The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD, the shire town of Berkshire co., Massachusetts, on the Boston and Albany railroad, and at the terminus of the Housatonic and the Pittsfield and North Adams railroads, 130 m. N. N. E. of New York, and 151 m. by rail W. of Boston; pop. in 1860, 8,045; in 1870, 11,112. It is beautifully situated in an elevated valley surrounded by mountains, and is regularly laid out, with houses generally of wood and very neatly built. In the centre of the town is a green, called the park, in which is a handsome monument in memory of the citizens of Pittsfield who fell in the civil war. Around the park are several fine buildings, including the elegant white marble court house, the Congregational church of stone, the building of the Berkshire life insurance company, St. Stephen's Episcopal church, and the building of the Berkshire Athenæum, containing a fine library and collections of local curiosities. On the main street are the handsome marble church of St. Joseph (Roman Catholic) and the fine buildings and grounds of the Maplewood institute for young ladies. The jail is also a fine building. The town is extensively engaged in the manufacture of cotton and woollen goods, paper, silk, machinery, &c. It contains two national banks, with a joint capital of $700,000; a savings bank, with about $2,000,000 deposits; a high school and public schools of inferior grades, with an average attendance of about 2,000 pupils; two weekly newspapers; and nine churches. — Pittsfield was incorporated in 1761, and named in honor of William Pitt. It is soon to be organized as a city (1875). The Berkshire medical institution, founded here in 1822, was discontinued in 1869.