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Florida, Massachusetts 01247

Florida, located in the northeast corner of the county, has been called the "Bernardston Grant" and sometimes "Zoar". The town was incorporated in 1805. The first settler, Dr. David Nelson, arrived in 1783. Paul Knowlton, Nathan Drury, Jesse King, Sylvanus Clark and Steven Staples arrived prior to 1795. The eastern part of Florida, Zoar, may have been settled by Daniel Pierce of Deerfield in 1766.

The major industry was, from the earliest times, agriculture, though several saw mills and a wood pulp mill were operating in the late 19th century. Because of its elevation, agricultural production was limited to wool, maple sugar and potatoes. Like many hill towns, its population decreased after the first quarter of the 19th century, primarily because of the increased employment opportunities in nearby manufacturing towns. An Atlas of Berkshire County (F.W. Beers, 1876) shows 83 dwellings, 5 schools, a post office and the church.

Historic Preservation Report 1978




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