GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. – A church where civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois once attended services is for sale, and some are concerned that an important piece of western Massachusetts history could be torn down.
The Clinton African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Great Barrington dates to 1857 and was the first African-American church in Berkshire County.
The church has been closed for several years since the congregation dwindled and started attending services elsewhere.
David Glassberg is a history professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which owns the nearby Du Bois Ancestral Homesite. He tells The Berkshire Eagle he hopes the church is sold to someone who realizes its significance and instead of demolishing it, develops a Du Bous visitors’ center at the site.
It is assessed at more than $300,000.