Greenfield, Massachusetts

Greenfield, Massachusetts

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Greenfield, Massachusetts
nickname =
motto =

imagesize = 250px
image_caption = Greenfield from Poet's Seat Tower, 1917

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Massachusetts
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Franklin
established_title = Settled
established_date = 1686
established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1753
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
government_type = Mayor-council city
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 56.8
area_total_sq_mi = 21.9
area_land_km2 = 56.3
area_land_sq_mi = 21.7
area_water_km2 = 0.5
area_water_sq_mi = 0.2
population_as_of = 2000
settlement_type = Town
population_total = 18168
population_density_km2 = 322.9
population_density_sq_mi = 836.2
elevation_m = 76
elevation_ft = 250
timezone = Eastern
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = Eastern
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 42 |latm = 35 |lats = 15 |latNS = N
longd = 72 |longm = 36 |longs = 00 |longEW = W
website = []
postal_code_type = ZIP code
postal_code = 01301
area_code = 413
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 25-27025
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0618166
footnotes =

Greenfield is a city in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 18,168 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Franklin County.GR|6 Greenfield is home to Greenfield Community College, the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Franklin County Fair. The city has a Main Street Historic District containing fine examples of Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian architecture.

Greenfield is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Pocumtuck Indians once made seasonal encampments in the area. They planted field crops and fished the rivers. First settled by the English in 1686 as part of Deerfield, it was attacked repeatedly by Indians, with the last skirmish in 1756. In 1753, Greenfield was set off and incorporated as a separate town, named for the Green River. It was the eastern terminus of the Mohawk Trail, a principal route for settlers traveling west into Upstate New York.

In 1795, the South Hadley Canal opened, allowing boats to to reach Greenfield via the Connecticut River, after bypassing the South Hadley falls Located at the confluence of the Deerfield and Green rivers, and not far from where they merge into the Connecticut River, Greenfield developed into a trade center. It was designated county seat when Franklin County was created from Hampshire County in 1811. Falls provided water power for industry, and Greenfield grew into a prosperous mill town. John Russell established the Green River Works in 1834, hiring skilled German workers at what was the country's first cutlery factory. The Connecticut River Railroad would be the first of several railways to enter the town, replacing the former canal trade.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 21.9 square miles (56.8 km²), of which, 21.7 square miles (56.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.87%) is water. Greenfield is located at the center of the county, and is bordered by Colrain, Leyden and Bernardston to the north, Gill to the east, Montague to the southeast, Deerfield to the south, and Shelburne to the west. Greenfield is located thirty-nine miles north of Springfield and ninety miles west-northwest of Boston.

Greenfield lies at the confluence of the Deerfield, Green and Connecticut rivers. The Green River runs from the north, through town to the Deerfield, which lies along the city's southern border. From there, the Deerfield meets the Connecticut, which flows southward along the Montague border before both rivers bend eastward briefly before heading southward. Several brooks flow into the three rivers, as well as a fourth river, the Fall River, which makes up the city's border with Gill. The city is located beside the Pocumtuck Range, the northernmost subridge of the Metacomet Ridge, and is surrounded by hills, with the town center lying on an elevated point above the rivers.

Greenfield lies at the junction of four roads. Interstate 91 heads northward through the city, and is duplexed for a 3-mile stretch with Route 2, the Mohawk Trail. The road enters over the Fall River as a surface road, before becoming a highway stretch to I-91. Once it leaves the road, it becomes a surface road again. From the highway upgrade to the exit from I-91, a portion of Route 2A follows Route 2's former right-of-way through town. At the town center, Route 2A meets the duplexed U.S. Route 5 and Route 10, the road that the Interstate replaced, which comes over the Deerfield River in the south before heading northward through town, with another interchange along the highway portion of Route 2.

Deerfield lies at the junction of two separate sets of the Springfield Terminal railway, the east-west line heading from the northern points of Worcester County towards the Hoosac Tunnel and Albany, and the north-south line heading from Springfield in the south towards Vermont in the north. The town is served by several bus lines taking tourists towards the northern Berkshires, as well as being the hub of the Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA), whose local service extends from Bernardston to Northampton and from Athol to Charlemont. The nearest general aviation airport is located in the Turners Falls section of Montague, and the nearest national air service is at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.


"See also:" Greenfield (CDP), MassachusettsGreenfield, as the only community in the county with a population over 10,000, is the largest community by population and population density in the county. It is also the smallest mainland county seat in the Commonwealth, as only the island towns of Edgartown and Nantucket are smaller. As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 18,168 people, 7,939 households, and 4,374 families residing in the city. The population density was 836.2 people per square mile (322.8/km²). There were 8,301 housing units at an average density of 382.1/sq mi (147.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.39% White, 1.34% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.10% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.41% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.54% of the population.

There were 7,939 households out of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.9% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.88. Gay and lesbian couples living together in Franklin County constitute 2.08% of the population (U.S. Census)

In the town the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,110, and the median income for a family was $46,412. Males had a median income of $33,903 versus $26,427 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,830. About 11.4% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.2% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.

Dominant ethnic groups in Greenfield include Anglo-American (Yankee), Irish-American and Franco-American, though recent years have seen a dramatic rise in Hispanic-Americans and immigrants from former Soviet Bloc states.


