West Bank: Springfield To Greenfield
( Originally Published 1919 )
R. 10 § 3. West Bank: Springfield to Greenfield. 37.0 m.
The north and south State Highway, marked by blue bands on poles and posts, crosses the river at Springfield and runs northward on the terraces high above the river and overlooking it, commanding fine views of the river and of Mts. Tom, Nonotuck, and Holyoke, peaks of the Holyoke range ahead. From the college town of Northampton the route follows northward over broad intervales, the richest agricultural region of New England. In many places the river terraces are so regular as to seem almost artificial. They show the levels of the river in prehistoric times.
From Springfield follow Main St. north, bearing left on Plainfield St. and turning sharp right on West St. across the long iron bridge over the Connecticut into
1.5 WEST SPRINGFIELD. Alt 60 ft. Pop 9224 (1910), 11,339 (1915). Hampden Co. Settled 1655. Mfg. paper and wood pulp, oil and gasoline tanks, ice; market-gardening.
The broad Common was used in Colonial days as a training ground and a grazing place for the village cattle. Burgoyne's captive army encamped here on their way to Boston. Beside it is the old Day house (1754), preserved by the Ramapogue Historical Society as a Colonial Museum and a center for social and historical work. On the east end of the Common was formerly a shipyard where boats were made for use on the Connecticut river.
The steeple of the old white meeting house to the west on `Mount Orthodox' is a conspicuous landmark for miles around. The church was built in 1800, and since 1900 has been used as a headquarters of the local Historical Society. A short distance above Mt. Orthodox is the home of the Springfield Country Club, a model of its kind. This is the center of the social life of greater Springfield; its grounds are on a commanding height overlooking miles upon miles of the river valley.
The National Dairy Show will be held east of Chicago for the first time, from October 12th to 21st, on the grounds of the Eastern States Agricultural and Industrial Exposition, Inc. This latter is a permanent exposition intended to educate the public in New England's need of organized agriculture to increase home-grown food supplies for the millions of industrial workers in New England cities.
The West Springfield freight yards are the most important clearing tracks for cars on the New York Central lines east of Buffalo and contain forty-one miles of tracks, bringing the village an annual tax of $22,000.
The region about West Springfield has been well called the `Garden Spot of the Valley,' as market-gardening has long been a lucrative source of income. In Thanksgiving week 125,000 roots of celery are shipped from here, much of it grown from imported French seed at $1 an ounce, which proves more profitable than native seed at 15 cents, as it gives an earlier crop.
The State Highway, marked by blue bands, runs along the river through Ashleyville and Ingleside, avoiding the center of Holyoke, which lies in a bend of the river to the right (9.0).
8.7 HOLYOKE. Pop 57,730 (1910), 60,816 (1915); 20,000 foreign-born. Hampden Co. Settled 1745. Inc. 1850. Mfg. writing paper, envelopes, blank books, silk, machinery, screws, wire, belting, cotton and woolen goods. Value of product, (1913) $44,470,000; Payroll, $9,186,000.
Holyoke, commonly known as the `Paper City,' is the largest producer of fine writing paper and envelopes in the United States. Over 5000 people are employed in twenty-six factories, and the daily output is 500 tons in this one industry. The cotton and woolen industries located here employ 5000 hands. All of these factories take full advantage of the 30,000 h.p. of the South Hadley falls. It is also a tobacco-growing region.
The South Hadley falls, which furnish the fine waterpower here, attracted the attention of Timothy Dwight early in the nineteenth century, who speaks of "the fantastic beauty and sublime majesty of these Falls." The first settlement was by a venturesome family of Rileys about a decade before the outbreak of King Philip's War. Originally a part of Spring-field, it was known as `Ireland Parish,' but later named for Elizur Holyoke, a man of wealth and prominence in the Springfield of that time.
The importance of Holyoke as an industrial center came with the damming of the Hadley falls in 1848. Shrewd promoters, among whom the Perkinses, Lymans, and Dwights were conspicuously prominent, foreseeing the importance of this waterpower, gobbled it up, first securing the necessary lands from the farmers through an affable and noncommittal agent. The dam when completed in 1848 created the greatest waterpower that had up to that time ever been harnessed. It was an unprecedented undertaking and naturally met with difficulties. The story of the inauguration and collapse is graphically told in telegrams sent to the Boston office:
"10 A.M. Gates just closed: water filling behind dam."
