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After laying out the townships of Tyringham, New Marlborough, Sandisfield, and Becket in 1737, officials set aside a portion of unincorporated land to the east and labeled it as "Province Land." This Province Land would later evolve into the District of Bethlehem and the unincorporated town of Loudon.
Loudon's earliest residents included Mrs. Return Holcomb, Lieutenant David Black, Benjamin Brewer, James Stuff, Ely Strickland, and David Kimble.
The District of Bethlehem was annexed to Loudon in 1809. The town was renamed Otis in 1810 after Harrison Gray Otis.
Through the first half of the 19th century, farming stood steady as Otis' principal occupation. But by mid-century, the town's economic base had greatly diversified, thanks to the opening of several sawmills, a rake factory, a furniture shop, a carriage shop, and two ironworks. Today, Otis is known for its summer camps and lakeside cottages.
Housatonic Township No. 1 was laid out by a committee of Proprietors in July, 1737. It encompassed what is today Tyringham and Monterey. In 1739, John Brewer built a sawmill in what is today Monterey Village. The original center was located around the Village of Monterey (incorporated as a separate town in 1847).
Tyringham was incorporated in 1762. Today it covers 18.9 square miles and has a population of just over 300. The Hancock Shaker settlement is extremely well known, yet another impressive Shaker settlement existed along the southwestern headwall of Tyringham Valley. Known as Jerusalem, it was established in 1792. At its zenith it contained over 200 Shakers housed in three clusters of buildings along Jerusalem Road.
In the late 19th century, Tyringham, like Stockbridge and Lenox, saw the construction of several large estates. Richard Watson Gilder, editor of Century Magazine, owned Four Brook Farms, and Egyptologist Robb de Peyster Tytus built Ashintully, which is today a ruin. Sculptor Henry H. Kitson built the Witch House, a thatch-roofed English cottage for a studio, now known as Santarella.
The Southern Berkshire Chamber
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