Pittsfield Township

               Pittsfield Township was created from Spring Creek and Brokenstraw Townships in 1847. It lies in the western-central part of the county. The Brokenstraw Creek runs from west to east through the center of the township. In the community of Pittsfield, the Brokenstraw Creek is joined by the Little Brokenstraw Creek coming from the north. Garland and Pittsfield are the township’s largest communities.

               The township and the town of Pittsfield are named for Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the community from which a number of early settlers came. Lumbermen settled the area early, attracted by the forests and the easy access to the Brokenstraw Creek, which allowed them to move their lumber to markets. Many families combined lumbering and farming to make a living. In order to turn the trees into usable lumber, a number of sawmills were built in the area. These early sawmills were built next to streams and rivers and used waterwheels to provide the power to run the mill machinery.

               The first settler in the township was Robert Andrews, who may have arrived as early as 1795, from Wellsville, Ohio. He built a sawmill at the mouth of the Little Brokenstraw.

               The village of Pittsfield, originally called “The Corners,” was founded by Mark C. Dalrymple, who settled on the village site in 1829. Dalrymple farmed, and, in 1832, he built the first Pittsfield Hotel, which stood where the present hotel stands today. Dalrymple and his son-in-law, James L. Acocks, laid out the village lots, and Acocks served as the first postmaster of the village. The hotels, stores, and mills of Pittsfield catered to farmers and lumbermen; during the rafting season, it was a busy town. Mrs. Acocks, who ran the Pittsfield Hotel in the first half of the nineteenth century, sometimes prepared breakfast for 150 raftsmen during the high water season.

               The village of Garland used to be called “The Gar” after Mullingar, Ireland, the hometown of one of Garland’s early settlers. When a post office was established in the village, the postmaster did not like the sound of Gar, and renamed it Gar-land, or Garland. The first settler on the site of the present village of Garland probably arrived around 1800. Like Pittsfield, a number of sawmills were built in the area, and stores and hotels served the surrounding farming and lumbering community.










Courtesy of the Warren County Historical Society