The New International Encyclopædia/Pittsfield
PITTS′FIELD. A city, including several villages within its corporate limits, and the county seat of Berkshire County, Mass., 150 miles west of Boston; on the Boston and Albany and the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroads (Map: Massachusetts, A 3). Its site in a hill-girt valley of the Berkshires, over 1000 feet above sea level, is of great natural beauty. In the vicinity are several picturesque lakes. There are public parks, one of which, in the heart of the city, has the fine statue of “The Color Bearer.” Among the noteworthy structures are the court house, built of white marble, the Crane Art Museum, the Berkshire Athenæum, the latter containing a public library of 36,000 volumes and the rooms of the Berkshire Historical Society; the House of Mercy and the Henry W. Bishop Training School for nurses, and the Berkshire County Home for Aged Women; the high school, the Berkshire Life Insurance Building, and the Berkshire County Savings Bank. The city is the headquarters of the Agassiz Association (q.v.). Pittsfield is an attractive residential place and a popular summer resort. It is known also for its manufacturing interests. As shown by the census of 1900, $6,085,000 was invested in the various industries, which had a production valued at $7,136,000. The leading establishments are woolen mills, a silk mill, foundry and machine shops, shoe factory, works making electrical machinery and supplies, paper mills, etc.
The government, under a charter of 1895, is conducted by a mayor, chosen annually, and a bicameral council that elects most administrative officers. The school committee is chosen by popular vote. The mayor appoints license commissioners. The water-works are owned and operated by the municipality. Settled in 1743 as Pontoosuck or Boston Plantation, Pittsfield was incorporated as a town under its present name in 1761 and in 1891 was chartered as a city. Longfellow stayed for a time at the Appleton House here and Oliver Wendell Holmes and Herman Melville lived in the vicinity. Population, in 1890, 17,281; in 1900, 21,766. Consult Smith, The History of Pittsfield (Boston, 1876).