Mission & History

HISTORICAL NOTES

The oldest existing village improvement society in the United States, the Laurel Hill Association was founded in 1853. The purpose of the organization is to "do such things as shall serve to improve the quality of life and of the environment in the town of Stockbridge." By maintaining over 460 acres of Association properties and recreational trails, by planting trees and flowers, by cooperating with town authorities for community welfare, by providing educational scholarships, and by coordinating with other organizations to preserve the approaches to the Town, the Laurel Hill Association helps to preserve the attractive character of Stockbridge

The First Meeting – 1853

On August 22nd a notice was posted in the public places of the village inviting all citizens to assemble on Laurel Hill on Wednesday the 24th to take measures for the improvement of the burying ground, the streets, walks, public grounds and Laurel Hill.

The Founder

Mary Hopkins Goodrich, with her passion for appearances and her executive ability, was the founder and inspiration of the Laurel Hill Association. In that first year, aided by generous citizens, Mary Hopkins Goodrich raised more than a thousand dollars and planted more than 400 trees. The society transformed Stockbridge from a rough, shabby village (muddy main road full of ruts and roaming cows, bare common, and dreary cemetery all brambles and weeds) into the handsome orderly town now admired by visitors.

LAUREL HILL PROPERTIES

461 total acres. The properties are listed below in descending size order (acreage shown in parenthesis).

STOCKBRIDGE

  • Sedgwick Reservation and Laura's Tower (240) – east of Ice Glen
  • Four Corners (48) – southeast of the Rtes. 102 and 183 intersection 
  • West Dale Preserve (35) – southwest of West Dale Rd. and Rte. 102
  • Tuckerman Meadow (28) – south of West Main, leased to the Golf Club
  • Dwight Meadow (14) – north of West Main, leased to the Golf Club
  • Field Arboretum (9) – junction of Old Meetinghouse and North Church
  • Chestnut Preserve (9) – between Route 7 and the Ice Glen Road wetlands 
  • Byron Preserve (7) – along Rte. 183, a bit north of the Rockwell Museum
  • Laurel Hill and Rostrum (6) – between the Town Offices and Park Street 
  • Moerschner Preserve (4) – on the Lee Road, straddling the Lee line
  • Railroad Station Park (2) – parcel in front of the Train Station
  • Shamrock Woods (2) –Shamrock St., across from & donated by Mary Flynn
  • Deeley Parcel (1) – on Cherry Street, the 11th hole, leased to the Golf Club
  • Goodrich Park and Memorial Bridge (.25) – at the end of Park Street

INTERLAKEN

  • Pagenstecker Park (2) – south of the old red-brick store along Rte. 183

GLENDALE 

  • Lower Bowker's Woods (37) – north of the Glendale Middle Road
  • Upper Bowker's Woods (16) – across from the Rockwell Museum entrance
  • Rockwell Museum Grant (5) – between Butler Road and Housatonic River
  • Roeder Park and Gazebo (.8) – site of the old Glendale Store

Properties not owned, but maintained and/or planted:

  • Cat & Dog Fountain
  • Civil War MonumentIce Glen
  • Jonathan Edwards Memorial
  • Post Office
  • Watering Trough