder of the Atlantic Cable Company; Stephen J. Pield, a Supreme Court Justice; Henry M. Pield, a prominent preacher and writer; David D. Pield, Jr., an eminent New York jurist; and Jonathan E. Pield, an eminent lawyer and War President of the Massachusetts Senate. David Dudley Pield lived at Laurel Cottage on Main St. and later on Prospect Hill. The Rev. Henry M. Pield lived at Windymere, also on Prospect Hill, on the site of the garrison house of Colonel Ephraim Williams of Williams College and Fort Massachusetts.
Joseph H. Choate, Dean of the New York bar and Ex-ambassador to the Court of St. James; spends a good part of his year on Prospect Hill, on his `Plantation.’ Council Grove, where the Stockbridge Indians held their conclave beneath the great trees, is now the country estate of Charles S. Mellen, former president of the New Haven Railroad, who now describes himself under oath as an “agriculturist,” explaining that his is a vertical farm in a notch where a railway may some day run.
At the western end of Main St., facing the meeting house by the forks of the road, is the Jonathan Edwards Monument, and just beyond it is the simple monument to the Indians, standing in their ancient burial place. It is a monolith brought from Ice Glen. The Mission House on Prospect Hill on the S. H. Woodward place is the oldest house in Stockbridge. It was built by the colony for John Sergeant, who imparted both religious and industrial instruction to his charges.
The Ice Glen is a curious fissure in the hillside at the foot of Laura’s Tower, a spur of Bear Mountain. Ice is sometimes found here in midsummer. The Glen is reached by a short walk across the Memorial Bridge over the Housatonic. To the north is Lake Mahkeenac, or Stockbridge Bowl, set in the midst of hills and surrounded by magnificent villas. To the west is Monument Mountain.
The climb up the rough, steep trail is repaid by the magnificent view of the Housatonic valley. The name is variously ascribed to a cairn of stones, since overthrown, reared by the Indians in primitive custom to the memory of an Indian maiden whose love for her cousin, forbidden by tribal law, impelled her to leap from the crags, and to the stone profile that looks eastward near the summit. The mountain is composed of rough masses of white quartz, one isolated mass being known as The Pulpit.
Northwest, at Curtisville, is St. Helen’s Home, a fresh-air place for city children, the philanthropic work of Mr. John E. Parsons, late of New York and Lenox. Near here is the small but beautiful Lake Averic.
In 1734, after a year at Great Barrington, John Sergeant of Yale commenced preaching to the peaceful Indian tribe in the Stockbridge meadows. So delectable was the land that settlers soon followed Sergeant hither and with laudable forethought planted the great elms that give Main Street an air of distinction superior to almost any other street in New England. The group known as The Owen Elms was planted by Timothy Edwards, son of Jonathan Edwards, in 1786.
[n 1750 the great Jonathan Edwards, also of Yale, felt constrained to leave his much-loved ministry of twenty-four years at Northampton, owing to the laxity of views in his congregation. Inspired with an earnestness and sincerity rare even in those days, and feeling the blow of parting from his long-loved church, he took refuge in the wilderness here and carried on the mission, devoting his leisure to his famous treatise. In 1758 he was appointed President of Princeton, where he died in the early spring. Although of the most rigorous type of Calvinist, Edwards was not merely a grim personality; his letters in praise of the maid who became his wife are as tender and refreshing as any in our literature, and his life was illuminated through-out by “an inward sweet delight in God,” so that he appeared to many not merely as philosopher and theologian but as saint.
The school founded by Sergeant for the Indians is probably the first industrial school in the nation. The effects of the mission, uncorrupted by the rum-selling elsewhere customary, were so fruitful in their effect upon the placid tribe that even after the Revolution the natives held positions in the town government side by side with the colonists. They have been known as “the good Indians of Stock-bridge” for one hundred and fifty years. Today the remnant of the tribe, after being settled at Utica, is at Red Springs, Wis.
The captive Hessians are supposed by some to have marched through Stockbridge on their way to Boston after Burgoyne’s surrender, and echoes of Shayse Rebellion after the Revolution reached its seclusion. Since then it has remained undisturbed. Its literary associations additional to those mentioned above include Mark Hopkins (R. 15), who was born at Cherry Farm, Dr. Charles McBurney’s place; Long-fellow, who courted Miss Appleton of Pittsfield here (R. 13), Irving, Dean Stanley, Matthew Arnold, and Hawthorne and Herman Melville, who first became intimate in a thunder-storm on Monument Mountain, which drove them to shelter in a crevice too narrow to permit further shyness. Edward Bellamy, author of “Looking Back-ward,” made this region the scene of his novel “The Duke of Stock-bridge,” which deals with events at the time of Shayse Rebellion. Industrially Stockbridge early attained significance, which was continued for but a short time. In 1794 a woolen factory operated by waterpower was established here,one of the earliest in the country,for the Federal census of 1800 mentions only three woolen factories in the United States, with a total capacity of 15,000 yards a year.
Note. From Stockbridge a State Road leads eastward through South Lee to East Lee (2.5), where it joins Route 13 from Pittsfield to Springfield. Other routes from Stockbridge to Lenox run to the west of Rattlesnake Mountain via the Stockbridge Bowl.
The direct route to Lenox, a State Highway, still marked by blue bands on poles and posts, runs directly north to the east of Rattlesnake Hill (1540 ft). On an elevation to the north of Laurel Lake on the right is The Perch, famous as the home of Fanny Kemble.
139.6 LENOX (R. 13).
The route from here north to Pittsfield (R. 13) is a portion of the east and west route from Albany to Springfield and consequently is marked by red bands on poles and posts. 145.5 PITTSFIELD (R. 13).