From the Bay State Montly
The Old Pittsfield Church And Its Three Meeting-Houses.
A Chapter of Evolution.By Mrs. H. M. Plunkett.
Surrounding the green oval that forms the local centre of Pittsfield, interspersed among other less pretentious structures, are six massive stone buildings, all erected within forty years, and containing in themselves an epitome of what goes to make up the best type of modern civilization, — the Berkshire Life Insurance Building, containing four banks, the post-office, the express, telegraph, and telephone headquarters, with doctors', lawyers', architects', and multitudinous other offices, is the centre of the business of the city; the Court House is the symbol of law and civil order; the Athenæum, with its public library, its art treasures, and its reading and lecture rooms, stands for the culture that enriches and ennobles; two handsome stone churches, Congregational and Episcopal, represent the religious principles that underlie New England life; and the fine Elizabethan house adjoining the Episcopal Church represents the homes for the maintenance and protection of which all these others exist. At the western extremity of the oval stands the soldiers' monument, a color-bearer, grasping the flag, his face turned westward toward the railway station, as if extending assurance of safety and peace to all newcomers. At night the electric light brilliantly illuminates all, and it takes a robust imagination to realize that only one hundred and twenty-five years ago the present newly made "city" of Pittsfield, containing 18,000 people, was reckoned a frontier town, had only five or six framed houses among its seven or eight hundred people, the rest being of logs, scattered in different parts of the six miles square of its territory, and several block-house forts to which neighboring families could flee when an Indian raid threatened; the garrison expenses paid by the Provincial government at Boston, though the garrison duty was performed by the citizens themselves, alternately mustered in and out, to stand guard or to work on their land.
The First Meeting-House.
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