Tyringham Massachusetts, 1890
Tyringham is a small, mountainous farming town in the southerly part of Berkshire County, 142 miles southwest of Boston; having Great Barrington and Lee on the northwest, Becket and Otis on the east, and Monterey on the southwest. It has 457 inhabitants, settled mainly in the valley of Hop Brook; which runs diagonally through the town from southeast to northwest, and enters the Housatonic River in Lee; furnishing, with its branches, the motive-power for two saw mills and two or three rake mills. The borders of this stream formerly abounded in wild hops. Goose Pond, in the northern part, is a beautiful sheet of about 225 acres, whose outlet is also an affluent of the Housatonic. Toby's Mountain, in the southwestern section of the town, was taken as a point of observation in the Trigonometrical Survey of the State. The soil, through rough and hard, is fertile; and the air is salubrious and the water pure.
The total product of the 76 farms in 1885 was $68,327. Tobacco was raised to the value of $5,162; and of maple sugar there were made 5,875 pounds, with 391 gallons of maple molasses. The manufactures amounted to $18,966. The number of legal voters was 130; and of dwelling-houses 101. The valuation in 1888 was $234,449, with a tax-rate of $11.43. The 6 public school-houses were valued at about $3,000. There are a Baptist and a Methodist church.
The central village (Tyringham) on Hop Brook is very neat and pleasant; and Shaker Village, north of it, bears the marks of tidiness and thrift for which these people are noted. The post-office is Tyringham. The localities called Fernside, Hop Brook, Jerusalem and Sodom are also reckoned as villages. The nearest railroad stations are those of the Housatonic Railroad at Lee and South Lee; to both of which are good carriage roads.
Lieut. Isaac Garfield and others commenced a settlement in this-place in 1739; and were followed the same year by Capt. John Brewer, of Hopkinton, who erected mills, In 1744, during the French and Indian War, some government soldiers were stationed here, and several houses were fortified. The first settler on Hop Brook was Thomas Orton, who built a log-house here as early as 1743. The Rev. Adonijah Bidwell, settled in 1750, was the first minister. The town originally existed as "Number One," and was incorporated as a town, March 6, 1762. Governor Bernard gave its name of Tyringham, of which English family he became the representative in 1770. This town sent 36 men into the service of the Union in the late war, and lost none.
pp. 647-648 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890