Heritage Sites

Heritage Map
National Park Service
In partnership with the National Park Service

About Us/Directions: Documents/Resources

Documents about our past and present.

Copies of the National Park Service feasibility study and brochure are available for download in PDF format.  These documents chronicle the work that was performed in pursuit of our designation as a National Heritage Area, and contain volumes of pertinent background information about the Upper Housatonic Valley:

The programs of the Upper Housatonic Valley NHA are heavily dependent on the valuable partnerships of organizations and people.  The Committees listed here are frequently updated, and this list is reflective of the diversity of people who partner with Housatonic Heritage in support of heritage programming in our region:

Come explore the special places of the Housatonic River . . .
from its headwaters north of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, south to Kent, Connecticut. Enjoy riverfront walks through forested hillsides, a quiet float along meandering flat water, or the heady rush of world class rapids.

Quaint New England villages dot your journey, full of history and surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. Writers, artists and vacationers alike are drawn to the region from all over the world. Visit the historic home of Herman Melville, or stroll through the Norman Rockwell or Sloane Stanley museums. Find your welcome here – the Head of the Housatonic River valley in southwestern New England.

The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area publishes a mid-winter annual report.  Here are the most recent reports in PDF format:

If you haven't found what you're looking for - please email (info@HousatonicHeritage.org) us with a request for documentation that you're seeking, and we'll do our best to provide it. 


The Other Side of Glory book cover
The Other Side of Glory
The Berkshire Men of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment


The Other Side of Glory focuses on the men from the Upper Housatonic Valley who served in the 54th.  It takes its name from the harsh reality that both before the war and after their return there was no glory for most of the men. The kick-off celebration will coincide with the publication of a new book “On the Other Side of Glory”, authored by David Levinson and Emilie Piper and published by Housatonic Heritage. The reception will include remarks by the authors and a book signing.

The “MASS 54th” interpretive trail is the most recent addition to the African American Heritage Trail, a program of the Upper Housatonic Valley National heritage Area.  Known as the “Glory” regiment, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was comprised of African-American men from Berkshire County (MA) and Litchfield County (CT) who fought valiantly during the Civil War, in the backdrop of our nation’s struggle to end slavery and racism.

One Minute a Free Woman - book about Elizabeth Freeman
One Minute A Free Woman
Elizabeth Freeman and the Struggle For Freedom


Elizabeth Freeman and the Struggle For Freedom

Take a journey of heart and mind across time, place, families, and communities. Our journey focuses on the life of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, perhaps the best-known and most influential woman from the Berkshires. In 1781, seeing a contradiction between her enslavement and the quest for freedom being waged by the patriots in town against British rule, she sought her own freedom from Colonel John Ashley in Sheffield, Massachusetts. She won her lawsuit and helped end slavery in Massachusetts.


Paperback, 272 pages, 50 illustrations, chapter endnotes, index.
Published by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area /African American Heritage Trail, 2010,
ISBN: 978-0-9845492-0-7. For more information: www.AfricanAmericanTrail.org

Book - African American Heritage in the Upper Housatonic Valley

African American Heritage in the Upper Housatonic Valley


A Unique Resource for Teachers – Students – Tourism
Regional History – Community Studies 


Tucked away in western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut is a treasured place. Bound on the east by the Berkshire Hills and on the west by the Taconic Range, the Housatonic River gives it life. This place has played a pivotal role in the political, religious, industrial, and cultural history of the region and the nation. What has largely gone unrecognized until now is a rich history of African Americans who played pivotal roles in key national and international events and made significant contributions to our culture. African American Heritage in the Upper Housatonic Valley presents this great heritage, telling the stories of the Black luminaries who have lived in the area—W.E. B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, to name but a few—and detailing the life and times of the many ordinary yet extraordinary African Americans who have made their mark in the region from the 1700s to the present. The book is a guide to the people and places along the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail, encompassing twenty-nine Massachusetts and Connecticut towns in the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.

Key Features

  • 67 Articles on Business and Professional Life, Civil Rights and Social Action, Education, Military Service, Religion, and Society, Arts and Ideas 
  • 120 Photos and Illustrations
  • 8 Original Maps
  • 35 Primary Text Sidebars
  • Timeline of Regional African American History
  • Directory of Local and regional Resources
  • Trail Guides to 14 Communities  
  • Massachusetts Communities: Gulf Road/Wizard’s Glen, Pittsfield, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Sheffield
  • Northwest Connecticut Communities: Salisbury, Norfolk [Canaan], Sharon, Cornwall, Kent, Warren, Barkhamsted Lighthouse