Walk the Berkshires: A Guided Hike Through Berkshires History (9/30)
September 30, 10am-1pm
Van service available down to Stockbridge, leaving at 9am & returning by 2pm
This three hour private guided hike is a 3 mile linear walk from Chesterwood to Downtown Stockbridge on country roads and Main St. This walk will share a narrative about the region which illuminates some historical and present day perspectives about Stockbridge and the Berkshires at-large. We will be guided by a Berkshire Camino leader who will encourage us to set an intention, walk with curiosity and participate in a ritual to let burdens go.
This is a free outing, with very limited spots.
Open to all spouses & partners of Williams employees.
Terrain accessibility: nearly flat with slight undulation and one very small incline through a short wooded section.
Please register for a spot as soon as you can via this Google form.
Rain date: October 7 2021
More details: We will begin with a short stroll through the grounds of Chesterwood, historic home and studio of iconic 19th/20th century sculptor Daniel Chester French. Gain perspective about the Gilded Age and Industrial Age as it unfolded in the Berkshires from post-Civil War through the early 20th Century.
Continuing toward downtown Stockbridge on tree-covered country roads as we gain perspective about Indiantown, the name given to this area before it was called Stockbridge. Linger for a bit at a footbridge that crosses the Housatonic River and learn about the Indigenous People, now known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community who lived in this region before being forcefully relocated from the area in the late 1700’s. We’ll learn more at the Mission Miles exhibit at Mission House, curated by the Stockbridge-Munsee Community under the auspices of The Trustees of Reservations and the Stockbridge-Munsee Historic Preservation Office at Williams College. We will explore the self-guided exhibit for about 30 minutes before we continue with the walk.
We will then meander a bit through the Stockbridge Cemetery and visit the Sedgwick family plot and the gravesite of Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman, the first enslaved Black woman in Massachusetts who sued for and won her emancipation in 1781 setting the stage for slavery to be outlawed in the Massachusetts Constitution.
We’ll finish with a short loop from downtown through the Laurel Hill preservation area that includes the Rostrum, a gathering place in the woods with a long history that still echoes today. The walk ends at the Town Offices on Main St. in Stockbridge.