Historical Sketch of Heath, MA
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THIS town was incorporated in 1785. Rev. Joseph Strong, the first minister, was settled here in 1790. The church originated from that in Charlemont, at the close of the Revolutionary war, whenMr. Leavitt was the minister of the latter. It was a period of some difficulty, owing, in part, to the state of the times.” The number of original members was thirty-five. Rev. Moses Miller succeeded Mr. Strong in the ministry, in 1804. It is stated in the American Quarterly Register, Feb. 1838, as follows, viz. : “The church now consists of about 200. It hns been diminished 100, by emigration. About 60 families attend Mr. Miller’s meeting; of which 15 do not belong to the parish. About 350 persons attend meeting statedly; 30 families attend the Baptist meeting; 10 the Methodist; and 20 are Unitarians. At one time one third of the persons in town were professors of religion.”

This is principally an agricultural town. The principal articles manufactured in the town are palm-leaf hats; of these, in 1837, there were 30,000 manufactured, valued at $5,000. The number of inhabitants in 1830 was 1,199; in 1837 it was reduced to 953. Distance, 4 miles N. of Charlemont, 13 from Greenfield, and 125 from Boston. There are three churches in the town, 1 Congregational, 1 Methodist, and 1 Baptist; and two post-offices. One of the cordon of forts, built in 1744 for a defence against the Indians, was situated in this town, and was called Fort Shirley

Historical Collections Relating to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
Geographical Descriptions.
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.