"12 A.M. Dam leaking badly."
"2 P.M. Stones of bulkhead giving way to pressure."
"3.20 P.M. Your old dam's gone to hell by way of Willimansett."
The present great stone dam, completed in 1904 at a cost of $750,000, is 1020 feet long, 38 feet high, and 34 feet wide at the base. Behind it the water generates 30,000 h.p., which is distributed to the mills by a canal system five miles long.
The streets of the city have been laid out largely in relation to the canal system. There is a group of handsome public buildings of which perhaps the finest is the City Hall, of rough split granite with a tower 215 feet high. Although Holyoke is a modern city there are a few landmarks of early days.
Holyoke started its manufacturing career as a cotton mill city, but the combination of a great waterpower, the wood pulp of the Hoosac forests, and the waste rags of the textile industries, made it a great paper center. It is one of the most progressive cities in New England, and to the fore in civic improvements. It owns and operates the water works and gas and electric plants.
The first paper mill was built by Joseph C. Parsons during the '50's of the last century. From that time on the mills increased rapidly. In 1899, at the height of the trust-making boom, just before trust busting became popular, seventeen paper mills of Holyoke consolidated with twelve mills located elsewhere, forming the American Writing Paper Company, with a paper capital of $25,000,000, one of the worst examples of over-capitalization and high finance inflation on record. Since then the stocks, and even the bonds, have been quoted in fractions. The United States Envelope Company of Springfield and Holyoke, representing the consolidation of eleven large factories, manufactures more envelopes than any other concern in the world. The American Thread Company and the Skinner Silk Mills are large concerns in the textile industry of Holyoke.
On Northampton St. is the Brown house, probably the oldest in the city, and further north the old tavern, once a half-way house on the stage route between Springfield and Northampton. Still further north on the same street is the Fairfield homestead. These houses were built in 1774 while the territory was a parish of Springfield.
Just beyond Holyoke a road to the left over the shoulder of Mt. Tom leads direct to Easthampton. The blue-marked highway continues by the river and passes through the gap in the Holyoke Range.
Mt. Tom (1214 ft), the highest mountain in this part of New England, rises from the river valley between Holyoke and Easthampton. This is the culmination of a long ridge of hard trap rock rising from the alluvial plain which resisted the wearing-down process of glacial action. From Holyoke there is an electric railway to the summit, where there is a hotel. The beautiful and extensive view of the Connecticut valley is justly considered to be one of the finest in Massachusetts, although perhaps it is not as striking as the view from Mt. Holyoke (954 ft) across the valley. Mountain Park with an area of 400 acres, the largest street-railway park in the world, extends from the base of Mt. Tom to the Connecticut. An inclined railway and a good road lead to the summit.
Note. From Mt. Tom R.R. station (14.5) a detour leads by the road to the left to Easthampton (3.0), whence there is a direct highway to Northampton (7.0).
EASTHAMPTON. Pop 8524 (1910), 9845 (1915). Hampshire Co. Settled 1725. Indian name Nashawannuck. Mfg. cotton, rubber thread, artificial stone, brick and tile, felt, foundry and machine shop products, and elastic woven goods; dyeing and finishing textiles.
This is a tree-shaded town in the rich intervales of the river valley, guarded on the east by Mt. Tom and on the west by Mt. Pomeroy (1233 ft), noted for the manufacture of buttons and elastic goods, and the home of Williston Seminary.
With its line of factories hidden by trees Easthampton presents a rare mingling of New England industrialism with New England beauty. The fine tree-lined main street leads to the Park, before which is the little Mayher fountain. At the corner of Prospect and Pleasant Sts. is the Ferry house, probably the oldest in the town. The cotton mills of the West Boylston Company at the north end of the town form one of the most beautifully located plants in New England. It is on the site of the cotton mill established by Samuel Williston.
About seventy-five years ago the town was waked up by Samuel Williston, who started his career by covering buttons at home, with his wife's aid. He invented machinery for the process and finally built a large button factory, founding the concern now known as the United Button Company. He also started cotton mills and the rubber thread industry here. His various enterprises brought him a large fortune. In 1841 he founded Williston Seminary, and afterwards gave large sums to Amherst College, Mount Holyoke, etc. Easthampton became a community of thriving industries, largely due to the inventive genius and energy of one man.
