The Mountain

Mt. Greylock

Located in Adams, Massachusetts, Mt. Greylock stands majestically as the highest point in the commonwealth at 3,491 ft. The summit offers magnificent panoramic views of not only the Berkshires but also the Catskills and Adirondacks of New York, the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Presently the Mt. Greylock state reservation encompasses more than 2,500 acres and is home to the only Taiga/Boreal forest and sub-alpine species in the state of Massachusetts. At the apex of the mountain stands a 92-foot tall granite tower, which is crowned with a beacon of light. The tower was erected between 1931-1932 and was dedicated in ceremony as a War Memorial to all Massachusetts Veterans in 1933.

The name Greylock first came into use in the early 1800s and its origins are left for debate. Some say it is in reference to the mountain often having grey clouds or a lock of grey fog upon its summit; however, many believe it is a tribute to the legendary chief Wawanotewat, better known as chief Graylock (1670-1750).

Before the arrival of European settlers, the region was closely associated with various Indian people and tribes such as the Mahican, Abenaki and Pocumtuc and their traditional trade route between the Hudson and Connecticut river valleys passed by Mt. Greylock on its northern flank. Chief Graylock was a Western Abenaki Missisquoi chief of Woronoco and Pocumtuc descent who was born in a Woronoke village, which is present day Westfield. He often conducted guerilla raids on the settlers of Western Mass and Southern Vermont and continuously evaded his pursuers. Abenaki groups eventually made peace with the Massachusetts settlers in the 1720s, but Graylock refused to.

The 1990 landslide on the Eastern slope of Mt. Greylock has a striking resemblance to the profile of an old Indian chief facing north with a frown. It is intriguing to note that Graylock was often called “the frowning chief of the Waranokes” and was eventually forced north into Québec.

 

Read more about Mount Greylock State Reservation – Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation website