Berkshire County  



bg: Питсфийлд ru: Питсфилд

B034 Pittsfield, MA Pittsfield, the seat of Berkshire County, is situated between mountain ranges on branches of the Housatonic River in western Massachusetts. The Indian name of this place was "Pontoosuc", meanning "a run for dear". The territory was originally granted to Boston in 1735 and was called "Boston Plantation" until it was purchased by Col. Jacob Wendell in 1737 and became known as "Wendell's Town". The actual settlement was founded in 1752. In 1761 it was incorporated as a town and was named Pittsfield in honour of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, known as "the Great Commoner" and at the time British Prime Minister. Originally a farming area, it began to develop industrially in the 19th century as a result of the plentiful water power. In 1889 Pittsfield was incorporated as a city. Today it is also the metropolis of the Berkshire resort area and has a population of about 19,000 (1990).
B034 Pittsfield, MA: The Athenaeum


The Berkshire Athenaeum [right] is the public library for the city of Pittsfield. Incorporated in 1872, it is a non-profit organization which, like so many other New England institutions, started as a private organization. In 1903 it also assumed the responsibility of the Berkshire Museum in 1903. The Athenaeum was both a public library and a museum until the latter became an independent organization in 1932. The original Athenaeum building which is shown on tumbler no.B034 [right] was replaced in 1975 by the current library building at 1 Wendell Avenue. The Athenaeum houses a number of special collections, among them one on Hermann Melville, who lived in Pittsfield from 1850 until 1863 where he also wrote his famous book "Moby Dick".
B034 Pittsfield, MA: William Francis Bartlet


The second picture on tumbler no.B034 shows William Francis Bartlett [left]. The picture is labeled "William Francis Bartlet a volunteer in the Civil War a major-general at the age of twenty-four foremost to plead for reconciliation between North and South born MDCCCXL died MDCCCLXXVI". Bartlett was born on June 6, 1840 and was a student at Harvard when the Civil War broke out in 1861. Despite losing a leg in the spring of 1862 became a Colonel the same year. He was wounded several times and became Brigadier-General of volunteers in 1864. He was taken prisoner by the Confederates at the battle of the Crater and was exchanged after several weeks. He continued to serve with distinction until the end of the war and received the brevet of Major-General in 1865 for gallant and meritous services. After the war he at first engaged in business in Virginia, but eventually moved north and settled in Pittsfield, the home of his wife. In 1875 he won a sudden repuation as an orator by an address which he delivered at the battle-field of Lexington, on the centennial anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord. Bartlett died on December 17, 1876, and was buried in Pittsfield Cemetary.
B034 Pittsfield, MA: Court House


Berkshire County Courthouse (Pittsfield Superior Courthouse) [right], located in 76 East Street, was built in 1868–1871 by the architect Louis Weisbein of Boston. Its construction was the results of a protracted struggle that lasted from 1812 (!) until 1868, between forces divided on whether to move the county seat from Lenox to Pittsfield. After a decision of the General Court in June 1868 the construction started in October of the same year. The building in Renaissance Revival style was altered around the turn of the century to include some more Classical elements.

contact: webmaster