The Southern Berkshire Region
All the rich history of the Southern Berkshire region contributes to the highly desirable area it has become today for both residents and visitors alike.
Did you know that the first slave freed under due process of law lived in this region and that her trial helped set the legal precedents that ended slavery in New England? This was also the home of W.E.B. Du Bois, the legendary African-American scholar and civil rights activist, who was born and raised in Great Barrington.
Did you know that the first open and armed resistance to British rule in America occured at the courthouse (now the Town Hall building) in Great Barrington on August 16, 1774?
The last battle of Shays' Rebellion took place in Sheffield in 1787, when Colonel John Ashley quelled the insurgence of New Engalnd farmers.
Did you know that William Stanley Jr., an inventor extraordinaire, demonstrated the first alternating current electrical system, providing lighting for offices and stores along Main Street in Great Barrington in 1886?
For more information on the history of the region, please visit the following sites:
Did you know that the Southern Berkshire region has its own currency called BerkShares? For more information, please visit www.berkShares.org.
Choose public or private schools for your child’s ideal educational experience:
Southern Berkshire Regional School District (SBRSD) serves the towns of Alford, North and South Egremont, Monterey, New Marlborough and Sheffield. These five towns came together in 1953 to form a unified school system. The district has three elementary schools and one middle/high school for grades seven through twelve.
Berkshire Hills Regional School District (BHRSD) serves the towns of Great Barrington, Housatonic, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge. Formed in 1967, the district is composed of one elementary school, one middle school and one high school. The district received a design and construction grant for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to build a “green” middle school, using a 56kW solar array, ground source heat pumps, heat recovery and attention to indoor air quality. The elementary and middle schools opened in September of 2005.
Berkshire Community College, based in Pittsfield, has its South County Campus in downtown Great Barrington.
The 500 acre campus of Berkshire School, a college preparatory boarding and day school founded in 1907, is nestled at the base of Mt.Everett in Sheffield.
Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School offers a Waldorf education in the Berkshires for pre-K through 8th grade, featuring academinc excellence enhanced by a unique, creative curriculum.
Great Barrington Waldorf High Shool offers a Waldorf education in the Berkshires for grades 9 through 12.
Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington is the nation’s only four-year liberal arts and science college expressly designed for high school aged students.
Special needs teens and adults will find several options in the southern Berkshire region.
Gould Farm in Monterey is America’s oldest therapeutic community for people with psychiatric disabilities.
Kolburne School in New Marlborough is a private residential school and treatment center providing academic, vocational, clinical, medical and recreational therapeutic services to students with mental and behavioral disabilities.
Oakdale Foundation in Great Barrington is a human services organization offering supportive community living for special needs adults, developing skills necessary for work, recreation, responsibility and independence.
Cadmus Lifesharing Association in Great Barrington is a community of independent Lifesharing households who live as extended families with people with developmental disabilities.
HEALTH and WELLBEING
The closeness to nature prevalent throughout the Southern Berkshire region has a certain healing or restorative energy. As a result, practitioners of both traditional and non-traditional healing methods have been attracted to the area, to the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington is a community hospital, which has a federal designation as a Critical Access Hospital, one of only three in Massachusetts. The 25-bed facility provides 24-hour emergency care by a skilled medical team equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Medical services include cardiology, diagnostic laboratory and imaging (including CT-scan, mammography and ultrasound), surgical services, physical therapy, sports medicine, occupational therapy, pain management and The Family Birthplace.
As an affiliate of Berkshire Health Systems, the hospital can easily facilitate transfer to Berkshire Medical Center in nearby Pittsfield when necessary. There are support programs and educational lectures available. The Advocacy for Access office provides access to care for the underinsured and uninsured.
CHP, Community Health Programs, provides access to healthcare services for people living in Berkshire County and adjacent communities regardless of insurance status, immigrant status, or ability to pay.
Volunteers in Medicine, Berkshires is a non-profit health care clinic that provides free healthcare for the uninsured in Berkshire County who are income eligible.