Stockbridge began its life, as a community with that name, as a Mohican town. In 1730, people of the Mohican nation and offered an exchange of land in the southern Berkshires for a township within the Commonwealth. Their descendants live in Wisconsin now as the Stockbridge-Munsee Nation, and they return often.

The house where John Sargent lived as the first missionary in the new town is a museum now on the Main Street, not far from the 1773 Red Lion Inn. Within a few years the town would be home to Revolutionary War veteran Agrippa Hull and Elizabeth Freeman, the woman who won her freedom and proved slavery illegal in the new state of Massachusetts — and to the 18th-century novelist Catherine Sedgwick

In the 19th century, Daniel Chester French turned an old farm into his studio as he created the Lincoln Memorial. Chesterwood is a museum now with his house and studio, gardens and trails, and an annual contemporary sculpture Show.

And in the 20th century, as the Berkshire Theatre Group founded its campus here, Norman Rockwell took up his easel, painting the changing faces of America through World War II and into the 1960s. His studio is also at the center of a museum here, with shows of contemporary illustrators alongside his work, and a pathway through apple trees to the river.

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Red Lion Inn

The Red Lion Inn has stood centrally on Main Street since 1773, when it served as a stage coach between Boston and Albany. The old clapboard building has a history going back to the Revolution, and today it brings locals and visitors to its restaurants and shop of goods from local artists and artisans.