~ Continued ~
Proceeding south along Broadway you will come to the
Old Meeting House Cemetery. Most of Pittsfield's
early settlers are buried here including its founder,
John Cram. Among the Revolutionary soldiers are Enoch
Blake who also served in the War of 1812, Enoch Butler,
uncle of General Benjamin Butler of Civil War fame,
"Jockey" Fogg, Pittsfield's first soldier, who helped
carry the fatally wounded General McClary from the
Battlefield at Bunker Hill and later participated in the
ill fated march to Quebec, and Bradbury Green who
officiated as drum major at the execution of Major
Andre, the famous British spy who plotted with the
American traitor Benedict Arnold.
buried in the cemetery are Bridget and Josiah White.
Bridget was the sister of Grace Fletcher who married
Daniel Webster. It is because of this relationship that
the "Great Expounder" frequently came to Pittsfield and
actually owned property here.
Proceeding up Broadway we turn left onto Main Street and
come to the Old Stage Depot. This Greek Revival
house, c1840, was purchased by Jackson Freese in 1865
and it was from here that this highly esteemed "Knight
of the Whip" operated one of the three stage lines in
Pittsfield, the Pittsfield-Dover route. Pictured is one
of the famous Concord Coaches pulling up to the Depot
across the street.
Concord Coach Across From Old
Courtesy Walker Transportation
Collection, Beverly, MA Historical Society
Next door is the Grammar School, one of five
Pittsfield buildings designed by renowned architect
William A. Butterfield. It was completed in 1890 and
served as a schoolhouse for nearly a century. The
original plaque noting those involved in developing and
constructing the building, including Governor Hiram A.
Tuttle, is found in the atrium. In 1995 the building was
substantially reconstructed to serve as Pittsfield's
Town Offices. Interestingly, the slate floor in the
entryway is made of the blackboards used in the old
Grammar School, c1900
Returning west on Main Street you will come to the front
of the Old Meeting House, completed in 1789.
The first minister of the church was Christopher Paige,
step-father of the wife of Daniel Webster. He was
succeeded by Rev. Benjamin Sargent who for the next 18
years, in an extremely unusual arrangement in the annals
of church history, ministered simultaneously each Sunday
morning to a group of Congregationalists under the
leadership of Deacon Jonathan Perkins and to a group of
Calvinist Baptists under the leadership of Deacon Jabez
Old Meeting House 1845-81
9. Beside the Old
Meeting House, near the cemetery, is a sign noting the
famous encounter in 1842 between Frederick Douglass
and U. S. Senator Moses Norris, Jr. Douglass,
the famous escaped slave working for abolitionist
William Lloyd Garrison, came here to explain the horrors
of slavery. Norris was widely known for his anti-slavery
sentiments including having the Reverend George Storrs
illegally arrested in Pittsfield for making an
anti-slavery speech in the Pittsfield Baptist Church.
When Norris discovered that Douglass had been left out
in the rain after his noon address, the Senator took the
abolitionist to his home and offered food and shelter.
Douglass was so impressed that he wrote at length about
the event in his autobiography .
This trail data/booklet was prepared by Larry Berkson,
President of the Pittsfield Historical Society. Without
his diligence this material would not be available.
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