The Nashawannuc Manufacturing Company was the first concern in the country to introduce woven threads into rubber goods to make them elastic. Other concerns are the Glendale Elastic Fabrics Company, the Colton Manufacturing Company, elastic goods, the Easthampton Rubber Thread Company, the Dibble & Warner Company, wellknown makers of suspenders, the West Boylston Company, cotton yarns and fabrics, and the Hampton Mills Company, bleachers and dyers. The elastic goods industry represents about half the total product. From Easthampton a State Road leads north direct to Northampton, entering on South St.
The State Highway from Mt. Tom crosses the famous Ox Bow of the river. This was formerly the ship channel.
17.0 NORTHAMPTON. Alt 124 ft. Pop 19,431 (1910), 21,654 (1915). Hampshire Co. Settled 1654. Indian name Nonotuck. Mfg. cutlery, baskets, silk stockings, and thread.
Northampton, a famous educational center, and the home of Smith College, is beautifully situated in the midst of the fertile intervales of the west side of the valley. This most beautiful city of the `college county' is noted for the fine buildings of its schools, its magnificent elms, and fine old estates.
The buildings of Smith College have a fine situation on a hill behind a fringe of elms and form perhaps the chief attraction of Northampton. In John M. Greene Hall, one of the more recent and conspicuous of the buildings, is the new memorial organ, said to be one of the finest in the United States. The college was founded and endowed by Miss Sophia Smith of Hatfield in 1871, and today, with an enrollment of 1724 students, it is the largest college for women in the world. Facing the college grounds are the Burnham School for Girls and Miss Capen's School.
West of the college grounds is Paradise Pond, so named by Jenny Lind. Here the college girls enjoy canoeing in the Spring and Fall, and hold their ice carnivals in the winter. On one side is the estate of Mr. George B. McCallum, the silk stocking manufacturer.
Mr. George Cable writes: "The bluffs in `Paradise' suddenly sink to the river seventy feet below, canopied and curtained by a dense foliage of pine and hemlocks. . . . The sounds of nature alone fill the air; song of birds, chirp of insects, the rattle of the kingfisher, the soft scamper of the chipmunk, the drone of the bees, or the pretty scoldings of the red squirrel. A boat rowed by college girls may pass in silence, or with a song. . . . Of trees and perennial shrubs and vines alone, I have counted in `Paradise' more than seventy species."
Here is Tarryawhile, the home of Mr. Cable, on Dryads Green, just off Elm St. It is a southern Colonial house, surrounded by well-ordered lawns. Mr. Cable, the master of the Creole story, deserted New Orleans for Northampton in 1886. Here he wrote "The Cavalier" and many of his later works. He has been a moving spirit in civic life, and is the honored president of the People's Institute, formerly the Home Culture Clubs.
The Old College Bookstore, established in 1797, has had many famous people at its counters. Clifton Johnson, the wellknown writer, was a clerk here for a time. Like many of the cities of Europe, Northampton has a municipal theater, the only one in the United States, in its Academy of Music, which was given to the city by the late Mr. E. H. R. Lyman.
Meeting House Hill was for generations the center of Northampton political and religious life. In the present Meeting House is a bronze memorial tablet with a bas-relief of Jonathan Edwards, who was pastor from 1727 to 1750. In the former old brick court house Webster and Choate have held forth. The beautiful old church that stood on this site was burned down in 1876. Jenny Lind during her triumphal tour of America gave a concert here in the old church in June, 1851. She was charmed with Northampton, and returned in January, 1852, after she had married the German pianist Otto Goldschmidt in Boston. She passed her honeymoon at the Round Hill Hotel. On Round Hill north of the college are beautiful estates. The Round Hill School, founded in 1823 by the historian George Bancroft and the author J. G. Cogswell, was located here in a building afterward used as a hotel. The two had just returned from German universities and here for the first time introduced many features of the German educational scheme which have since been adopted throughout the country in our secondary schools.
