Hampshire County is a historical and judicial county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. It has no county government. Instead there is a Hampshire Council of Governments. As of the 2010 census, the population was 158,080. Its most populous municipality is Amherst, its largest town in terms of landmass is Belchertown, and its traditional county seat is Northampton. The county is named after the county Hampshire, in England.
|Hampshire County, Massachusetts|
Old Hampshire County Courthouse
Location within the U.S. state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Hampshire, England|
|• Total||545 sq mi (1,412 km2)|
|• Land||527 sq mi (1,365 km2)|
|• Water||18 sq mi (47 km2), 3.3%|
|• Density||300/sq mi (100/km2)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 2nd|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC−5/−4|
Hampshire County was constituted in 1662 from previously unorganized territory comprising the entire western part of Massachusetts Bay Colony. It included the original towns of Springfield, Northampton, and Hadley. The original Hampshire County included territory that is now in modern-day Hampden County, Franklin County, and Berkshire County, as well as small parts of modern-day Worcester County. By 1683, three new towns (Westfield (now Southwick), Suffield, and Enfield) had been incorporated south of Springfield. These towns were partly or wholly in the modern state of Connecticut at the time of their incorporation and resulted in a border dispute between the Connecticut Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In 1731, Worcester County was created, which included the original town of Brookfield (incorporated in 1718 as part of Hampshire County). More territory was lost to Worcester County in 1742 when the town of Western (now Warren) was created and added to Worcester County. Further territorial losses occurred in 1749 when the towns of Enfield, Somers (split off from Enfield in 1734), and Suffield unilaterally joined Connecticut Colony. In 1761, Berkshire County was created resulting in even more territorial loss for Hampshire County. In 1811, Franklin County was split off from the northern part of Hampshire, and in the following year, Hampden County was split off from the southern part of Hampshire.
Like a number of Massachusetts counties, Hampshire County exists today both as a historical geographic region and a judicial district; it has no county government. Many former county functions were assumed by state agencies in 1999. The sheriff and some other regional officials with specific duties are still elected county-wide to perform duties within the region. The Hampshire Council of Governments, with elected councilors from 15 towns, provides many regional services, though otherwise there is no county council or commissioners. Together with Hampden County, Hampshire County municipalities belong to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
Hampshire County is the only county in Massachusetts surrounded in all directions by other counties of Massachusetts: all other counties in the state are adjacent to at least one other state or the open ocean.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 152,251 people, 55,991 households, and 33,818 families residing in the county. The population density was 288 people per square mile (111/km²). There were 58,644 housing units at an average density of 111 per square mile (43/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 91.10% White, 1.96% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 3.40% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.50% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. 3.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.7% were of Irish, 12.8% Polish, 9.6% English, 9.5% French, 8.5% French Canadian, 6.9% Italian and 6.4% German ancestry, 88.8% spoke English, 3.4% Spanish, 1.7% French and 1.4% Polish as their first language.
There were 55,991 households out of which 28.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.40% were married couples living together, 9.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.60% were non-families. 28.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the county, the population was spread out with 19.60% under the age of 18, 19.30% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.90 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $46,098, and the median income for a family was $57,480. Males had a median income of $39,327 versus $30,362 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,685. About 5.10% of families and 9.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.20% of those under age 18 and 6.70% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 158,080 people, 58,702 households, and 34,480 families residing in the county. The population density was 299.8 inhabitants per square mile (115.8/km2). There were 62,603 housing units at an average density of 118.7 per square mile (45.8/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.7% white, 4.5% Asian, 2.5% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 1.5% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 4.7% of the population. The largest ancestry groups were:
Of the 58,702 households, 26.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.8% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 41.3% were non-families, and 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.89. The median age was 36.6 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $59,505 and the median income for a family was $80,891. Males had a median income of $52,686 versus $43,219 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,367. About 6.2% of families and 11.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
The ranking of unincorporated communities that are included on the list are reflective if the census designated locations and villages were included as cities or towns. Data is from the 2007–2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
Hampshire County is notable for the presence within its borders of the "Five Colleges", comprising the University of Massachusetts flagship campus and four well-known private colleges:
A consortium, Five Colleges, Inc., provides easy course cross-registration and free bus service between the campuses.
The following towns were disincorporated for the creation of the Quabbin Reservoir.
