Pittsfield Township

Township and Village. Formed from the old townships of Spring Creek and Brokenstraw. Report of the Commissioners, appt'd by the court is date June 5, 1847. The township is nearly a parallelogram. It lies west of the center of the county, south of Freehold and Sugar Grove, west of Brokenstraw, east of Spring Creek, north of Deerfield. Brokenstraw Creek flows thru the township, the Little Brokenstraw Creek flows into the Brokenstraw at Pittsfield Village. According to the "History of Warren" some of the early settlers were:

Robert Andrews, The Mead Brothers, Robert Bonner, James Bonner, Wm. Carpenter, Mark C. Dalrymple, David Dalrymple (Marks father) Joseph Goodwin, Samuel Ford, Obed Ford, Wm Langley, Hugh McGuire, William Shutt, and Luke Turner

Boroughs, Towns and Villages

  • Pittsfield
  • Garland
  • Durlins Corner


Fighting was just something the men of Warren County enjoyed doing. You just couldn't have any event in the 1800s that at least one fight did not break out. But nothing compared to the riot at Pittsfield in 1866, at the Great Fitzpatrick Show.

The day in July of 1866 that the Fitzpatrick Circus rolled into Pittsfield was hot and the travelers were testy. The 4 bars in Pittsfield filled with not only circus members but with lumbers, oil men and many that came to watch the show. Quarts of whiskey for 35 cents were given and carried to the show and by the time the show was over and the women and children went home all that was left was a lot of drunken men ready to gamble. The circus men were pretty good at getting the hard earned money from the men and before you knew it began the biggest riot in the history of Warren County. From midnight till morning fighting with clubs and fists on both sides rang out. Those afraid and not wanting to fight climbed trees and stayed till morning. Others hid in sheds and still others bolted their doors and pushed heavy furniture in front of them for safety. By morning bloody beaten bodies laid everywhere. And although it appeared the Circus travelers did a bet better in the battle the Warren County men held their own and fought till they dropped!

The Pittsfield Riot

Oh listen to the story
And I will let you know
About the awful riot
At the great Fitzpatrick Show.
'Twas in the town of Pittsfield
That we recall it well
That happened all this trouble
That I to you will tell.
The show was out and over,
The crowd had left the grounds
At the three card Monte table
Some Men had gathered round
Soon someone said he's cheatin
Another said "You lie"
The cards they all were scattered
And soon the fist did fly.
Long years will we remember
That fight of great renown
That was fought in Pennsylvania
Way back in Pittsfield town,
And so my song is ended,
The song you all should know
Of the famous Pittsfield Riot
At the great Fitzpatrick Show.

Contributed for use by the Warren County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/warren/)

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