2nd Hampden and Hampshire
The 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District is comprised of the towns and cities of Agawam, Chicopee (7A,7B, 8A, 9A), Easthampton, Granville, Holyoke, Montgomery, Russell, Southampton, Southwick, Tolland, and Westfield.
One of the larger and well known attractions of Agawam is the Six Flags theme park that brings in people from all over New England. Aside from Six Flags, Agawam includes a state park, numerous golf courses, a 17 mile bike trail, and is a perfect blend of a rural atmosphere and suburban living.
CHICOPEE (7A,7B, 8A, 9A)
Westover Air Reserve Base, located in Chicopee, is one of the largest runways on the east coast at 11,597 x 301 feet. Chicopee is also a popular area for outdoor recreation including swimming, fishing, jogging, biking, and picnics. There are multiple large ponds and open space areas for community members and tourists to enjoy.
The city of Easthampton is home to about 16,000. Nestled on the southeastern edge of the Pioneer Valley, Easthampton officially separated from Northampton in 1809 and is the youngest town in Hampshire Count by date of incorporation. One of the beauties that runs directly through the city is The Manhan Rail Trail.
Granville is a small town, with a rich tradition as part of the agricultural industry in Massachusetts. The town holds an annual Harvest Fair which features local food, crafts, and music. Granville is home to drum factory, “Noble and Cooley” which was established in 1854. They designed the first modern steam bent drum and also created the largest drum in the world. Granville State Forrest is a great destination for hiking, camping, biking, and snowshoeing.
The second largest city in the Second Hampden and Hampshire district, Holyoke sits just along the edge of the Connecticut River. While often recognized for having the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the country, Holyoke has many other attributes. The Holyoke Soldiers home offers housing and assistance to Massachusetts veterans, Holyoke Gas and Electric employee many individuals in Western MA, and Holyoke Heritage State Park.
A rural town situated in the Berkshire foothills, Montgomery is one of the hill towns in the district. Montgomery used to mainly be a rural farming community, but is now a mixture of small family owned businesses. The annual Memorial Day parade remains the largest event in town, bringing the community together every year.
Russell is a small town that has a long history of change. Strathmore Paper Company is a large part of Russell’s history and was a producer of bond papers in the early 1900’s. The warehouse seen in the picture to the left, is the original location of the company, sitting alongside the Westfield River.
A fun fact about Southampton is that in 2008, the town was rated by the National Rural Water Association as having the ‘best tasting tap water in the country.’ Although a small town, Southampton has a lot to offer individuals who like the outdoors. Long distance runner, Nancy Conz was a Southampton native. Conz ran at UMass Amherst in the early 1980’s, and many long distance races and marathons after that. She is remembered as a “pioneer” marathoner, breaking numerous records, and paving the way for female runners to come.
Built on once thought to be infertile soil, the town of Southwick became a large grower of tobacco. The town of Southwick lies on the border of Connecticut and is one of the southern -most towns in Massachusetts. Today, Southwick is still a town nestled within nature and is home to sprawling ponds and hiking trails.
The smallest town in Hampden County, Tolland makes up one of the many “hill towns” that reside in the Second Hampden and Hampshire district.
The city of Westfield is home to around 42,000 people and offers a variety of activities and businesses. Stanley Park is 300 acre plot of land that has various ponds, gardens, and plays host to many live music events. Amelia Park Children’s Museum is a great attraction for families and kids. Westfield State University is also located here along with the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail and Barnes Municipal Airport.