Greenfield's city status was established with a revised corporate charter, which allowed the election of its first mayor, Christine Forgey, in 2003. When a town, it had been governed by a town council and a town manager. It is the Commonwealth's newest city. Greenfield has its own police, fire and ambulance services, as well as public works, and is the home base of the regional waste management system. The city has the central post office for the "013" series of ZIP codes, which extends through Franklin County and several towns in Worcester County. The Greenfield Public Library is one of the larger libraries in the area, and is connected to the regional library network. Greenfield is home to the Baystate-Franklin Medical Center, which serves much of the northern Pioneer Valley. As county seat, Greenfield is also home to many different state offices, including courthouses, one of the offices of the Northwest District Attorney, Elizabeth D. Scheibel, and the Franklin County Jail.

On the state level, Greenfield is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by the Second Franklin district, which includes much of southeastern Franklin County and towns in western Worcester County. In the Massachusetts Senate, the town is represented by the Hampshire and Franklin district, which includes much of eastern Franklin and Hampshire Counties. [ [ List of Massachusetts Legislators by City and Town] ] The town is patrolled by the Second (Shelburne Falls) Barracks of Troop "B" of the Massachusetts State Police. [ [ Station B-2, SP Shelburne Falls] ]

On the national level, Greenfield is represented in the United States House of Representatives as part of Massachusetts's 1st congressional district, and has been represented by John Olver of Amherst since June 1991. Massachusetts is represented in the United States Senate by senior Senator Ted Kennedy and junior Senator John Kerry.


Greenfield operates its own school system for the town's 1,700 students. Greenfield operates The Academy of Early Learning at North Parish for pre-kindergarten students, three schools - the Four Corners School to the north, the Federal Street School to the east, and the Newton Elementary School to the west - for students from kindergarten through fourth grade, the Greenfield Middle School for students from fifth through eighth grades, and Greenfield High School for ninth through twelfth grades. Greenfield's athletic teams are nicknamed the Green Wave , and their school colors are green and white. Additionally, Greenfield operates the Poet Seat School, an alternative middle and high school for emotionally disabled students. Greenfield is also home to the Four Rivers Charter Public School, which serves students through grades 7-12.

Greenfield also has several private schools. The oldest is the Stoneleigh-Burnham School, a private 7th-12th grade boarding school for girls. The Greenfield Center School serves students through eighth grade with an "ethical" approach to education. There are two religious schools, the Cornerstone Christian School and the Holy Trinity School, both of which serve pre-kindergarten through eighth grades.

Greenfield is home to the Greenfield Community College, which serves the northern Pioneer Valley. The nearest state college is Westfield State College, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. There are also several private colleges, including members of the Five Colleges and Seven Sisters, in the Northampton area.

Points of interest

* Historical Society of Greenfield, 43 Church Street
* Guiding Star Grange is a community hall, known for traditional music and dance in the Pioneer Valley.
* Greenfield Center School, an independent K-8th grade school, is the a site of The Coalition of Essential Schools and the home of the New England Coalition of Progressive Educators.
* Greenfield Energy Park, a community greenspace featuring renewable energy exhibits, gardens, native arboretum, caboose museum, concerts, and public art in the heart of downtown Greenfield. Site of former train station. Headquartered at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).
* Leavitt-Hovey House/Greenfield Public Library, built in 1797 by Asher Benjamin for judge Jonathan Leavitt.
* The area is home to an optical illusion known as a gravity hill. It is located on Shelburne Road, while facing Greenfield, immediately after the Route 2 bridge. From under the overpass, the road appears to rise slightly to a crest a few hundred feet away. The illusion is slight, but convincing. A car in neutral at the "bottom" of the rise will appear to crawl uphill.
* Poet's Seat Tower Park features a 1912 sandstone observation tower named for the site's attraction to poets, particularly Frederick Goddard Tuckerman. The annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration takes place at Poet's Seat, which overlooks Beacon Field.

Notable residents

* Charles Allen, jurist
* Meguey Baker, game designer
* Christopher Baldwin, comic strip artist "(Bruno)"
* Stan Batinski, football player
* Asher Benjamin, architect
* Peter Bergeron, baseball player
* Titus Billings, religious pioneer
* Scott Crago, musician
* Kelly Doton, field hockey player
* George Grennell, Jr., congressman
* Kevin Hassett, economist & author
* Herbert Huncke, Beat Generation figure
* Penn Jillette, magician
* Robin Lane, musician
* Jonathan Leavitt, lawyer, judge, state senator & banker
* Winter Miller, playwright ("In Darfur")
* Michael Moschen, juggler
* Steve Partenheimer, baseball player
* John E. Russell, congressman
* Rufus Saxton, brigadier general
* Bennett Jones Sims, bishop
* Charles Pomeroy Stone, army officer & engineer
* Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, poet
* Fred Wallner, football player
* William B. Washburn, congressman & governor
* Van Hansis, Actor (As The World Turns)


* Francis M. Thompson, "History of Greenfield, Shire Town of Franklin County, Massachusetts"; T. Morey & Son, publishers; Greenfield, Massachusetts 1904
* [ History of Greenfield, Massachusetts (1879)]
* [ History of the Green River Works]
* [ Leavitt-Hovey House, History of Greenfield, Massachusetts, Francis Thompson, 1904]
* []

External links

* [ City of Greenfield, Massachusetts]
* [ serving Franklin County]
* [ Greenfield Public Library]
* [ Arena Civic Theatre]
* [ Franklin County Fair]
* [ Greenfield Community College]
* [ Greenfield Optimist]
* [ Greenfield Recorder]
* [ Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra]
* [ Greenfield Public Schools]
* [ St. James' Coffeehouse]
* [ Handwriting Analysis Research Library]

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