Here also is the Clarke Institute for the Deaf, founded and endowed in 1867 by John C. Clarke, a wealthy merchant of the city. About a mile to the southwest is the State Hospital for the Insane, a group of fine buildings conspicuously situated on a hill which slopes gradually to Mill River.
The college community has fostered the development of many interesting eating-places,—The Copper Kettle, The Lonesome Pine, and the wellknown Rose Tree Inn, which "has no branches" but "blooms all the year." The latter, in the eastern part of the town, just off the trolley line to Amherst, is a long, low rustic house quite covered with rambler roses. The owner, Mme. A. de Naucaze, manifests an amusing and profitable eccentricity in such notices as "We can accommodate any number of guests at any time. If you descend in an aeroplane we will be ready for you, but we much prefer to have you telephone." "Take the cash and let the credit go."
The Smith Agricultural School, opened in 1908, occupies a handsome building on Locust St. The boys receive an industrial and agricultural training and the girls a training in domestic science. Oliver Smith of Hatfield died in 1845 leaving the sum of $370,000 to establish what are now known as the Smith Charities.
The region known as Northampton was bought from the Indians in 1653, and granted the following year by John Pynchon, Elizur Holyoke, and Samuel Chapin, the `three mighties' of Springfield, to the original planters, twenty-one in number. The original settlement was within the area bounded by Market, Hawley, Pleasant, and King Sts. The Indians were friendly up to the time of King Philip's War, but from then Northampton was subject to frequent raids. In 1690 the town was surrounded by palisades, and during the French and Indian War, in 1745, it was strengthened by log towers called "mounds."
Northampton has produced a rare group of exceptional men and is rich in literary associations. The three Timothy Dwights were natives of the town. The third became President of Yale College and wrote his interesting travels, the first guide book of New England.
The Whitneys, related to the Dwights, were quite as eminent. Josiah Dwight Whitney, the prominent Harvard geologist, for whom the highest mountain in the United States is named, and William D. Whitney, Yale's great philologist, were brought up in the Whitney homestead on King St., which occupies the site of Jonathan Edwards' old house, and before which stood the famous Edwards elm. On Pleasant St. is the old house erected in 1684 by Parson Stoddard, and occupied during his long ministry of fifty-seven years.
Oliver Wendell Holmes was a lover of Northampton, and many of the scenes of "Elsie Venner" are laid about here. He says of the city: "She, with her fair meadows and noble stream, is lovely enough, but she owes her surpassing attraction to those twin summits which brood her like living presences, looking down into her streets as if they were her tutelary divinities. . . . Happy is the child whose first dreams of heaven are blended with the evening glories of Mount Holyoke, when the sun is firing its treetops and gilding the white walls that mark its one human dwelling!"
Edmund C. Stedman, too, loved Northampton. His lines, written from High Ridge, Williamsburg, pay tribute. The two "warders" are Mt. Tom and Mt. Holyoke.
"There still the giant warders stand,
Dr. J. G. Holland chose the `Meadow City,' as Northampton has picturesquely been called, for the opening scene of his "Kathrina": "Queen village of the meads
Fronting the sunrise and in beauty throned,
Elm and Locust Streets lead to the suburb of Florence, and on, via Williamsburg and Cummington, to Ashfield and Pitts-field, Route 14. Bridge Street, crossing the river, follows the State Highway to Hadley and Amherst.
From Northampton the route runs northward on King St., crossing under and over R.R., following the blue bands and keeping to the west of R.R. tracks.
Note. Beyond Northampton (19.5) a good road leads east to Hatfield (2.5).
HATFIELD. Alt 149 ft. Pop 1986 (1910), 2630 (1915). Hampshire Co. Inc. 1670. Indian name Capawonk. Mfg. electrical machinery, and foundry and machine-shop products.
Hatfield, a pleasant old historic village, lies in the midst of the level meadows of the west bank of the Connecticut a short distance above Hadley, across the river. It seems to be always `cleaned up' to make a good appearance before strangers. This region was formerly noted for sleek cattle and still produces fine tobacco crops.
The meeting house with four beautiful Ionic columns in front was erected in 1849, replacing an earlier one which was moved from the present site and is now used as a barn behind F. H. Bardwell's residence. It was in this old church that the representatives of fifty towns met in the August convention and drew up their list of twenty-five "grievances" that pre-ceded Shays' Rebellion.
