A Brief History
In 1766, North Berkshire Township Number 6 was purchased by
Nicholas Cook and Joseph Bennett, both of Rhode Island. This tract was later divided into parts of Savoy, Lanesborough,
Adams and Cheshire.
The investors hired Colonel Joab Stafford to survey their
holdings. Stafford purchased 396 acres and included the Low, Wells, Brown, Carpenter, Jenkes, Mason, Bliss, Tibbets and Cowmans
families to settle with him on what is today Stafford Hill, then New Providence. Later, in 1777, Colonel Stafford distinguished
himself at the Battle of Bennington. The Stafford Hill Monument was erected in 1927 by the Massachusetts Sons of the
American Revolution. Colonel Stafford was originally buried in a small cemetery on the property of Elmartin Farm.
This gravesite was later moved to be at the Stafford Hill Monument. .
Cheshire received its name with incorporation in 1793.
A year earlier, Elder John LeLand arrived to preach and later
to become a national political figure. He was responsible for making and presenting a 1,450 pound cheese to President Jefferson
The population gradually shifted toward the present village
to use the available water power from the Hoosic River.
The Berkshire Iron Furnace, Dean Saw Mill and the Cheshire
Shoe Factory assisted its economic development. Yet, the Crown Glass Company employed the most people. Some of the earliest
plate glass in Massachusetts was made there. After glass-making ceased, the high quality sand was exported to glassmakers
elsewhere, including those in Sandwich.
Population in July 2008: 3,314. Population change since 2000:
Males: 1,662 (50.2%)
Females: 1,652 (49.8%)
Median resident age: 40.6 years
age: 36.5 years
Zip codes: 01225.
Estimated median household income in 2008: $48,163 (it was
$41,981 in 2000) Cheshire: $48,163 vs Massachusetts: $65,401
Estimated per capita income in 2008: $24,841
Estimated median house or condo value in 2008: $211,622 (it
was $116,600 in 2000) Cheshire: $211,622 vs Massachusetts: $353,600
Mean prices in 2008: All housing units: $231,402;
Mobile homes: $34,398