Buckland, Massachusetts

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Buckland is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,991 at the 2000 census. The town shares the village of Shelburne Falls with neighboring Shelburne. The town center at Shelburne Falls is the western end of the Bridge of Flowers, a local tourist attraction.

Buckland is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Buckland was first settled in 1742 as "No Town," as it was not currently part of either the village of Charlemont or Ashfield, which the land belonged to as one large town. A sawmill was set up that year by Othneil Taylor and Asaph White, and eventually settlement occurred. However, the townspeople did not want to cross the Deerfield River or travel the long distance to Ashfield Village to attend services, so they petitioned the Massachusetts General Court for a separate incorporation. The town was incorporated on April 14, 1779 as Buckland, presumably named for the abundant hunting in the area.[1]

Buckland was the birthplace of Mary Lyon, foundress of the Mount Holyoke Female Semniary, now known as Mount Holyoke College.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51.2 km²), of which, 19.6 square miles (50.7 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.96%) is water. Buckland is located in western Franklin County, and is bordered by Charlemont to the north, Shelburne to the northeast, Conway to the southeast, Ashfield to the south, and Hawley to the west. Buckland's town center is located 13 miles west of Greenfield, 40 miles north-northwest of Springfield, and 103 miles west-northwest of Boston.

Buckland lies along the banks of the Deerfield River, which bends from northward to westward along the town line. The Clesson Brook and Clark Brook flow northward through town towards the river, with the former forming the main valley in the town. To either side of the valley lie several hills, including Walnut Hill, Drank Hill and Snow Mountain to the west and Mary Lyon Hill and Moonshine Hill to the east, both of which are between the two brooks. Moonshine Hill is also home to a small state forest.

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