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

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

Belchertown ... Bernardston
Photo of Belchertown in 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
Belchertown

This town's namesake, Jonathan Belcher, served as the royal governor of the Massachusetts colony from 1730 to 1741. The legislature bestowed the name "Belcher's Town" in 1761 when the town petitioned it for incorporation. The words eventually compounded into the present-day name.

Prior to incorporation, the little community was called Cold Spring Plantation for its then highly valued spring of fresh water. Many visitors came here for the water and the serenity in the time of the horse and buggy. By the time Henry Ford rolled through town during the Roaring 1920's, all that was ancient history. Ford, automobile guru that he was, didn't think that Belchertown's horse-drawn carriages should be forgotten. So he donated $5,000 to construct a new annex to the town's Stone Historical Museum. Here you will find horse-drawn carriages that were built in Belchertown during the 1800's.

Bernardston

In 1735, the General Assembly of the Province of Massachusetts Bay granted a tract of land 6 miles square, north of Greenfield to the officers and soldiers (or their descendants) who had participated in: "Falls Fight" of 1676. This was an important battle with Indians which took place in the vicinity of Turners Falls.

The community originally known as the Falls Fight Township, was later changed to "Fall Town" until the town was incorporated in 1762 as Bernardston. The name Bernardston was given to the town in honor of Sir Francis Bernard, provincial governor of Massachusetts under George III.

Many Bernardston men served with distinction as officers and soldiers during the French and Indian War and during the Revolutionary War. The town has a rich agricultural history. In 1828 it was estimated that the town produced 8,000 bushels of rye and as much corn, and also 5,000 barrels of cider. Bernardston inhabitants were also among the first to make maple products to a great extent. The October, 1765 edition of "Dodsley's Register," states that a "method of making sugar...from the sap of a certain tree called the maple, common in the New England colonies, has just been discovered and put in practice at several portions of New England, but especially at Bernardston, about 20 miles from Athol."

The Five College Area
Bed & Breakfast Association
P.O. Box 3252, Amherst, MA 01004
______________________________
Towns
Amherst
Ashfield
Belchertown
Bernardston
Chesterfield
Conway
Cummington
Deerfield
Easthampton
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Hadley
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Leverett
New Salem
Northampton
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Plainfield
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Whately
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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


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