There are some fine old houses with interesting doorways. At the corner of Elm and Prospect Sts. is the Hubbard residence, formerly an inn, with well-proportioned rooms and fine old furniture. On Main St. is Mr. Reuben F. Wells' gambrel-roofed house, more than two centuries old. On the right at the extreme southern end of the street is the Mrs. Chloe Morton house (1750), with a fine doorway. The old Colonial residence in which Sophia Smith and her sisters lived for so many years still stands on Main St. This house, built in the architecture of about 1780, the birthplace of Sophia Smith, founder of Smith College, has lately been purchased by the Alumnae Association, restored by the Class of '96 as a reunion gift, and will be used as a place of rest and recreation for alumni and undergraduates. Opposite is the `Partridge' elm, now much patched with plaster. This tree is sometimes called the ` Jenny Lind' elm because of a tradition that the famous singer visited Hatfield while at Northampton, and sang a ballad to the townspeople under the tree. The next house north, with the Colonial porch, was built by Sophia Smith, and here she spent the last years of her life. The next house beyond is the home of Mr. Daniel G. Wells, president of the Smith Charities. The house was formerly a tavern, and lotteries were held in it to raise money for the building of bridges across the river. Just beyond and across the street is the Billings house with a Colonial doorway. Next to this is the Memorial Hall given to the town by the late Samuel H. Dickinson, containing a collection of early town relics.. The Hatfield Inn at the north end of the street was opened as a tavern about 1824.
Oliver Smith, uncle of Sophia, lived at the inn. He was a thrifty country banker, charitable, but saving. He lived on about $600 a year, and on his death in 1845 he left the most of his estate, valued at some $370,000, an immense fortune for the time and place, to the "Smith Charities". The remarkable will was contested by Mr. Smith's relatives, but they failed to break it. In this famous controversy the trustees employed Daniel Webster, and the contestants Rufus Choate. Miss Sophia Smith, the niece, who died in 1870, left $75,000 for the building and endowment of Hatfield Academy, and $500,000 for the foundation of the famous woman's college at Northampton.
The town was separated from Hadley in 1670. In 1675 Hatfield was attacked by S00 Indians and desperately defended, though many of the houses were burned. The settlers were prepared for the attack, for an old squaw taken captive had divulged the plan. Captain Moseley, who was in command, in reporting to the Governor at Boston, tersely tells of her fate:
"The aforesaid Indian was ordered to be tourne in peeces by dogs & shee was so dell withall."
The plan of attack as designed by King Philip was explained by Roger Williams, writing from' Providence to the Bay State Governor, "by trayning, and drilling, and seeming flight" into "such places as are full of long grass, flags, sedge &c. and then environ them round with fire, smoke, and bullets." "Some say no wise soldier will be so catcht." But several of Moseley's mounted scouts were just so "catcht" and carried off as prisoners. One of the unhappy men was afterward horribly tormented. They burned his nails, and put his feet to scald against the fire, and drove a stake through one of his feet to pin him to the ground. Needless to say, he died from his torments.
The State Highway continues northward parallel with R.R. and distant from the river about two miles through West Hat-field, North Hatfield, Whately, and South Deerfield (28.5).
To the right are North and South Sugarloaf, isolated rock masses, the summits of which command magnificent views. On the face of South Sugarloaf a shelf of rock juts out, called King Philip's Chair, from the legend that he here watched the ambuscade of his planning. Just beyond the village the highway crosses Bloody Brook, and here a shaft of stone marks the site of where "The Flower of Essex" was annihilated. On Sept. 18, 1675, to quote the old chronicler, "a choice company of young men, the very flower of Essex County, none of whom were ashamed to speak with the enemy in the gate, under command of Captain Lothrop," were convoying a train of ox teams hauling wheat from Deerfield to Hadley. They stopped along the way to refresh themselves from the abundance of wild grapes which grew along the stream. A thousand hidden warriors—Nipmucks, Wampanoags, and Pocumtucks—with fierce warwhoops suddenly poured a murderous volley upon them from the forest. Lothrop and more than sixty of his men were slain. Since then the sluggish stream has borne its crimson name. The common grave in which the dead were buried is marked by a flat stone, now in a front yard close to the sidewalk of the South Deerfield main street. At the dedication of the battle monument in 1835, Edward Everett de-livered the oration, and for subsequent observances Edward Everett Hale wrote his ballad of "Bloody Brook."
