Old Route 7: Along the Berkshire Highway

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Winding through the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, the former Native American footpath known as Route 7 has long been an icon of beauty, vitality, entertainment, change, controversy, and even humor. The scenic towns and villages nestled along this historic highway have many common bonds. Stretching north from Canaan, Connecticut, to Williamstown, Massachusetts, Berkshire Route 7 provides a roadside rich in history. Artist Norman Rockwell's studio once stood proudly alongside this road; the first practical electrical transformer for alternating current was developed in a laboratory next to Route 7; legendary civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois was born just a block from the highway; President Theodore Roosevelt was injured in a trolley accident on a busy stretch of the road; humorist Josh Billings's large tombstone overlooks Route 7; the first woman to vote legally in the United States cast her ballot just a stone's throw from the road. As Route 7 redefined itself from dusty footpath to asphalt avenue, postcard makers and photograph takers captured the changes along the way. Old Route 7 contains more than 225 vintage images, many of which date back as far as the 1870s. Open this book and take a stroll along old Route 7. You will see many incredible sights: forgotten quarries, old drive-in movie theaters, trolley-car diners, full-service gas stations, and roadside tourist stops such as Red Bat Cave in New Ashford. Family farms, welcoming woodlands, majestic mountains, beautiful waterways, and even an occasional stately elm remain to remind us of how quickly these treasures could be lost.
ISBN: 9780738505398
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Massachusetts
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
Author Gary T. Leveille is a writer, editor, and director of Berkshire Creative Communications. A local historian, he resides in Great Barrington near Route 7.
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