RadioBDC Logo
We Are Young | Fun. Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

Smithsonian Magazine names Great Barrington best small town in America

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  April 17, 2012 10:59 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Smithsonian Magazine has released its annual list of the best small towns in America with a local town grabbing top billing.

The magazine named Great Barrington its top choice thanks to "big-city smart" meeting New England natural. Brattleboro, Vt. (11) and Brunswick, Maine (13) were the other two towns to make the list.

In part, writer Susan Spano had this to say about the Berkshire town:

At the forefront of the big-chain-grocery-store-defying, eat-local movement, Great Barrington is devoted to its family farms, farmers markets and co-op. Berkshire Grown, an organization that promotes the production and marketing of locally grown food, spreads the word with lectures by writers like Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma and most recently Food Rules).

Great Barrington's latest unconventional endeavor is to mint its own currency, an experiment launched in 2006 aimed at getting people to buy everything?not just food? local. Almost 400 businesses in the area trade BerkShares bills; the 5 BerkShares note features W.E.B. Du Bois, the great African-American author and educator whose boyhood home just west of town is a National Historic Landmark.

Incorporated in 1761, around the same time as Stockbridge and Lenox, Great Barrington, too, attracted rich summer people who built Gilded Age mansions like Searles Castle, now a boarding school. But Great Barrington grew up as a mill and railroad center, its blue-collar ring never excised. About 125 miles from New York City, it attracts a hip crowd from the Big Apple, along with New Englanders and recent immigrants from Asia and Mexico.

You can see the entire list at the Smithsonian Magazine web site.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

 
About globe-trotting Travel news, tips, deals and dispatches.
contributors
  • Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor
  • Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor
  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
  • Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
  • Chris Klein is a regular contributor to Globe Travel. His latest book is "The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston."
  • David Lyon, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Hilary Nangle, author of Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine, and Moon Acadia National Park, writes about soft adventure, skiing, cultural travel, and food.
  • Joe Ray, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs food and travel stories from Europe.
  • Necee Regis is a regular contributor to Globe Travel.
archives