long celebrated for the manufacture of paper, was detached
from Pittsfield, and incorporated March 20, 1784. It was named
in honor of the Hon. Tristram Dalton, then speaker
of the House of Representatives. It is a long, narrow township
in the central part of Berkshire County, intersected by the
Boston and Albany Railroad, 146 miles west of Boston; and
bounded north by Cheshire, east by Windsor and Hinsdale, south
by Washington, and west by Pittsfield, Lanesborough and Cheshire.
The number of inhabitants is 1252; of dwelling-houses 225;
of farms, 84; and of acres in woodland, 5,020. The surface
of the town is uneven, and the soil is good. A range of hills
extends through the northern part, and there are highlands
in the southern section of the town.
Through the pleasant and much-admired valley between these
eminences flows an eastern branch of the Housatonic River,
which, with its affluents, beautifies the landscape, and affords
important motive-power. The central village is enclosed on
three sides by this river, and, occupying an elevated site,
commands a very beautiful prospect of the valley and surrounding
country. The town has six paper-mills, turning out writing
and other paper to the value of more than $500,000 per annum.
It has one cotton-mill, two woollen, and eight or nine saw
mills. Some atention, though less than formerly, is given
to the growing of wool, the number of sheep being 542; and
large quantities of wood and bark are prepared for market.
Dalton has one post office, on hotel, and a public hall and
library; eight school-districts; a Congregational church (founded
Feb 16, 1785), whose pastor is the Rev. Richard S. Billings;
and a Methodist church, under the care of the Rev. N.J.
Of the soldiers furnished by the town for the late war, only
three were lost. The valuation of the town is $109,546; and
the rate of taxation $1.60 per $100.
town, once known as the "Ashuelot Equivalent," was
granted to Oliver Partridge and others of Hatfield
in lieu of a township in New Hampshire supposed by the early
surveyors to lie in Massachusetts. A settlement was commenced
in 1755. The records of the place during the Revolution have
not been preserved; but it appears that the people were strongly
disaffected towards the government during Shays's Rebellion.
The manufacture of paper was commenced here in 1802 by Henry
Wiswall, Zenas Crane and John Willard. Their establishment
was called "Old Berkshire," and goods of this stamp
were long in the highest repute. The next paper mill was built
The Rev. James Thompson, the first minister of the
town, was settled in March, 1795. He was succeeded by Rev.
Ebenezer Jennings, who continued as pastor until 1834,
when he was followed by the Rev. Harper Boise.
Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts, by the Rev. Elias
Nason, M.A.; Boston: Published by B.B. Russell, 55 Cornhill,