{short description of image} 1st Traveler's Choice

Destination:
The Five College Area
/ Pioneer Valley
of Western Massachusetts

Amherst ..... Ashfield
Photo of Purgatory Chasmin the Five College Area / Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts
Introduction

Lodging

Location

Norwottuck Rail Trail

Museums, Galleries, and the Arts

Attractions

Recreation

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Smith College

Amherst College and Hampshire College

Mount Holyoke College
Amherst

Amherst's namesake is a controversial figure -- whether he is a hero or a monster is up for debate.

Lord Jeffrey Amherst (1717-1797) was a brilliant commander of British and colonial forces in the 18th century before the American Revolution. His 1758 victory in the Battle of Louisburg in Nova Scotia impressed the colonists so much that nearly a dozen towns from New Hampshire to Ohio were named in his honor. Of those namesake towns, Amherst, Massachusetts was founded in 1759.

In this neck of the woods, though, there remains a sizeable cadre of folks who say that Amherst falsely honors a racist and advocate of germ warfare. For you see, the general hated Indians after fighting in the French and Indian War, and it is said that he tried to wipe out many of New England's natives by providing them with smallpox-infected blankets.

Today, though, Amherst is much better known for its more civil ties, literary inspirations and physical beauty. This is where the poets Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson spent much of their lives, and three of the Five College Area's schools (Amherst College, University of Massachusetts, and Hampshire College) reside here, the latter of which is home to the world's largest museum of Yiddish literature and culture.

Ashfield

Historians give Ashfield credit for having set the table for the American constitutional provision of separation between church and state.

In Ashfield's early days, the Baptists and Congregationalists proved to be political adversaries who were at odds over who should get the lion's share of available church lands. The group's stormy relationship grew worse when the Congregationalists proposed using some of the tax dollars paid by Baptists to support their own church.

King George finally stepped in in 1771 and said that individuals did not have to support a church of which they were not a member, thus creating a prelude to the constitution's clause about the separation between church and state.

The Five College Area
Bed & Breakfast Association
P.O. Box 3252, Amherst, MA 01004
______________________________
Towns
Amherst
Ashfield
Belchertown
Bernardston
Chesterfield
Conway
Cummington
Deerfield
Easthampton
Goshen
Granby
Greenfield
Hadley
Hatfield
Huntington
Leverett
New Salem
Northampton
Pelham
Plainfield
Shutesbury
South Hadley
Southampton
Springfield
Sunderland
Westhampton
Whately
Williamsburg
Worthington
Tell your hosts you found them on 1st Traveler's Choice. (www.virtualcities.com)

Introduction ..... Lodging .... Norwottuck Rail Trail ..... Museums, Galleries, and the Arts ..... Attractions ..... Recreation ..... University of Massachusetts at Amherst ..... Smith College ..... Amherst College and Hampshire College ..... Mount Holyoke College


Getaways ... Massachusetts Lodging Directory ... North America Lodging Directory
Massachusetts Vacation Rentals ... North America Vacation Rentals ... Virtual Cities
© 2001 - ONS Inc.