West Stockbridge Massachusetts, 1890
West Stockbridge lies midway of the western border of Berkshire County and of the State, 162 miles west of Boston. The Boston and Albany Railroad crosses the northwest corner, having a station at State Line (village), where it forms a junction with the west branch of the Housatonic Railroad. The latter follows up the valley of William's River through the eastern section, having a station at Williamsville, in the south, and another at West Stockbridge Village, in the northeast.
Rawson's Brook, flowing northward, and Wilson's Brook southward, drain the western section. The former, with Cone and Griffin brooks from the north, unite at West Stockbridge Village, forming a mill-pond, from which issues William's River, a tributary of the Housatonic. West and northwest of this village are Crane (or Great Quapan Kuk), Cranberry (or Small Quapan Kuk), and Mud (or Gilder) ponds. The town is bounded by Richmond on the north, Stockbridge on the east, Great Barrington and Alford on the south, and by Austerlitz, in New York, on the west. The assessed area is 11,353 acres; of which 2,903 are forests embracing a large variety of the trees common to the region. The land is rough and broken, and includes a part of the Teutonic range of mountains. The scenery is picturesque and pleasing. Levis limestone and Lauzon schist form the rock-basis of the town; and hematite, fibrous pyrolusite, and spathic iron occur. White-veined and clouded marble is found in abundance, and large quantities are wrought for exportation. Many large and handsome edifices have been constructed partially or wholly from this material; among which is the celebrated Girard College, in Philadelphia.
In 1885, 78 men were employed in mining the iron-ore. The principal manufactories consisted of half a dozen mills making horse-feed, meal and flour, and lumber,. Other manufactures were lime, carpetings, cotton articles, paper goods, furniture, leather, clothing, carriages and machinery and metallic goods. The value of the manufactures in 1885 was $125,174. The value of the product of the 121 farms was $133,681. The Miners' Savings Bank, in this town, at the close of last year, hold deposits to the amount of $93,403. The population was 1,648; of whom 343 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $661,684, with a tax-rate of $16 on $1,000. The number of assessed dwelling-houses was 365. There are a good town-hall and eight public school-houses; the latter valued at some $10,000. The high school library contains about 200 volumes. The churches are one each of the Congregationalist, Methodist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic. The post-offices are West Stockbridge Village, West Stockbridge Centre, State Line, and Rockdale Mills. The other villages are Four Corners, Leet Ore Bed and Williamsville.
This town was taken from Stockbridge and incorporated, February 23, 1774. A church was organized June 1,1789, and the Rev. Oliver Ayers was the first regular pastor. John S. Stone, D.D. (b. 1795), author of "The Living Temple," and other works; and Marcius Willson (b. 1813), an author of a series of readers and other school text-books, were natives of West Stockbridge.
Pp. 694-695 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890