Originally known as Northern Berkshire Township Number 2 and
including all of Hinsdale and part of Middlefield, the town
was first settled in 1767 and was officially incorporated as
Partridgefield on July 4, 1771. It was originally named
for Oliver Partridge, one of the three purchasers of the town
(along with Governor Francis Bernard). On March 12, 1783, a
part of Partridgefield was included in the new town of Middlefield.
Then, 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 mountainous and sparsely settled farming town near the middle
of the eastern side of Berkshire County, 140 miles west of Boston,
and about 5 miles east of the Boston and Albany Railroad station
in Hinsdale bounding this town on the west. On the north
the boundary is Windsor; on the east, Cummington and Worthington;
and on the south, Middlefield and Washington. The area is about
27 square miles, of which 16,019 acres are assessed. Of these,
3,328 acres are forests of beech, maple and spruce. The land is
elevated, rough and rocky. French's Mountain rises near the centre
of the township to a height of 2,239 feet: The church on Peru
Hill, near the western border, is so situated that water falling
from one side of the roof finds its way into the Westfield River,
and from the other side into the Housatonic. The largest watercourse
is Fuller's Stream, draining the central portion of the town..
Some excellent limestone has been quarried here. There is much
rock of a flinty, and some of granitic character. The soil is
a sandy loam. The usual farm crops are raised; and the aggregate
product of the 104 farms was valued in 1885 at $60,161. There
are several large dairies. The manufactories consisted of 4 saw
mills, two of which are quite important. The population was 368,
of whom 116 were legal voters. The valuation in 1888 was $l22,616,
with a tax-rate of $15.75. There were 81 dwelling-houses. The
six public school-houses were valued at some $1,200. There is
one church, which is Congregationalist.
Township "No.Two " was sold at auction in Boston in
1762; and coming into the hands of Oliver Partridge and
Elisha Jones, it acquired the necessary number of inhabitants,
and was incorporated as the town of Partridgefield, July 4, 1771.
On June 21, 1804, the western part of the township was set off
to form Hinsdale. On June 19, 1806, the name of the town was changed
to Peru. Among the early settlers were Joseph Badger, Captain
Nathan Watkins and Nathaniel Stowell, who came here
in 1766. These, with others from the town, were at the battle
of Bunker Hill. The Rev. Stephen Tracy, ordained in April,
1772, was the first minister.
536-537 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890