Great Barrington: Historian to share story of 1850s feud


Local historian and writer Bernard Drew will share the story of a local feud that threatened the survival of two Great Barrington industries at a meeting of the Great Barrington Historical Society at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 11, at the Teague Senior Center, 917 South Main St.

A successful manufacturer of rubberized goods in New Jersey, Great Barrington native Horace Day put up a factory on Cottage Street in 1847. He rebuilt the old Dewey dam behind St. Peter’s Church as a waterpower source.

The height of the dam interfered with the waterwheels at Berkshire Woolen, owned by the Russell brothers, precipitating a years-long court battle and an unexpected act of retaliation.

Drew will describe what went on between the skirmishing industrialists and the unusual emergency of the town’s first planned neighborhood.

Drew has spent the last year researching 18th and 19th century waterpower in the Upper Housatonic River Valley through a grant from Housatonic Heritage.



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