The sources of information in "Looking Back" include "Williamstown: The First 250 Years 1753-2003," the archives of the Williamstown Historical Museum, and personal recollections of town residents:
* As many gardeners and farmers can attest, deer are capable of inflicting considerable damage on flowers and crops of all sorts. One hundred or so years ago, however, Williamstown's farming community was confronted by a new menace: Milk-stealing deer. "A herd of six deer from Greylock reservation have been suckling the cows of John Landers and James Toole," reads an account of the incidents. "Both of these farmers are quite disturbed." Inquiries were made and officials learned that while the law provides for damages to be paid for vegetables that are trampled, eaten or destroyed, it makes no mention of stolen milk. "Assuming that each cow has yielded 10 quarts of milk a day which is a fair average for a good, healthy, thoroughbred Holstein, at Pittsfield prices, this milk would be worth $63 which is about equal to the value of the cows themselves."
* Affordable housing in Williamstown was under public discussion 25 years ago and the core issues are largely identical to those being raised in 2013. The Williamstown Task Force on Affordable Housing in August 1988 offered recommendations that included a requirement that every "large" housing development include an "affordable" element.
* Fifty years ago, real estate investors could have come across a buying opportunity in South Williamstown (known in the town's earliest days as "the south part"). A farm of roughly 50 acres, a cow barn, a horse barn and "two or three other" buildings was being offered for $30,000. The property included a brook, although the advertisement was silent on the water course's ability to babble.
* Closer to the town's center, real estate agent Mary L. Dempsey was offering a house on Jerome Drive in August 1963. Her advertisement correctly identified the place as "the former home of Churchill's mother." Jenny Jerome married Winston Churchill's father, Randolph, in 1874. Her father, Leonard Jerome, was a financier, sportsman and speculator. The family "summered" in Williamstown for some years in the mid-19th century.