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West Stockbridge, Massachusetts  01266

Queensborough, later West Stockbridge, was assembled from part of Indiantown (Stockbridge) and the "Gore", a long border section disputed with the colony of New York. John George Easland, a soldier stationed at the Fort on the Abbey Farm on North Plain Road in Great Barrington settled in the Gore in 1758. West Stockbridge had a complex development throughout its history because it is five separate village settlements: West Center, West Stockbridge, Freedleyville, Rockdale and Williamsville. West Center, developed as an agricultural village, includes the following historic resources: the site of the original Meeting House (1786), destroyed in 1956; Dr. Hunter's House, an old tavern; the FaddingDoyle House; Moffatt-Walker House; Arnold-Gilbert House; Johns-Barnes, Welch-Springstube House; Vaber-Gerdin House: Deming-Wilmots House; Arnold-Frelinghuysen House; Silvernail Farm (built from old Baptist Church); Tobey-Bailey Homestead; Louis Smith House; Amos Smith House; Woodruff-Bennett-Ghitalla House; the Baldwin Homestead; and, the West Center Brick School.

West Stockbridge developed as the town's commercial center because of the location of a railroad there in 1838, which hauled marble and iron ore. Colonel Elijah Williams began an iron works on a piece of land just west of the Shaker Mill in 1766. The town's commercial Main Street offers a collection of early 19th century structures from the Shaker Mill south to the comer of Route 102. Potential National Register sites include: the Sawyers' Stone House; the Rees-Eggleston Stone Mill; the Baldwin Hardward Store; the Town Hall; the Spencer-Baldassare House; the two Leavitt Houses, and many others.

Freedleyville, Rockdale and Williamsville developed because of available water power. In Freedleyville,a marble quarry and the Crocker Marble Saw Mill, built about 1802, were prime industries. By 1830, the export of marble was big business, nine quarries helping supply the product. Historic places here include: the Ford-Bennett-Silverman House, the Rutherford House (Freedleyville School); the Ford-VanHorst House; and Boughton-Balestro House. Rockdale, once a large settlement, today has only three historic houses and a mill site. The Brown-Pixley House (1799) is located just above the site of the Platt & Barnes Rockdale Grist Mill (1803). The MacDonald-Kaehin House lies several hundred yards north.

Williamsville, like West Stockbridge, developed around a small iron works, established also by Elijah Williams, called Independence Forge. The furnace stack remains, a little north of the foot of Water Street. The Village of Williamsville is an unaltered potential Historic District. An inventory should include the forge (1783); the site of Comstock Mill; the Barnes Cottage and the Barnes-Gifford "White Gates"; Barnes-Drake House; Williamsville Inn; T. French-Gurion House; Christopher French-Stoller House; Brown-Green and Gleason-Miller Houses; Barnes-Freehoffer House; Wickman-Joyner House; Spencer-Bohmfalk House; Caswell-Elliott House; Comstock-Cookson House; Briston-Cahill House; French-Robedeue House; Harris-Jennings House; Spencer-Ptatt House and the Williamsville School.

Historic Preservation Report




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