Welcome to Mount Washington, hilltop town of 165 full time residents and 14,300 acres of land, approximately 80% of which are protected. As you will soon discover, the town is uniquely shaped by its topography. Four mountain peaks: Cedar, Alander, Race, and Everett form the corners of the town, enclosing residents in a valley almost 2000 feet above sea level.
The higher altitude means that summers are cooler – much to residents’ delight – and winters see more snow and freezing weather than on the flats of Egremont and Great Barrington.
There are no commercial businesses on “the mountain” (which is how you will hear residents refer to Mount Washington) except for the Austin Blueberry Farm. People who live here travel to Hillsdale and Hudson in NY or Great Barrington to shop. Several Mount Washington contractors are available to hire for tree work, excavation, construction, and snow plowing. You can ask your neighbors who they might recommend.
The town offers a lively social life for those choosing to participate. Though many activities such as the weekly ballgames, the August Church Fair and the Labor Day Tailgate Picnic occur in summer, the Council on Aging sponsors several winter programs to keep residents engaged with the community. The Cultural Council also sponsors arts programs at Town Hall and an Octoberfest at the “Y” camp. Their program schedule is sent out with the May Tax Bill.
There is mail service on the mountain though there is no town post office (we share the 01258 zip code with South Egremont). Some people, especially second homeowners, elect to have a postal box down at the Egremont Post Office which is where USPS packages will be delivered. Fed X and UPS trucks come up all through the year.
Here is more information to help you in your settling-in process:
Process for Signing up for Broadband: Mount Washington owns and manages a state-of-the-art, fiber optic network based on Active Ethernet design that provides each subscriber with a dedicated, super-fast internet connection. Telephone service is also provided over the fiber optic network. The town has contracts with telecommunications companies that provide customer service, 24/7 technical support and network maintenance and repair.
Anyone wishing to be connected to the Mount Washington Broadband Network must obtain approval of the Select Board in writing. The procedure for applying for broadband is described under the Services tab on the town website.
Recycling & Trash: The town has a Transfer Station on Cross Road (next to the Town Garage) where residents can bring household garbage and the following items for recycling:
- Plastic and Glass Food Containers and Household Cleaning Product Containers
- Aluminum Food Trays and Non-Deposit beverage containers
- PLEASE NOTE: All food and household cleaning product containers must be empty and clean. flowerpots, pots and pans, broken glassware and dishes, 5- gallon plastic containers, hangers, or any other items are not
- Clean Paper, Cardboard, Magazines and Books WITHOUT Covers. Padded mailing envelopes and shopping bags with string or ribbon handles are NOT recyclable.
- Questions about what can and cannot be recycled may be answered by using the Recyclopedia found at mass.gov/dep.
The station is open three days a week: Sat: 11-5; Sun 12-5; and Wed 7 AM – 12 Noon.
Information may also be found under the Waste Management section on this website in the Transfer Station Newsletter.
Specific guidelines for how and what to recycle can be found under Services on the Town website. The waste management fee is $200. per year.
Home & Property Improvements: When you are planning a change on any aspect of your property – land or physical structure – you need to check in with the Building Inspector to ensure that your intended alteration conforms with Massachusetts Building Code and the Town’s Zoning Bylaw. You will find the most recent Zoning Bylaw on this website, in the Governance section, under Planning Board.
Process of Registering as a Voter: You can register to vote online. The website is: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/OVR/Welcome.aspx
Procedure for Registering Children in School: Call Town Hall at 413.528.2938 and leave a message for the School Committee Chair who will contact you regarding appropriate procedures.
How to Get a License for your Dog: There is an application on the Town website, under Governance – Town Clerk that needs to be completed and submitted to the Clerk along with a Rabies Certificate and a check payable to Town of Mount Washington. All licenses expire annually on March 31st.
How to Register a Gun: Massachusetts state law requires all gun owners to have a valid License to Carry (LTC) for handguns and/or a Firearms ID for shotguns only or owners under the age of 21. You will find an application on the mass.gov website, which, when completed, needs to be submitted at Town Hall to Brian Tobin, Acting Chief of Police, with a check for $100.00, payable to the Town of Mount Washington.
Procedure for Burning: Burning is allowed between January 15th and May 1st of each year. Residents must sign up on the Burning Notification Sheet in the Town Hall outside bulletin board before burning and follow the Safe Burning Guidelines listed under the Services tab on the Town website.
For a Life-Threatening Emergency: Call 911. Indicate your location as Mount Washington if using a phone whose home base is elsewhere.
There is a small hospital in Great Barrington – Fairview Hospital, which is a private, non-profit 25-bed health care facility owned by Berkshire Health Systems. Their emergency room is open 24 hours a day.
Fairview’s Address is: 29 Lewis Ave, Great Barrington, MA 01230 – Phone: (413) 528-0790
Town Hall is staffed Monday (10-5) and Tuesday (8-3). You can call (413.528.2839) or stop by with questions. If you need to connect with the Assessor or Building Inspector or any other official, call or email to make an appointment. Email addresses are on the town website under the Governance tab.
At Town Hall you’ll also find the town library that is stacked with a wide variety of ‘good reads’ for adults and children.
New Initiative: Town telephone/contact list
Have you tried to reach out to our (new) residents or second homeowners or required a neighbor’s help but been unable to access their contact information, now that our numbers are no longer listed in the phone book, nor always available online? Maybe not, but we hope to prevent such potential communication problems. With your cooperation, the Select Board, at the request of the Council on Aging, is creating a Town-wide Phone List so that we all have a quick reference for getting in touch with one another. The list will be private, for use only by those who have homes in Mount Washington. Please send name, address, telephone number, and any other contact information you would like to provide to email@example.com.
This list is separate from the lists held by the Town and the Emergency Management Director from which pertinent alerts are sent. To be included in those lists, please see the notice on the home page.
The Welcome Page has been created by the Mount Washington Council on Aging in an effort to familiarize new residents with the community in which they will be living.