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Monterey originally belonged to the territory known as Tyringham and was, in fact, referred to as South Tyringham. But in 1847, South Tyringham separated from Tyringham to help develop a wilderness trail and incorporated into present-day Monterey. The new town was named after one of Zachary Taylor's victorious battles in Mexico.
Lieutenant Isaac Garfield, Thomas Slayton, and Captain Brewer were the first to permanently settle in the region that would later evolve into Monterey. They arrived in 1739, and that same year, Captain Brewer built the territory's first saw mill to help kick-start the economy. The mill was fed by the Konkapot Brook out-fall of Twelve Mile Pond, known as Lake Garfield and located just north of Monterey's current-day village center.
Besides the mill industry, Monterey was home to several factories and a thriving fur trade. After the Civil War, however, Monterey evolved into a summer resort town for city folk and artists.
Settlers divvied up the land of New Marlborough by drawing lots. The first settler was Benjamin Wheeler. He drew Lot #25 of the 72 lots that were put up for grabs in December of 1737.
This random casting of fortune was set up by Edmond Quincy, Esquire of the Great and General Court. He announced in 1735 that there were four towns open for settlement along the road to Sheffield. New Marlborough was laid out and designated as township #2 in June of 1737.
New Marlborough's earliest village center took root as an agriculturally-based community located just south of Dry Hill. New settlements at Hartsville, Mill River, and Southfield started up soon thereafter to take advantage of the water power provided by the nearby Konkapot River. Along one three-mile stretch, the river powered as many as 15 mills, although not all at the same time.
Today, New Marlborough consists of five separate villages: Mill River, Southfield, Hartsville, New Marlborough Center, and Clayton. The town has served as a favorite summer resort for over 100 years and is admired as an example of rustic New England.
The Southern Berkshire Chamber
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