Berkshire 18th Century Trail

A Guide to the earliest homes in the Berkshires

The Berkshire hills were a wilderness uncharted by Europeans until the early decades of the 18th century. The first English settlers arrived in 1725 in Sheffield, which became the first incorporated town in the Berkshires in 1733.

John Sergeant became missionary to the Stockbridge Indians in 1735, the year that the ‘great road’ was constructed from Westfield to Sheffield. Stockbridge was chartered as ‘Indian Town’ in 1737 and incorporated as Stockbridge in 1739.

The Reverend Adonijah Bidwell was called to serve as first minister of Housatonic Township No. 1 in 1750.

New Marlborough was incorporated in 1759, and Pittsfield and Great Barrington in 1761, the year that Berkshire County was established.

This website is a guide to six of the earliest homes in Berkshire County, open for public tours: