Williamstown MA and Williams College and Harsch Real Estate can all be found in Northern Berkshire County MA along with The Clark Art Museum, Williamstown Theatre Festival and the renown Taconic Golf Course. Once a Mohican Indiana hunting ground and later used to prevent the Dutch who had settled in New York State from encroaching on Massachusetts state lands, real estate area known as West Hoosac was claimed and settled in 1749. In 1756 Fort Massachusetts was built to further fortify the Western Massachusetts border from encroachment by the Dutch, the French and the native Indians.
During this time in history the new colony settlers in New England had to contend with the hostile native Indian inhabitants who were armed by the French. The French desired the America as a colony as much as Britain did and were willing to pay for the scalps of British citizens. Records can still be found in France of payments made to Indians for the scalps of British women and children by the French Army during these early years.
Fort Massachusetts stood somewhere between what is now North Adams and Williamstown about four miles east of Williamstown. The lives of the Berkshire settlers depended on this fort and the defense it provided from vicious ambushes and attacks by French soldiers and Indian bands.
Captain Ephraim Williams was given command of 12 military forts/posts throughout the Western Massachusetts territory. Born in Massachusetts in a wealthy family he was considered a brave and fine soldier during a time when military leaders had to hire, feed and lead the men who served under them. Most military leaders were appointed by the British because of their wealth and good standing. Education was so very important to Ephraim Williams that he included an endowment in his will to fund a free college in West Hoosac if the town were incorporated and named after him thus honoring his family name and posterity through ensuring an education to those who could "read English well."
Colonel (for by 1755 Ephraim had been promoted from Captain to Colonel) Williams lost his life in an ambush by the French at Crown Point. Although the Ephraim Williams did not live a long life his legacy continues to this day in his namesake town and Williams College. The college did not remain free for more than a few short years. Williams College has over 2000 enrolled students today and is one of the finest liberal arts colleges in the nation.
The ambience of Williamstown continues to be collegial, dedicated to higher education while promoting cultural enrichment for all visitors to Berkshire County Massachusetts. Mount Greylock serves as a symbol of Williamstown's lofty ideals.