Williamsburg, Massachusetts

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Williamsburg is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 2,427 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Williamsburg was first settled in 1735 and was officially incorporated in 1775.

The Mill River Flood

On the morning of May 16, 1874, a flood along Williamsburg's Mill River claimed 139 lives and left nearly 800 victims homeless throughout Hampshire County. The deluge occurred when the Williamsburg Reservoir Dam unexpectedly burst, sending a twenty foot wall of water surging into the valley below. Every town and village along the river's normally placid flow was soon devastated by the great rush of water. Much of the flood's force was abated in Northampton, Massachusetts at the Mill River's confluence with the Connecticut River. Located over twelve miles from the breached dam in Williamsburg, Northampton was the last town to experience the flood's mortal fury, with four additional victims swept away in the swell.[1]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 25.7 square miles (66.6 km²), of which, 25.6 square miles (66.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.35%) is water. The town also includes the villages of Haydenville and Searsville.

Demographics

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 2,427 people, 1,027 households, and 658 families residing in the town. The population density was 94.7 people per square mile (36.6/km²). There were 1,073 housing units at an average density of 41.9/sq mi (16.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.94% White, 0.25% African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.16% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.66% of the population.

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