Thomas Brown's Home

Major Thomas Brown's House North of Berkshire Corners on Galena Road

As in most pioneer settlements, the first homes were round log cabins.  However Moses Byxbe brought a brick layer rather than a carpenter to Berkshire on one of his early trips east early permanent homes were brick.  It was a sign of his standing in the community when in 1811, Maj. Brown built the first brick house in the township, a little north of the corners, on the right hand side of North Galena Road.  (Some dispute the exact location but folklore has always called this house Major Brown's.)

Maj. Brown opened a hotel at his house.  Single meals were from 15 to 20 cents and board by the week from one dollar to one dollar and a half. The home held the first church service in 1818 which was preached by Bishop Chase.

There were slits on the upper outside walls designed to be used as gun holes should the settlement be under attack  During the war of 1812, this house was used as a rallying point, and a place of security for the families of the Berkshire settlement.

In 1906 the home was owned by Mrs. Gibson.  I remember it in the mid 1950s as being in bad shape.  Then there was a pile of bricks where once the house stood.

Return to Berkshire 1906
Return to Berkshire Township
Return to Local History Index