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Hinsdale, Massachusetts
Ashmere Lake from Rte. 143, looking north
Ashmere Lake from Rte. 143, looking north
Official seal of Hinsdale, Massachusetts
Location in Berkshire County and the state of Massachusetts.
Location in Berkshire County and the state of Massachusetts.
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Berkshire
Settled 1763
Incorporated 1804
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 21.7 sq mi (56.2 km2)
 • Land 20.7 sq mi (53.7 km2)
 • Water 1.0 sq mi (2.5 km2)
1,442 ft (440 m)
 • Total 1,919
 • Density 88.44/sq mi (34.15/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (Eastern)
ZIP Code
Area code(s) 413
FIPS code 25-30315
GNIS feature ID 0618266

Hinsdale is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,919 at the 2020 census.


Originally part of Northern Berkshire Township Number 2 and including all of Peru and parts of Middlefield and Dalton, the town was first settled in 1763 and officially incorporated as "Partridgefield" in 1771. Named for Oliver Partridge, one of the three purchasers of the town (along with Governor Francis Bernard), the Western Parish officially broke away from its eastern half and incorporated in 1804, renaming itself for the family of Rev. Theodore Hinsdale, who also owned an important woolen mill. The mill was the center of economic activity in town until the Great Depression, when it closed.

Hinsdale, along with neighboring Dalton, is home to two historic long-distance routes: the Appalachian Trail (a National Scenic Trail) and the Boston and Albany Railroad, on which operates the Lake Shore Limited passenger rail service that has run continuously from Boston to Chicago since 1897. The Hinsdale train depot located in the town center was closed in 1954, and the actual intersection of the two corridors lies at the also decommissioned train depot just north in Dalton.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.7 square miles (56.2 km2), of which 20.7 square miles (53.7 km2) is land and 0.97 square miles (2.5 km2), or 4.45%, is water. Hinsdale is located in central Berkshire County, and is bordered by Windsor to the north, Peru to the east, Washington to the south, and Dalton to the west. Hinsdale is 9 miles (14 km) east of Pittsfield, 42 miles (68 km) northwest of Springfield, and 120 miles (190 km) west of Boston.

Hinsdale is located in the Berkshire Hills, with most of its population located in a valley along the East Branch of the Housatonic River, whose origin is just south of the town line. Much of the land around the river south of the town center is part of the Hinsdale Flats Wildlife Management Reserve, and is generally a swampy area. There are four reservoirs within the town (Belmont, Plunkett, Cleveland Brook and a portion of the Windsor Reservoir), as well as part of Muddy Pond in the south and most of Ashmere Lake along the Peru town line. The town, which contains the peak of Tully Mountain along the western border, is traversed by a portion of the Appalachian Trail, which crosses the mountain. The town also has several summer camps and a country club.

CSX Tracks looking south from MA Route 8, Hinsdale MA
CSX tracks looking south from Route 8

Massachusetts Route 8 crosses the town from the south to the Dalton border in the northwest. Route 143 begins at Route 8 at the center of town. The town lies along a CSX Transportation rail line (former New York Central), which brings Amtrak and freight service to Pittsfield. The town lies at the eastern terminus of the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus line. Regional bus service can be found in Pittsfield, which is also home to the nearest regional air service (at Pittsfield Municipal Airport). The nearest airport with national flights is Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 1,253 —    
1860 1,511 +20.6%
1870 1,695 +12.2%
1880 1,595 −5.9%
1890 1,739 +9.0%
1900 1,485 −14.6%
1910 1,116 −24.8%
1920 1,065 −4.6%
1930 1,144 +7.4%
1940 1,235 +8.0%
1950 1,560 +26.3%
1960 1,414 −9.4%
1970 1,588 +12.3%
1980 1,707 +7.5%
1990 1,959 +14.8%
2000 1,872 −4.4%
2010 2,032 +8.5%
2020 1,919 −5.6%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2020, there were 1919 people, 798 households, and 1,126 housing units in the town.

As of the census of 2000, By population, the town ranks 13th of the 32 cities and towns in Berkshire County, and 292nd of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 89.8 people per square mile (34.7/km2), which ranks 13th and 290th in the county and Commonwealth, respectively. There were 970 housing units at an average density of 46.6 per square mile (18.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.81% White, 0.53% African American, 0.27% Asian, and 1.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.32% of the population.

There were 739 households, out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. Of all households 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.6% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 25.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $42,500, and the median income for a family was $51,118. Males had a median income of $38,333 versus $24,420 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,797. About 6.4% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 8.2% of those age 65 or over. data for Town of Hinsdale, Massachusetts reports 66.5% of the population are registered Democrats, 30.57% Republicans, and 2.9% independents.

Points of interest

Hinsdale Town Library
Hinsdale Town Library, erected in 1866, is a rare early example of French Tudor style imported to North America.
  • Camp Ashmere
  • Camp Danbee
  • Camp Emerson
  • Camp Romaca
  • Camp Taconic
  • Hinsdale Public Library
  • Hinsdale Town Hall
  • Israel Bissell Homestead and Grave
  • Lake Ashmere
  • Plunkett Lake


Hinsdale is one of the seven towns in the Central Berkshire Regional School District, the largest district (by land area) in the Commonwealth. Students in Hinsdale attend the Kittredge Elementary School in the town for elementary school, along with students from Peru. All students in the district travel to Dalton to attend Nessacus Regional Middle School for sixth through eighth grades and Wahconah Regional High School for the high grades. There are no private schools in Hinsdale, with the nearest being in the Pittsfield area.

The nearest community college is Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield. The nearest state college is Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Notable people

  • Israel Bissell, was a patriot post rider in Massachusetts who, along with Paul Revere, brought news to American colonists of the British attack at the Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, and subsequently was the beginning of the American Revolution. Bissell lived and died on October 24, 1823 in Hinsdale and was buried in the Maple Street Cemetery in Hinsdale
  • Anne Froelick, screenwriter
  • Daniel Webster Gill, Mayor of Cheyenne and member of the Wyoming Senate
  • Augustus P. Hascall, congressman from New York
  • Henry Howard, banker, businessman, mayor of Detroit, and first treasurer of Michigan
  • Francis E. Warren, first governor of Wyoming
  • Merrick Wing, Wisconsin state senator
  • Ashley B. Wright, congressman from Massachusetts

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See also

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