Hopkins Memorial Forest

Eclectic History

The Amos Lawrence Hopkins Memorial Forest:
An Eclectic History of its First Century (1887-1987).

by Henry W. Art
Samuel Fessenden Clarke Professor of Biology
& Former Director of the Hopkins Memorial Forest
DRAFT – 19 September 1994

In the extreme northwest corner of Massachusetts, where the Commonwealth joins the states of New York and Vermont, is a parcel of land that is entirely typical of this region of low mountains and rapidly flowing streams. It is a landscape that shares a common history with most of the lands between the Connecticut and Hudson rivers. At the same time, the 2431 acres that comprise the Amos Lawrence Hopkins Memorial Forest (HMF) have their own particular stories to tell and mysteries to unravel, making it an unique landscape as well. I start to tell the story in midstream, the details of its Pleistocene foundations, its use as a hunting ground by Mahicans, and its being a site for settlement by 18th Century colonists are chronologically upstream strands in this inter braided tale. I have chosen to concentrate upon a 100 year period from the time that Amos Lawrence Hopkins started to assemble the pieces of this rural jig-saw puzzle into a gentleman’s farm in 1887 to the recent past, just before the memories of current Williams undergraduates.

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