Pioneer Valley Towns Reply

The Greater Northampton and Amherst is located in Hampshire County and are home of four of the five colleges that make up the Five College Area.  Northampton is the county seat and is a popular destination for the surrounding communities because of its eclectic mix of historic buildings, restaurants, music venues, art galleries, and retail shops.  Smith College is located there, as well.  Amherst also offers a vibrant town center similar in historic architecture and in eclecticism.   Amherst is also the home of Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the flagship University of Massachusetts campus.  Home prices in this part of the Pioneer Valley are generally higher than other counties in the area.  Below is a list of Pioneer Valley towns. (Note: This list is a work in progress. Please check back soon or call Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 or email at michael.seward@comcast.net with questions about the Pioneer Valley town that you are interested in.)

Amherst.  Population 37,819 (2010 census).  Amherst is the home of Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  It is also the home of the Emily Dickinson Museum.   Amherst has a vibrant town center with a strong commercial base with great historic residential neighborhoods within walking distance.  The Amherst town common hosts numerous events throughout the year.  To learn more about Amherst, click here.

Belchertown:  Population 14,649 (2010 census).  Belchertown is located east of Amherst.  It is the 6th largest town in the commonwealth in square miles.  Historically a farming community, Belchertown was also one of the fastest growing communities in Massachusetts until the housing crisis of 2007-2008.  The Belchertown town center, with its expansive town common surrounded by historic homes, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Every autumn, Belchertown hosts a fair on its town common that includes a parade.  Belchertown also boasts a couple of museums in the center of town.  The Stone House Museum is a living history museum and hosts numerous events throughout the year.  There is also the Belchertown Firehouse Museum.  To learn more about Belchertown, click here.

GranbyPopulation 6,420 (2010 census).  Granby is located south of Amherst.  Although it is a small Pioneer Valley town, its proximity to the Five Colleges area and larger commercial districts of Hampden County make it an ideal bedroom community.  It’s town center includes a public library, a church, and a small pharmacy anchored by the town common.  A new library is in the process of being constructed and the town recently built a new public safety complex.  To learn more about Granby, click here.

DeerfieldPopulation 5,125 (2010 census). Incorporated in 1677, Deerfield is among the oldest and historic towns in the Pioneer Valley.  Situated along the Deerfield River in Franklin County, Deerfield is just a 10 minute drive away from Amherst and offers access to Interstate 91.  It is the home of Deerfield Academy.  Anyone who has ever seen a picture of the Pioneer Valley likely saw a perspective from Mount Sugarloaf, which offers commanding views of the valley.   Deerfield is also home of Historic Deerfield and Yankee Candle, making it a popular destination for tourists.  It is also a great place to live. Students attend Deerfield Elementary School before attending Frontier Regional School. To learn more about Deerfield, click here.

Hadley: Population 5,250 (2010 census).  Hadley is situated along the Connecticut River between Amherst and Northampton.  It offers wonderful pastoral views, farms, and a strong commercial base along Route 9.  A drive down Hadley’s Bay Road lined by historic homes is to travel back in time. Hadley’s schools are among the best in the nation.   To learn more about Hadley, click here.

Leverett: Population 1851 (2010 census).  Leverett is located north of Amherst.  Leverett is the home of the New England Peace Pagoda as well as an eclectic mix of artisans, craftsman, professionals, and intellectuals.  Rattlesnake Gutter is a glacial ravine near the town’s center.  Leverett has its own elementary school, but students attend Amherst Regional schools thereafter.   A recent decision to bring broadband to Leverett makes this community a more desirable place to live than it once was.  To learn more about Leverett, click here.

Pelham: Population 1,321 (2010 census).  Pelham is located east of Amherst and the picturesque Quabbin Reservoir to the west.  Pelham’s students attend high school at Amherst Regional Middle and High School.  Pelham’s town hall is the oldest continuously used town hall in the nation.  It was also one of the sites of Shays’ Rebellion, which some historians cite as the event that the Founding Fathers to draft the United States Constitution as it highlighted the need for a stronger central government.  Pelham has its own elementary school, but students attend the Amherst Regional School District upon completion.  To learn more about Pelham, click here.

Shutesbury: Population 1771 (2010 census).  Shutesbury is another town located adjacent to Amherst, but north of Pelham.  Lake Wyola offers is  a great place swimming, boating, hiking, and fishing.   The town center offers a library, a church, a post office, and the town hall.  Like Pelham and Leverett, Shutesbury is mostly wooded and hilly.  Students attend Shutesbury Elementary before beginning classes in the Amherst Regional School District.   To learn more about Shutesbury, click here.

SunderlandPopulation 3,684 (2010 census).  Sunderland is located north of Amherst and south of Deerfield and is part of Franklin County.  The town you see from the top of Mount Sugarloaf is Sunderland.   Sunderland’s Historic District offers some of the area’s finest antique homes and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, like Belchertown’s town center.   Tobacco barns dot the Sunderland pastoral landscape.  Students attend Sunderland Elementary School, then attend Frontier Regional School District high school.  To learn more about Sunderland, click here.

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