The highway runs through the old South Meadows bordering the Deerfield river. A great elm here, known as the Fish Fry Tree, is a favorite resort for picnickers. Across the river is Harrows Meadow. To the right is Pocumtuck Mountain (822 ft) .
33.5 DEERFIELD. Alt 152 ft. Pop 2209 (1910), 2739 (1915). Franklin Co. Settled 1671. Indian name Pocumtuck. Mfg. pocketbooks. B. & M. R.R. repair shop.
Old Deerfield extends along one wide thoroughfare on a terrace overlooking the valley. It is frequently spoken of as `The Street,' or `Old Street.' Its natural beauty and historic interest attract many visitors.
Deerfield was one of the first towns to take up the modern arts and crafts movement. Since 1896 many of the old house-hold industries have been revived and made financially successful. Rag rugs, embroidery, wrought-iron, furniture, and metal work are annually exhibited in the village headquarters, a two-century old house.
There are some fine old houses along `The Street.' The Parson Williams house (1707) stands well back from the village street. It was moved from the site of the original parsonage of 1686 to make room for the Dickinson High School. Though the house has suffered changes some features remain ununaltered. In 1739 this house passed to Consider Dickinson, a vigorous soul, who remarried at the age of 79. His estate, left to his wife in trust for the public welfare, went eventually to Deerfield Academy and Dickinson High School. The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, chartered in 1870, now owns and occupies the old academy building of 1797, which it secured when the new Free Dickinson Academy was established in 1878. Here has been gathered together an interesting and characteristic collection of Indian relics, and implements, utensils, and household belongings of the early settlers.
Opposite the Williams house is the birthplace of Edward Hitchcock, once President of Amherst, but more famous as a geologist. Just to the west is "the little brown house on the Albany Road," as Mr. George Sheldon of Deerfield has so aptly named it. It was once the studio of the noted artist George Fuller, and is still owned by his descendants. It has also been the home of General Hoyt, uncle of Edward Hitchcock, and it is said that the two used to sit and study Edward's lessons together in the branches of the great elm in front of the studio. The Frary house (1683–98) is the oldest in the county. In Revolutionary times it was Salah Barnard's Tavern, where in 1775 Benedict Arnold closed a contract for supplies for the army. The present church dates from 1824. It possesses interesting silver and pewter. A tablet opposite it marks the site of Ensign John Sheldon's house, which withstood the attack of 1704. The door, preserved in Memorial Hall, attests the fury of the blows dealt upon it.
The gambrel-roofed extension of the Willard house dates from 1694 and the main body of the structure from 1768. This latter portion is interesting because Joseph Barnard spent thirteen years in selecting wood without knots for its construction. Dr. Willard, an abolitionist of the '30's, and the first Unitarian minister in western Massachusetts, entertained many distinguished guests here, among them Charles Sumner, Horace Greeley, and Emerson.
Deerfield's "history is one of battle, murder, and sudden death, of abductions and tortures, captures and rescues. The northwest frontier settlement of New England, it was for thirty years exposed to frequent attack. This territory, known as Pocumtuck, was granted in 1654 to the town of Dedham in exchange for land at Natick granted to the Apostle Eliot for an Indian settlement. Though the Dedham people grumbled at the exchange they accepted it, and sold their rights to John Pynchon of Springfield in 1666-67. He settled with the Pocumtuck Indians at the rate of four pence per acre. At the outbreak of King Philip's War, Deerfield had about 125 inhabitants, whose houses were scattered the length of the `Old Street.' There were three garrison houses, protected by palisades, and opposite the present Common stood Stockwell Fort. On the first of September, 1675, Deerfield was attacked and burned. Northfield was similarly surprised the following day and consequently abandoned, leaving Deer-field the only outpost. On September 12 the place was again attacked, though the savages were driven off after they had burned many houses. It was in response to these attacks that Captain Lothrop was sent to the relief of the town, resulting in the massacre at Bloody Brook as he returned. Following this Deerfield was abandoned until 1682.