Belchertown (previously known as Cold Spring and Belcher's Town) is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 14,649 at the 2010 census. The town includes the census-designated place of Belchertown. Belchertown was formerly the home of the Belchertown State School. The land on which the school sat is, as of 2016, being redeveloped for mixed uses including residential, commercial and recreational. This includes the 385-acre (156 ha) Lampson Brook Farm, used for community and sustainable agriculture, outdoor recreation, and wildlife preservation.Calvin Coolidge Bridge
The Calvin Coolidge Memorial Bridge is a major crossing of the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts, connecting the towns of Northampton and Hadley. The bridge carries Route 9 across the river, where it connects to Interstate 91. The bridge is a major bottleneck in Hampshire County—the only major hospital in the county, Cooley-Dickinson, is located in Northampton on the western side of the bridge. The road approaching the bridge is known as Bridge St. in Northampton (eastbound) and Russell St. in Hadley (westbound).Campus Pond (Amherst, Massachusetts)
The Campus Pond at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a pond located in the center of campus that was created in the early 1890s. It is bordered to the south by the Fine Arts Center.Chesterfield Gorge (Massachusetts)
Chesterfield Gorge is a nature reserve located in Chesterfield, Massachusetts, USA. The property is owned by The Trustees of Reservations, who have administered the property since 1929.
Chesterfield Gorge was initially carved from the metamorphic bedrock by torrents of glacial meltwater. Today, the gorge continues to be shaped by the East Branch of the Westfield River. The walls of the gorge are quite steep, more than 30 feet (9.1 m) in some places. During periods of low water, it is possible to get down to the floor of the gorge, but it is not recommended, and no trails exist from the cliff edge to the bottom. Rock climbing is prohibited. The surrounding forest features oak, pine, and hemlock, and is home to bears, bobcats, and turkeys, among many others. A half-mile trail along the cliff top offers views of the gorge, the river, and the forest. A railing runs along the length of the cliff for safety. Along the cliff ledge are fields of boulders, some of which are quite massive.
Stone abutments of a bridge that once spanned the river are all that remain of the old post road between Boston, Massachusetts and Albany, New York. A toll gate was established at its eastern end, but no trace of it exists today. During the American Revolution, British redcoats marched over this bridge to Boston following General Burgoyne's defeat at Saratoga, New York. In 1835, floodwaters swept away the bridge along with some nearby grist and sawmills. A short trail leads along the river upstream from the gorge to the remains of the old bridge. A more extensive trail network extends southward down the river, through the Hiram H. Fox Wildlife Management Area and towards Knightville Dam.
Chesterfield Gorge is the entrance to an extensive natural area along the Westfield River, and is designated a National Wild and Scenic River. Fly fishing for trout is a popular pastime. Atlantic salmon are stocked here, and must not be confused with the local trout, as it is illegal to keep them if caught.
There is, coincidentally, a similar natural area named Chesterfield Gorge located in Chesterfield, New Hampshire.Glendale Falls (Massachusetts)
Glendale Falls is a waterfall and the name of an open space preserve in Middlefield, Massachusetts owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations. The falls, fed by the waters of Glendale Brook are one of the longest waterfall runs in Massachusetts.Adjacent to the falls on the north side lies the stone foundation of an 18th-century grist mill operated by the long-defunct Glendale Farm. The farm was established in the early 1770s by a future Revolutionary War veteran named John Rhoads. The initial success of the farm led to the construction of what is now Clark Wright Road, the sole means of accessing the falls by car. The farm was not successful for long, however; by 1799 the property was sold and Rhoads was gone.The preserve was established in 1964.Granby, Massachusetts
Granby is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 6,240 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The census-designated place of Granby corresponds to the main village of Granby in the center of the town.Hatfield, Massachusetts
Hatfield is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 3,279 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The census-designated place of Hatfield consists of the town center and surrounding areas.Littleville Lake (Massachusetts)
Littleville Lake is located mostly in the town of Chester in Hampden County and partly in the town of Huntington in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. It was created by the US Army Corps of Engineers when the Middle Branch of the Westfield River was dammed to control flooding.Long Mountain (Hampshire County, Massachusetts)
Long Mountain, 920 feet (280 m) feet above sea level, is a traprock mountain of the Holyoke Range, part of the greater Metacomet Ridge which stretches from Long Island Sound to nearly the Vermont border. The mountain rises steeply from the surrounding landscape 600 feet (180 m) below and consists of five distinct peaks, from east to west: 685 feet (209 m), 775 feet (236 m), 795 feet (242 m), 920 feet (280 m), the high point, and the eastern summit, 906 feet (276 m). It is located within the towns of Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts. The 110-mile (180 km) Metacomet-Monadnock Trail and the 47-mile (76 km) Robert Frost Trail traverse the mountain. The Holyoke Range continues to the west as Mount Norwottuck and to the east as Harris Mountain.Manhan River
The Manhan River is a 27.6-mile-long (44.4 km) river in western Massachusetts. It is a tributary of the Connecticut River.
The river begins near the boundary between the towns of Huntington and Westhampton, Massachusetts, and flows southeast to White Reservoir and then Tighe Carmody Reservoir in Southampton. The river continues southeast, then turns northeasterly and flows through the middle of Easthampton to its confluence with the Connecticut River at a westward curve called The Oxbow. The river provides excellent views of nearby Mount Tom.
