New Towns And Changes

      The town of Monroe was erected Feb. 21, 1822, and the town of Erving, from Erving's grant, April 17, 1838.
      On the 2d of April, 1838, the unincorporated district of Zoar was divided, and a part set off to Charlemont and Rowe in Franklin County, and a part to Florida, Berkshire Co.
      In 1836 the commissioners' books show an expenditure of $800 for repairs on public buildings, and in 1848 an appropriation of $2000 was made for like purposes, though the record is somewhat indefinite as to the particular building repaired. The amount expended in 1836 was probably upon the court-house.
      In the years 1848 and 1849 a new court-house was erected on the west side of the park, and on ground now covered by the new building erected in 1872 and 1873, and of which it forms a part.
      The money raised for the erection of the new building was as follows: in 1848, $3000; in 1849, $300; in 1850, $3000; in 1851, $1150; in 1852, $1100; in 1853, $1500; in 1854, $5700; in 1855, $5700; total, $24,150. The two large sums of 1854-55 most likely included appropriations for a new jail, which was erected in 1856. The total county tax for 1848 was $9000.
      In examining the books and records, it is next to impossible to determine the exact amount of money expended on the court-house of 1848-49, but it was probably under $20,000.
      Isaac Damon was the contractor. The county' commissioners of that year were Thomas Nims, Joseph Stevens, and Ebenezer Maynard.
      The amounts expended for a series of years on the public buildings were, according to the record, as follows: 1865, $300; 1867, $500; 1869, $450; 1870, $500; 1871, $500; 1873, $500. The sum for 1873 was probably wholly expended on the jail and house of correction.
      In 1872 and 1873 the old court-house, which had served for a period of about twenty-three years, was remodeled, enlarged, and substantially rebuilt. The lot belonging to the county was considerably enlarged, and the space around the building made more roomy and convenient. The county commissioners in office during the time of its construction were Nelson Burrows, Richard N. Oakman, and George D. Crittenden. The architect was Joseph R. Richards, of Boston; the contractors, Timothy E. Stuart, mason, Asa Lewis, carpenter, both also from Boston. The total cost of this new and substantial building has been approximately fifty thousand dollars. Its extreme dimensions, including projections and portico, are about one hundred and fifteen by seventy-five feet. The basement is of stone, the superstructure of brick. It is two stories in height, with tower and slate roof. It is a spacious, elegant, and well-arranged building, convenient, and well-lighted and ventilated. The acoustic properties of the main court-room appear to be excellent. It is heated throughout by steam, lighted by gas, and supplied with abundance of the pure "Leyden Glen water," which is furnished to the village from the hills of Leyden, several miles away. Altogether, the Franklin County court-house, considering its convenience and adaptation, its architectural appearance and reasonable cost, is one of the best and most satisfactory to the people of the county of any in the commonwealth, reflecting credit alike on its projectors and builders.

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This page was last updated on
06 Aug 2005