It was during Father Rale's War that the great Deerfield massacre occurred, of which the Rev. John Williams gives so stirring an account in "The Redeemed Captive." "On the twenty-ninth of February, 1704," he says, "not long before break of day, the enemy came in like a flood upon us; our watch being unfaithful." A force of 340 French and Indians under Sir Hertel de Rouville massacred 49 men, women, and children, burned the town, and took 111 captives, of whom 20 were killed on the way back to Canada. All the horror of the massacre and the torture of the long march through the snow is, with full dramatic power and much pious moralizing, brought out by the Rev. John Williams in his narrative. Mrs. Williams was murdered "by rage ye barbarous enemy" in the Leyden Gorge, four miles north of Greenfield, and other weakly captives soon shared her fate.
A tablet now marks the stop where on the first Sunday of their march north John Williams preached the first sermon in the territory now Vermont, from the text, "My virgins and my young men are gone into captivity." Most of the prisoners were finally exchanged, though 28 of them, mostly children, joined the Roman Church and remained in Canada, "whence kindred blood now rattles bad French in Canada, or sputters Indian in the north and northwest." The pastor's little daughter, Eunice, who was seven years old when captured, married an Indian and occasionally in after years visited her brother at Longmeadow with members of her tribe.
At Cheapside the highway crosses the Deerfield river by a covered bridge a mile above its junction with the Connecticut, and bears left, crossing R.R. The road to the right leads to Montague City and Turners Falls, where it joins Route 15.
37.0 GREENFIELD. Alt 204 ft. Pop 10,427 (1910), 12,618 (1915). County-seat of Franklin Co. Settled 1687. Mfg. taps and dies, small tools, machinery, cutlery, and pocketbooks.
This is the world's greatest tap and die town, and, though its manufacturing is so prosperous, the population having doubled in the last fifteen years, it is a town of quiet beauty and attractiveness. Though manufacturing has brought a large influx of foreign-born, the families of the early settlers, the Smeads, the Hinsdales, the Nashes, the Grinnells, and the Aikens are still numerous. The town is modern in appearance, but the rooms of the Historical Society contain interesting collections and relics.
The Greenfield Tap and Die Corporation is a consolidation of three earlier firms. Though each plant is distinct, work among them is interchangeable. In addition to taps and dies, screw and thread cutting machines, reamers, gauges, etc., are manufactured.
Green River flows through the town from the north into the Deerfield. Its Indian name, Picomegan, meant "boring river." Conway Street leads north (4.0) to the mouth of Leyden Gorge. At Nash's Mill, in front of the 100-year-old church, stands a tablet marking the spot where the brave William Turner met his death after his brilliant exploit at Turners Falls a few days before, which hastened the end of King Philip's War.
Across the river and up the hill a plain granite slab bears this inscription: "`The Cruel and Bloodthirsty/ Savage who took her, slew her/ with his hatchet at one stroke.' Rev. John Williams,/ of Deerfield,/ The `Redeemed Captive';/ so wrote of his Wife,/ Mrs. Eunice Williams,/ Who was killed at this place/ March 1, 1704./ Erected by P. V. M. A. Aug. 12, 1884."
Southwest of the town is the mountain mass known as Arthur's Seat (927 ft). To the east Rocky Mountain rises between the city and the Connecticut river. On its summit is a square stone observation tower at the spot called Poet's Seat (480 ft) because Frederick Tuckermann, a local bard, frequently sought the quiet and grandeur of the place. The southern end of the rocky ridge is a rugged bluff from which local tradition says King Philip watched the movements of his enemies. On the slope a little way below is a cave called the Bear's Den.
Land was first taken up here in r687, when this was a part of Deer-field. It became a separate town in 1753. Greenfield's trade dates from 5792, when the Locks & Canals Company started a landing place at Cheapside just above the mouth of the Deerfield river. The flat-bottomed boats from Hartford were poled up, laden with East Indian goods to be exchanged for lumber and farm products, and so the East and West met in this frontier settlement. The town thus became something of a commercial center, as it is even today. Among the first manufactures was iron from the crude ore of Bernardston. The Greenfield Tap and Die Corporation and the Goodell-Pratt Company are the leading tool makers today.