Florida, Massachusetts

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Florida is a town in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States. It is part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 676 at the 2000 census. It is home to the east portal of the Hoosac Tunnel, as well as Whitcomb Summit (elevation 2,172 feet), the highest point of the Mohawk Trail. Florida also contains the village of Drury.

Contents

History

Most of what is now Florida was originally a grant to the town of Bernardston, Massachusetts, made sometime before 1771. The first settler, Dr. Daniel Nelson, arrived around 1783. The town was incorporated in 1805 and named Florida, perhaps because Spanish Florida was a topic of conversation at the time.[1][2]

The town was mostly agrarian, with maple syrup, wool and potatoes being the main products of the town for many years. However, in the mid-nineteenth century, the town was a boom town for the workers involved in the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel, a rail tunnel which begins on the town's eastern border and extends through the Hoosac Range to neighboring North Adams. Today the town is sparsely populated, with most residents working in neighboring towns.[2][3]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 24.6 square miles (63.6 km²), of which, 24.4 square miles (63.1 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.81%) is water.

Florida is located at 42° 39'57.77"N, 72° 56'29.38"W. Florida is bordered on the north by Stamford, Vermont, on the northeast by Monroe, on the east by Rowe, on the southeast by Charlemont, on the south by Savoy, on the southwest by Adams, and on the west by North Adams and Clarksburg. The town's population is mostly concentrated along the Mohawk Trail, which runs through the town, and its villages, Drury, Florida and Whitcomb Summit.

Florida is located near the highest points of the Hoosac Range, which runs through the western part of town. There are several rivers and brooks, most of which lead to the Deerfield River, which makes up much of the eastern border. The town includes parts of three state forests - Monroe State Forest in the northeast, Savoy Mountain State Forest in the south, and Mohawk Trail State Forest in the southeast. The highest elevation in the town is 2,830 feet (860 m) above sea level, on an unnamed hill northwest of Crum Hill in the neighboring town of Monroe.

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