Leyden, Massachusetts

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Leyden is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 772 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Leyden was first settled in 1737 as part of "Fall Town," which also included Bernardston and Colrain. The town was set off from Bernardstown in 1784, but it was not incorporated until February 22, 1809. The town was named for the town of Leiden, Netherlands, refuge of the Pilgrims before colonizing the Americas. Leyden had several small industries in the eighteenth century, including grist mills, wood product mills, and dairying, but today the largest industry is maple sugar production. The town also has a reservoir which supplies the town of Greenfield.[1] The Brotherhood of the Spirit commune was founded in Leyden in 1968.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.0 square miles (46.6 km²), of which, 18.0 square miles (46.6 km²) of it is land and 0.06% is water. Leyden lies on the northern Massachusetts border, south of Windham County, Vermont. The town is bordered by Guilford, Vermont to the north, Bernardston to the east, Greenfield to the south, and Colrain to the west. The town center lies nine miles north of Greenfield, 47 miles north of Springfield, and 96 miles west-northwest of Boston.

Leyden lies along the eastern edge of the Berkshires, with the town mostly lying along the valleys of the Green River (which also forms the western border) and the branches of the Glen Brook. The majority of the town away from the brooks is forested, and the town has a small state forest and a wildlife management area within its borders. The confluence of the main and east branches of Glen Brook is dammed to form the Greenfield Reservoir, before the brook flows southward into Greenfield and meets the Green River.

Leyden is one of only a handful of towns in Massachusetts which does not have any state routes (nearly half of which are the island towns on Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands). There are state routes, U.S. routes and interstates in the neighboring towns, with Interstate 91 passing to the south and east of town. The nearest bus service is in Greenfield, with the nearest passenger train service in Springfield and Pittsfield, and the nearest small air service in Turners Falls. The nearest national air service is at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

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