Published: 9/18/2022 8:32:23 PM
MONROE — While 200 years may seem like a long time, state Rep. Paul Mark explained that, compared to many towns throughout Massachusetts, Monroe is still a relatively young town.
Whether you think this is old or young, it is certainly a milestone worth celebrating. Residents enjoyed a bicentennial celebration on Saturday, honoring the history of the smallest town on mainland Massachusetts. Monroe is home to 115 residents today, including 80 registered voters.
“It’s a special moment to turn 200,” 35-year resident Wes Brothers said.
The Monroe bicentennial kicked off with a speech from the town’s Selectboard as well as remarks from Mark, who is campaigning to represent the Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire District in the state Senate.
“Let us ceremonialize our brave first settlers along with our present citizens whose labors have made it possible for Monroe to thrive and remain a viable community throughout generations of hardship and prosperity,” Selectboard member Carla Davis read at the celebration.
Mark read the law that formally incorporated the town. While Monroe, which was named after President James Monroe, was first settled in the early 1800s by farmers from the neighboring town of Rowe, it wasn’t incorporated until 1822. He also presented a commemorative plaque of the town’s original charter.
Another special memento made for the bicentennial was a one-day stamp issued by the US Postal Service, showing a line drawing of Town Hall, complete with the large white columns in front of the building. It read “Celebrating 200 Years, 1822-2022.”
Along with goods marking the occasion, the bicentennial was about making new memories. The Fire Department hosted a cookout for everyone involved, while also raising money for the town’s Historical Society. There was also a competitive cornhole tournament and children’s games.
“This place is awesome,” Fire Capt. Robin Heart said of Monroe. “It is nice and quiet here. It is filled with good people and everyone knows each other.”
“We will revel in the awe-inspiring beauty of Monroe from the Deerfield River to the summit of the Monroe State Forest,” Davis said in her speech. “Let us celebrate the tranquil blessing our tiny town affords us with its humble size and abundant wonders.”
Bella Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or [email protected]