Pittsfield, city (1990 pop. 48,622), seat of Berkshire co., W Mass., between mountain ranges, on branches of the Housatonic River; inc. as a town 1761, as a city 1889. The city is the metropolis of the Berkshire resort area. Once a farming community, it developed industrially in the 19th cent. as a result of plentiful water power. Electrical items and textiles, plastics, concrete, and foundry products are manufactured. Oliver Wendell Holmes lived nearby, and "Arrowhead" was Herman Melville's home there from 1850 to 1863. The Berkshire Museum is there, and the neoclassical Colonial Theater (1903) has been restored.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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