Otis, Massachusetts

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Otis is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,365 at the 2000 census.

For geographic and demographic information on East Otis, which is part of the town of Otis, see East Otis, Massachusetts. The numbers reported in that article are included in the figures below.

Contents

History

Officially incorporated in 1810, the town was created when the unincorporated town of Loudon annexed the adjacent District of Bethlehem in 1809. It was named after Harrison Gray Otis, an influential lawyer, financier, and politician in revolutionary Massachusetts. General Henry Knox passed through the town in January 1776, bringing cannons from Fort Ticonderoga in New York to aid in ending the Siege of Boston, a route now known as the Knox Trail. The town was a farming community, with several small mill industries growing along the waterways, and today is mostly rural with some tourism.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 38.0 square miles (98.5 km²), of which, 35.8 square miles (92.8 km²) of it is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km²) of it (5.76%) is water. Otis lies along the eastern border of Berkshire county with Hampden County bordered by Becket to the north, Blandford to the east, Tolland to the southeast, Sandisfield to the south, and Monterey and Tyringham to the west. Otis is 23 miles southeast of Pittsfield, 30 miles west-northwest of Springfield, and 116 miles west of Boston.

Otis lies in the southern end of the Berkshire Mountains, and is dotted by several hills. The West Branch of the Farmington River rises in the town, heading southward towards the Connecticut River. The southeastern part of town is dominated by the Otis Reservoir and Big Pond, as well as portions of Tolland State Forest and Otis State Forest. The highest points in the town are to the north, with Church Hill to the east and Kingsbury Mountain to the west. Much of the land around the brooks of town are marshy. Just west of the town center is Otis Ridge Ski Area. Most of the population is around the reservoir and the center of town.

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