At a glance ...

Tuesday, April 24
Settled: 1692.

Incorporated: 1779.

Named for: George Washington.

Population: 130 (U.S. Census, 2000); 135 (Town Census, 2005); 146 (Town Census, 2007).

Area: 22.2 square miles.

Elevation: 1,661 feet (average).

Average annual snowfall: 75 inches (estimated).

Median resident age: 51.5 (U.S. Census, 2000).

Median household income: $53,125 (U.S. Census, 2000); $62,500 (2005, estimated).

Median family income: $55,750 (U.S. Census, 2000).

Average house value: $355,155 (Mass. DOR, 2007).

Average property tax: $1,822, single-family home (Mass. DOR, 2007).

Unemployment rate: 3.1 percent (Feb. 2007).

Races, national origin: White, 130 (U.S. Census, 2000).

Ancestries: English, 26 percent; Irish, 18 percent; German, 13 percent; French, 9 percent; Italian, 5 percent; Swedish, 3 percent; Scotch-Irish, 3 percent; Swiss, 2 percent; Dutch, 2 percent; Polish, 2 percent; British, 1 percent; French Canadian, 1 percent; Russian, 1 percent; Czech, 1 percent; Croatian, 1 percent; Greek, 1 percent; Austrian, 1 percent; Lithuanian, 1 percent; Portuguese, 1 percent; and Scottish, 1 percent (U.S. Census, 2000).

Official town Web site: None.

The town ...

... was the state's smallest town in the 1950s, when the population dipped below 100. With steady population gains since then, it now ranks as the third-smallest, with 146 residents. The smallest is Gosnold, on the Elizabeth Islands southwest of Cape Cod, with 86 people; Monroe, in Franklin County, is the second smallest, with 93 residents. ... is home to YMCA Camp Hi-Rock, operated by the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA in Bridgeport. Camp Hi-Rock can accomodate up to 300 resident campers during summer sessions of one week or more. Day campers can attend the facility deep within the state forest; it has a private, 90-acre lake and offers a wide variety of recreational and artistic activities. ... was home to the Mount Washington Fire Tower, atop Mount Everett, which went into operation in 1915 and was first maintained by Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. Under Massachusetts control, it was staffed until 1972 and — despite an outcry from a few residents — was dismantled by the state in 2003 because of its hazardous condition. ... has nearly half its land under state ownership as a state forest, park and reservation. ... boasts a small cottage owned by "Mother" Ann Lee, founder of the Shakers, in the late 1700s, which is still standing in Mount Washington State Forest, and is maintained by the state. ... has only one business: Blueberry Hill Farm. The farm has a pick-your-own blueberries season from early August to early September, with payment primarily on the honor system. The farm has more than 1,000 blueberry bushes in at least four fields. ... does have an informal B&B, not advertised, called the Penny Royal Arms boarding house, which still rents rooms and contains the original late 19th century library and guestbook. ... has most of its 18 schoolchildren attending Undermountain Elementary or Mount Everett Regional High and two attending the South Egremont School, while several attend private schools or the Berkshire Hills Regional District by school choice. Mount Washington had two small schools in its earlier days; the last one closed more than 50 years ago. ... has a tax rate of $5.13 per $1,000 of assessed value making for a relatively affordable annual tax bill of $1,822, even though the average property is worth $355,155. School tuition to the Southern Berkshire Regional School District and road maintenance are the primary town expenses. ... has a part-time Selectmen's secretary in Town Hall and two full-time Highway Department employees for plowing and road maintenance. ... has police protection from the State Police barracks in Lee; crime in the community is virtually non-existent. Fires are handled by local residents, augmented by the South Egremont Volunteer Department.


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