A centrally located community, Lanesborough is a largely rural and residential town. Its streets merge seamlessly with Pittsfield’s at the southern border and New Ashford and Williamstown to the north. Originally a farming community, the town grew to become a prosperous mining and industrial center and remained one until the railroad came through the City of Pittsfield. In 1847, the Briggs Iron Company was founded, becoming the Lanesborough Iron Works in 1885. Marble also was an important export. Read more about the town’s development here. Lanesborough and the City of Pittsfield share Pontoosuc Lake, one of the largest lakes in Berkshire County and a popular recreation area. Another very popular recreational asset is the recently constructed Ashuwillticook Rail Trail which runs through the towns of Lanesborough, Cheshire, and Adams along an old abandoned railroad bed. The town also is home to Balance Rock State Park where there is indeed a giant triangular boulder 30 feet long by 15 feet wide poised on its tip on top of another rock, a creation of the last glacial era.
The town’s most famous son was humorist and lecturer Henry Wheeler Shaw (b. 1818) who wrote under the name Josh Billings and gained fame in the 1800s as a sort of Will Rogers observer of the human condition. His “Allminax” obtained a wide circulation.
For more information, visit the Town of Lanesborough website.