Chesterfield, Massachusetts

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Chesterfield is a rural recreational hill town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States, 28 miles southeast of Pittsfield and 108 miles west of Boston. The population was 1,201 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Chesterfield was first settled in 1760 and was officially incorporated in 1762. It was named after the Earl of Chesterfield.[1] The town center, established after the Revolution, has well-preserved Federal Period houses along Main Road. In its early days, the town supported a largely agricultural economy, with wool from Merino sheep as a major product. However, there were sawmills and tanneries in operation as well as cloth dressing mills, and in the early 19th century these superseded farming and brought in a small immigrant population that was mostly Irish. Progress wiped out most of the industry in Chesterfield and by the turn of the century a re-emerging agricultural economy developed alongside the growing trade from summer residents.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 31.3 square miles (81.0 km²), of which, 31.1 square miles (80.5 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.61%) is water. Chesterfield's location is nearly equidistant from the northern, southern, and western state lines of Massachusetts.

Points of interest

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 1,201 people, 447 households, and 324 families residing in the town. The population density was 38.6 people per square mile (14.9/km²). There were 524 housing units at an average density of 16.8/sq mi (6.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.67% White, 0.25% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.08% of the population.

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