Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area

Hancock Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark
Hancock Shaker Village, a National Historic Landmark

Diane Cote

Quick Facts

Location:
MA, CT
Significance:
The Upper Housatonic Valley is a singular geographical and cultural region that has made significant national contributions through its literary, artistic, musical, and architectural achievements, its iron, paper, and electrical equipment industries, and its scenic beautification and environmental conservation efforts.
Designation:
National Heritage Area
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
Yes

The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (Housatonic Heritage) is a nonprofit organization that serves to complement the region’s economy, and enhance the quality of historical, cultural and natural attractions by increasing collaboration among them.

Housatonic Heritage strengthens the region’s identity, increases public awareness of local history and the need for preservation, and encourages research on local history and its incorporation into the educational curriculum. Its programs enhance the quality of community character, while controlling undesirable growth and improving the local economy.

The Upper Housatonic Valley boasts more than 50 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The many historical, cultural and natural treasures in the region also include National Historic Landmarks and National Natural Landmarks:

The Upper Housatonic Valley NHA includes the following National Historic Landmarks

  • Crane and Company Old Stone Mill Rag Room, Dalton, MA—The oldest active paper company in the country is Crane and Company, which still makes the paper for U.S. currency.
  • Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, MAalso a site on the National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
  • Herman Melville's Arrowhead, Pittsfield, MA—Home of novelist Herman Melville between 1850 and 1863. Melville wrote Moby Dick here.
  • The Mount, Lenox, MA—Novelist Edith Wharton’s summer house
  • Mission House, Stockbridge, MA—Home of Reverend John Sergeant and theologian Jonathan Edwards
  • W.E.B. Dubois Boyhood Homesite, Great Barrington, MADu Bois was a voice that inspired African Americans to believe in themselves and to fight for justice. He lived in a now demolished house on this site during his boyhood

 

National Natural Landmarks

  • Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield, MA & Salisbury, CT—Greatest natural concentration of ferns in the United States, with 43 fern species and a remarkable assemblage of carefully documented plants and animals.
  • Beckley Bog, Norfolk, CT—Most southerly sphagnum-heath-black spruce bog in New England.
  • Bingham Pond Bog, Salisbury, CT—Extremely rare, undisturbed cold northern spruce bog which is atypical due to lack of sphagnum moss.
  • Cathedral Pines, Cornwall, CT—Old-growth white pine and hemlock forest that is the most massive stand in the New England-Adirondacks region.