1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lenox

LENOX, a township of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Pop. (1900) 2942, (1905) 3058; (1910) 3060. Area, 19.2 sq. m. The principal village, also named Lenox (or Lenox-on-the-Heights), lies about 2 m. W. of the Housatonic river, at an altitude of about 1000 ft., and about it are high hills—Yokun Seat (2080 ft.), South Mountain (1200 ft.), Bald Head (1583 ft.), and Rattlesnake Hill (1540 ft.). New Lenox and Lenoxdale are other villages in the township. Lenox is a fashionable summer and autumn resort, much frequented by wealthy people from Washington, Newport and New York. There are innumerable lovely walks and drives in the surrounding region, which contains some of the most beautiful country of the Berkshires—hills, lakes, charming intervales and woods. As early as 1835 Lenox began to attract summer residents. In the next decade began the creation of large estates, although the great holdings of the present day, and the villas scattered over the hills, are comparatively recent features. The height of the season is in the autumn, when there are horse-shows, golf, tennis, hunts and other outdoor amusements. The Lenox library (1855) contained about 20,000 volumes in 1908. Lenox was settled about 1750, was included in Richmond township in 1765, and became an independent township in 1767. The names were those of Sir Charles Lennox, third duke of Richmond and of Lennox (1735–1806), one of the staunch friends of the American colonies during the War of Independence. Lenox was the county-seat from 1787 to 1868. It has literary associations with Catherine M. Sedgwick (1789–1867), who passed here the second half of her life; with Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose brief residence here (1850–1851) was marked by the production of the House of the Seven Gables and the Wonder Book; with Fanny Kemble, a summer resident from 1836–1853; and with Henry Ward Beecher (see his Star Papers). Elizabeth (Mrs Charles) Sedgwick, the sister-in-law of Catherine Sedgwick, maintained here from 1828 to 1864 a school for girls, in which Harriet Hosmer, the sculptor, and Maria S. Cummins (1827–1866), the novelist, were educated; and in Lenox academy (1803), a famous classical school (now a public high school) were educated W. L. Yancey, A. H. Stephens, Mark Hopkins and David Davis (1815–1886), a circuit judge of Illinois from 1848 to 1862, a justice (1862–1877) of the United States Supreme Court, a Republican member of the United States Senate from Illinois in 1877–1883, and president of the Senate from the 31st of October 1881, when he succeeded Chester A. Arthur, until the 3rd of March 1883. There is a statue commemorating General John Paterson (1744–1808) a soldier from Lenox in the War of Independence.

See R. de W. Mallary, Lenox and the Berkshire Highlands (1902); J. C. Adams, Nature Studies in Berkshire; C. F. Warner, Picturesque Berkshire (1890); and Katherine M. Abbott, Old Paths and Legends of the New England Border (1907).