New Marlborough Massachusetts, 1890

New Marlborough
is a large and handsome town in the southern part of Berkshire County, having for its boundaries, Great Barrington on its northwest corner, Monterey on the north, Sandisfield on the east, Sheffield on the west, and Canaan and Norfolk in Connecticut on the south. The general form of the town is that of a parallelogram, with its length north and south. The assessed area is 28,569 acres; there are 9,304 acres of forest. The formative rock is ferruginous gneiss, Potsdam and Levis limestone. From the latter large quantities of the "Hadsell lime" have been manufactured. In the western part of the town is a valuable bed of white porcelain clay, which is being wrought with profit. A curiosity of the town is a rock weighing 40 or 50 tons, so nicely poised that it can easily be moved by the hand. The scenery is diversified and romantic. There are wide areas of moderately level land about the borders; but the centre is hilly, the highest elevation being Woodruff Mountain. On the line at the northwest lies Six-mile Pond, whose outlet is Mill River. Umphachina River rises east of the centre, and meets the first at the southwest border; both streams furnishing power. In the southeast is East Pond; and the outlet of this also affords power.

On these streams and their tributaries are six saw mills and grain mills. There is also a butter and cheese factory. The largest manufactory is the paper-mill,.employing 25 persons, making paper for news sheets, and using rye-straw largely. Other manufactures are whips, carpetings, carriages and metallic goods. The value of the aggregate product in 1885 was $83,341. There were 261 farms, whose products amounted to $275,537. The live stock included 2,266 neat cattle, 630 sheep and 376 horses. The population was 1,661, of whom 430 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $629,118, with a tax-rate of $13 on $1,000. The number of assessed dwelling-houses was 361.

The post-offices and villages are New Marlborough (north centre), Hartsville at the northwest, Mill River in the west, Southfield (south centre), and Clayton. The Housatonic Railroad, running through the midst of Sheffield, on the west, affords the nearest railway stations. The town has 12 school-houses, valued at some $5,000. There are three Congregationalist churches, one Baptist, one Methodist, and two Roman Catholic.

The plantation of New Marlborough was established as a district in 1759, and the district was made a town by the general act, August 23, 1775. There have been numerous changes of boundary lines on all sides within the State. Mr. Benjamin Wheeler, from the original town of Marlborough, commenced the settlement of this town in 1739. He was forbidden the use of his gun by the Indians, lest he might kill the deer, which were numerous, and regarded by them as their most valuable property. The first church was organized October 31, 1744, when the Rev. Thomas Strong was ordained pastor. The Rev. Russell S. Cook (1811-1864), an able writer, and the founder of American colportage, was a native of this town.

pp. 497-498 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890