Easthampton, Massachusetts facts for kids
View of Mount Tom from the center of Easthampton
|Motto: Artes et Literæ cum Virtute Conjunctæ (Latin "Arts and Letters joined together with Virtue")|
Location in Hampshire County in Massachusetts
|Incorporated||June 17, 1785|
|• Total||13.6 sq mi (35.2 km2)|
|• Land||13.4 sq mi (34.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)|
|Elevation||170 ft (52 m)|
|• Density||1,192.1/sq mi (460.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0608739|
Easthampton is a city in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The town is on the southeastern edge of the Pioneer Valley near the five colleges in the college towns of Northampton and Amherst. The population was 16,053 at the 2010 census.
Easthampton was first settled by European immigrants beginning in 1664 and was originally considered part of Northampton. In 1785, the village of Easthampton was formally named its own separate political entity, and in 1809, it officially became a town. Easthampton is the youngest town in Hampshire County by date of incorporation. (It was not, however, the last incorporated; two of the three disincorporated towns of the Quabbin Reservoir in Hampshire County, Enfield and Prescott, were incorporated afterwards.)
The town grew primarily around the Manhan River, both through its phase as a strictly agricultural community and later, through the industrial revolution, when mills and factories were first built in Easthampton, mainly in connection with textile manufacturing and its offshoots. The first of these, the Williston-Knight Button Company, was established in 1847 by Samuel Williston, son of the town’s first minister, a Congregationalist named Payson Williston. The company specialized in cloth-covered buttons – a coveted item at the time – and to facilitate the operation of the machinery, a local brook was dammed, creating Nashawannuck Pond. Other mills soon opened nearby, a number of them specializing in elastic and rubber thread manufacturing.
Following this spurt of industrial development, the town’s first high school and first national bank opened in 1864, and a town hall was built in 1869. Constables were replaced by the town’s first police officer in 1871, the same year that Easthampton became a regular stop on the railroad. The town’s public library opened in 1881, and fourteen years later in 1895, the community was introduced to two new innovations, telephones and streetcars. With the influx of new residents came a number of new churches, founded for Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Methodist parishioners, as well as a second Congregational church. In 1899, the West Boylston Manufacturing Company and the Hampton Company, both specializing in cloth production, moved to Easthampton, recruiting a larger immigrant labor force, particularly from Poland and Canada.
During World War I, the town’s mills all obtained federal wartime contracts and did well financially, but long before the Great Depression hit, many factories owners were already laying off employees, seeking mergers with other companies, or looking for buyers for their facilities.
World War II provided some relief for the Easthampton economy, as several of the older textile companies as well as newer heavy manufacturing corporations received another round of federal contracts. However, beginning in the early 1960s a number of critical closures hit the town hard. Revitalization attempts began with the opening of a new industrial park and continued with joint government-private industrial mall which has failed to solve significantly higher rates of unemployment and poverty compared to Hampshire County.
Small farms and well-established small businesses remain the economic core of Easthampton. Easthampton changed its charter in 1996 to become a city. The downtown area since 1996 has attracted a small community of artists and young people migrating due to Easthampton's lower cost of living compared to nearby Northampton, a hub of the bohemian community regionally. Small stores around Main Street, Union Street, and Cottage Street have changed business due to the influx of this new demographic. This growth has produced new arts and cultural events such as the monthly Art Walk Easthampton, held each "Second Saturday," in which visual, music and performance artists showcase their talents at venues around the city.
Easthampton is bordered by Southampton and Westhampton to its west, by Holyoke to its east and south, and by Northampton to its north. It also has a river boundary with Hadley to its northeast along the Connecticut River. The western flanks of Mount Tom and Mount Nonotuck form its eastern boundary. Easthampton has numerous small streams.
|* = population estimate. Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2010, there were 16,053 people, 7,224 households, and 4,066 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,192.1 people per square mile (460.2/km²). There were 7,615 housing units at an average density of 527.9 per square mile (203.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.6% White, 3.7% Hispanic, 1.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.4% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races.
There were 7,224 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.7% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 25.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the city, the population was spread out with 18.0% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 32.4% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 92.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,185, and the median income for a family was $54,312. Males had a median income of $36,446 versus $28,756 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,922. About 5.9% of families and 8.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.0% of those under age 18 and 9.9% of those age 65 or over.
Points of interest
Easthampton has a number of points of interest.
The Mount Tom State Reservation extends into parts of the city, and many local residents hike up to enjoy the view of the Pioneer Valley from the rock ledges. Mount Tom, 1202 feet (363 m), is the highest traprock peak on the Metacomet Ridge, a linear mountain range that extends from Long Island Sound to the Vermont border. Mount Tom is characterized by its high cliffs, sweeping vistas, and microclimate ecosystems. The 110-mile (180 km) Metacomet-Monadnock Trail traverses the mountain.
The Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, part of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, is also split between Easthampton and neighboring Northampton. Recently, the Manhan Rail Trail bicycle path was built over an old railroad line, and there are plans to connect the path to others in the area. Also near the Rail Trail and Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary are three conservation areas owned by the local non-profit land trust, Pascommuck Conservation Trust, part of the Trust's 200 acres (0.81 km2) of holdings in Easthampton.
In and around downtown Easthampton, attractions include: - The Cottage Street Cultural District, awarded Easthampton by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2013.
- The Emily Williston Memorial Library, recognized by the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, it provides a collection of over 45,000 books, movies, and other media for Easthampton and the surrounding towns. ()
- The Williston Northampton School, a private secondary prep school
- One Cottage Street, an old factory building, renovated in the late 1970s to make workshops and studios for artists and craftspeople
- Riverside Industries, also at One Cottage Street, a human service organization offering a variety of innovative programs for people with disabilities. ()
- Eastworks, the old Stanley Home Products factory building, recently converted into artists' studios, offices, and restaurant space
- old Town Hall, an historic town hall built in 1869 and located in the Main Street Historic District (Easthampton, Massachusetts) now an arts space.
- The historic old fire station, recently made into a workshop by local furniture maker Silas Kopf
- The Flywheel Arts Collective, a music, performance and visual arts space with a cafe, which opened its doors in 1999
Every second Saturday of every month, Easthampton City Arts + organizes an Art Walk throughout the city. This event is free and family-friendly. In June 2014, Cultural Chaos, a street festival celebrating the Cottage Street Cultural District, was held. Thousands of people attended. For The Easthampton Bear Fest various artists compete to decorate a bear sculpture. Various bears are installed in front of local businesses
Easthampton, Massachusetts Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.