OF HINSDALE, BERKSHIRE COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS
P.O. Box 336 - 95 Maple Street
(413) 655-2245 - FAX (413) 655-8807
Open - Monday thru Friday, 9 AM - 2 PM - Except Holidays
(But Not All Departments)
Annual Town Meeting - Third Wednesday in May
Selectmen's Meeting Dates, Time & Place
Every other Wednesday 7:30 PM to close of business
July 4, 1771, the new plantation called Number Two was
established as Partridgefield. Then, on March 12, 1783,
a part of Partridgefield was included in the new town of Middlefield.
On June 21, 1804, a part of Partridgefield was established as
Hinsdale. And finally, on June 19, 1806, the name of Partridgefield
changed to Peru.
is a farming town of varied and beautiful scenery in the eastern
half of the middle section of Berkshire County, 143 miles west
of Boston by the Boston and Albany Railroad, which runs through
the midst of the town from the southeast. The station, post-office
and village are a little north of the centre of the town. Its
boundaries are Dalton and Windsor on the north, Peru on the
east, Washington on the south, and the latter and Dalton on
the west. The assessed area is 13,745 acres; and of this 3,606
acres are forest, consisting of maple, beech, birch, spruce
The town is elevated, generally level, with hills about its
borders, from which gather the brooks, forming near the centre
a large stream that furnishes motive power sufficient for several
mills. Near the centre is Ashmun Pond, containing some 400 acres,
fed by two small brooks and a mineral spring at the west of
it. Brown iron ore, and the minerals apatite and zoisite, are
found in the town. The soil is loamy, and quite fertile. Sheep
are not kept to such an extent as formerly, but are still more
numerous than the average. Large quantities of maple sugar are
annually made here.
The aggregate product of the 107 farms in this town in 1885
was valued at $104,737. There were formerly cotton mills here,
but now the chief manufacture is woollen cloths. The principal
mill is constructed of stone. In 1885 it made goods to the value
of $385,369. Boots and shoes, carriages, leather, metallic goods,
lumber, furniture and food preparations are manufactured here
to some extent. The aggregate value of goods made in the last
census year was $456,039. The valuation in 1888 was $712,784;
with a tax rate of $16.40 on $1,000. The number of dwellings
is 270; of inhabitants, 1,656; of legal voters, 314.
The town has a good hall, and a public library building valued
at $16,000, and containing nearly 4,000 volumes. The schools
are graded, and occupy seven buildings valued at about $11,000.
The Congregationalists, the Baptists and the Roman Catholics
each have a church here.
This town was settled as early as 1762; and among its founders
were Francis Miller and brothers, and Joseph Watkins
and his five sons from Hopkinton. In 1771, Nathan Fisk
built the first saw and grist mill here, for which he received
a bounty of 250 acres of land. A church was organized December
17, 1795, and the Rev. Theodore Hinsdale elected pastor.
In 1797, a Baptist church was formed. Partridgefield (now extinct)
formerly included this place, which was separated and incorporated
as a town June 21, 1804. It was named in honor of its first
Hinsdale sent 150 men into the Union armies during the war of
the Rebellion, and 12 of these (its own citizens) lost their
lives in the service.
pp. 373-374 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer,
to [Berkshire County Home Page]
Copyrighted from 1995 to present for the benefit of the Massachusetts