Since the first gristmill was erected in Alford, Mass. in 1763, the town’s population has increased only by 20. During the first half of the 19th century, there were a dozen marble quarries in Alford, but when the railroads were laid elsewhere, they became unprofitable. Today, Alford is the quintessential bedroom community: no stores, no motels or hotels, and not a single gas station.
“Old-fashioned, easygoing Alford …”
“Old-fashioned, easygoing Alford is not so far off the main traveled routes through Berkshire that it is a backwoods village, nor so close to have taken on the frills of a summer resort. The scattered houses, white church, and little school are built on a narrow shelf of land extending a quarter of a mile along the eastern side of the platter-shaped valley.
“To the south is Mt. Everett, one of the highest mountains in Berkshire, 2,624 feet above sea level. The western slopes of the valley are checkered with meadow and woodlots, mounting toward an unbroken line of trees against the sky.” (The Berkshire Hills, by Federal Writers’ Project, © 1939, Berkshire Hills Conference, Inc.)
Alford, MA facts:
- Town Hall: 5 Alford Center Rd.
- Phone: (413) 528-4536
- Population: 399
- Settled/Inc’d: 1740/1773
- Named for: Col. John Alford of Charlestown
- Elevation: 960′