Stockbridge

Stockbridge

Stockbridge, Native North Americans of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). In the early 17th cent. they were known as the Housatonic and were part of the Mahican confederacy. They then occupied part of the valley of the Housatonic River in SW Massachusetts. Their principal village, Westenhuck, was for a long time the Mahican capital after the removal of the council fire from Schodac. In 1734, John Sergeant began missionary work among them, and two years later the tribe was moved to a tract reserved for them by the colonial government. After the village of Stockbridge was established, they obtained their present name. They suffered terribly in the French and Indian War, at the close of which they numbered about 200. Accepting an invitation from the Oneida, the remnants of the Stockbridge moved to New York where they established New Stockbridge. In 1833 they moved to a reservation at Green Bay, Wis., where they joined the Munsee. In the 1850s most of them moved to a reservation in Shawano co., Wis. In 1990 there were some 2,200 Stockbridge in the United States.
Stockbridge, resort town (1990 pop. 2,408), Berkshire co., W Mass., on the Housatonic River, in the Berkshire Mts.; inc. 1739. It is a year-round tourist resort with nearby lake, ski, and recreational areas. Stockbridge was founded (1734) as a mission for the Muhhekanuks; the mission house, restored as a museum, was built in 1739. The Berkshire Playhouse, a leading summer theater; a large art colony; and several galleries and museums are there. The annual Tanglewood Music Festival is held at a former estate largely in the town of Stockbridge. Also of interest are the studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French, the Old Corner House (18th cent.; restored), and the Norman Rockwell Museum. The Boston Symphony Orchestra maintains a music school there.
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