Europeans first settled the area in 1664 and later established saw mills on the river. In 1847 large mills began with the Williston-Knight Button Company; a number of other factories sprang up nearby in the next few years. Small lead mines also were established near the river. Of particular note is the Manhan River mine near Loudville, noted for its pyromorphite and wulfenite. A former railroad has been converted to the Manhan Rail Trail, which now provides a scenic pathway along the river.Mount Orient
Mount Orient, 955 feet (291 meters), is a south-facing high point on an upland plateau overlooking the Connecticut River Valley in Pelham, Massachusetts (near Amherst, Massachusetts). Although the summit is wooded, a lower, south-facing ledge of exfoliating metamorphic rock provides views of the Holyoke Range and the east-central Pioneer Valley. Both the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail and the Robert Frost Trail (Massachusetts) traverse Mount Orient. The ledge is a popular hiking destination among college students and residents of nearby Amherst. Easiest access is via the Amethyst Brook Conservation Area parking lot on Pelham Road in east Amherst.
Mount Orient drains into Heatherstone Brook and Amethyst Brook, thence into Fort River, the Connecticut River, and Long Island Sound.National Register of Historic Places listings in Hampshire County, Massachusetts
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Hampshire County, Massachusetts.
This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. Latitude and longitude coordinates are provided for many National Register properties and districts; these locations may be seen together in a map.There are 80 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county, including 2 National Historic Landmarks.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted July 12, 2019.North Branch Westfield River
The North Branch of the Westfield River starts at the town of Savoy, Massachusetts in the Berkshires. It flows southeasterly to the town of Cummington where it follows Route 9 to the junction with the Swift River.
Here it turns sharply south and flows through the picturesque Pork Barrel region to West Chesterfield. It continues through a wilderness region to the Knightville Reservoir. From here it continues south for about 5 miles to Huntington, Massachusetts where it becomes the main branch of the Westfield River. The Middle Branch and the West Branch join it in this section.Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge
The Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge (also known as the Northampton Lattice Truss Bridge) is a former crossing of Boston and Maine Railroad over the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts, connecting the towns of Northampton and Hadley, by the Norwottuck Rail Trail, which is currently used for bicycle and foot traffic.Quabbin Reservoir
The Quabbin Reservoir is the largest inland body of water in Massachusetts, and was built between 1930 and 1939. Today, along with the Wachusett Reservoir, it is the primary water supply for Boston, some 65 miles (105 km) to the east as well as 40 other communities in Greater Boston. It also supplies water to three towns west of the reservoir and acts as backup supply for three others. It has an aggregate capacity of 412 billion US gallons (1,560 GL) and an area of 38.6 square miles (99.9 km2).Theodore Baird Residence
The Theodore Baird Residence, also known as Baird House, is a suburban house designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and located at 38 Shays Street in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States. It is the only Wright design in Massachusetts.The Usonian house was planned and built in 1940 for Amherst College English professor Theodore Baird. The Bairds became interested in Wright's work after reading his autobiography, and submitted a commission to him. Wright produced drawings based on the Baird's description of their lifestyle and a description of the lot. They were unable to locate contractors in the area who were able to do the work, so the construction work was done by Wright protégé William Wesley Peters. Part of the construction work was done at a factory in New Jersey, and moved to Amherst for final assembly. The house was the only Usonian for which the materials were prefabricated before being brought to the site.It is a single-family house with brick, cypress wood and glass façades and a flat roof highly cantilevered over a carport. Heating is conveyed by pipes distributing hot water through the concrete floor. There are also three fireplaces, one in the master bedroom and another with a single chimney and two grates which is divided by a partition wall separating the living room and study. The building includes an in-law apartment for Baird's mother, which is located at the opposite end of the house from the Bairds' quarters. Wright's design also included a dedicated space for the Bairds' dog, including a dog run and doghouse.The house is set back about 250 feet (76 m) from the road. The property, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, also includes a 4-acre (1.6 ha) woodlot that extends behind the house and neighboring properties on Shays Road.WWEI
WWEI (105.5 FM; "SportsRadio 105.5") is a radio station in Easthampton, Massachusetts, serving Springfield with a sports radio format. The station is owned by Entercom. Most programming is provided by Boston sister station WEEI-FM.Ware, Massachusetts
Ware is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 9,872 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The census-designated place of Ware, comprising the main settlement of the town, is in the southeast corner of the town. The area's students are served by Ware Junior Senior High School.William Cullen Bryant Homestead
The William Cullen Bryant Homestead is the boyhood home and later summer residence of William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), one of America's foremost poets and newspaper editors. The 155-acre (63 ha) estate is located at 205 Bryant Road in Cummington, Massachusetts, currently operated by the non-profit Trustees of Reservations, and open to the public on weekends in summer and early fall. An admission fee is charged.
Places adjacent to Hampshire County, Massachusetts
Municipalities and communities of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States
‡This populated place also has portions in an adjacent county or counties
Massachusetts public high schools
Italics indicates closed schools