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Hawley, Massachusetts
Entering Hawley
Entering Hawley
Official seal of Hawley, Massachusetts
Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts
Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Franklin
Settled 1760
Incorporated 1792
 • Type Open town meeting
 • Total 30.9 sq mi (80.0 km2)
 • Land 30.9 sq mi (79.9 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)
1,752 ft (534 m)
 • Total 353
 • Density 11.42/sq mi (4.413/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 413
FIPS code 25-29475
GNIS feature ID 0619380

Hawley is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 353 at the 2020 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Hawley was first settled in 1760 as Plantation Number 7, by a group from Hatfield. The town was called the "Hatfield Reserve" until it was officially incorporated in 1792. The town was named for Joseph Hawley of Northampton, a local leader in the American Revolution. Hawley's main industries were forestry and, eventually, recreation. The town originally included the land of its neighbor, Plainfield, which split off in the early nineteenth century.

Today, the town has very little industry. There are a few remaining farms, artisans and small businesses, though most people commute from the town, work from home or work for municipalities. The town has no gas stations, convenience stores, or liquor stores. Hawley does not have a police department, but does have a fire department.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 30.9 square miles (80 km2), of which 30.9 square miles (80 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.06%) is water. The town is located at the southwest corner of Franklin County, with Hampshire County to the south and Berkshire County to the west. The town is bordered by Charlemont to the north, Buckland to the east, Ashfield to the southeast, Plainfield to the south, and Savoy to the west. Hawley is located 22 miles (35 km) west of Greenfield, 45 miles (72 km) north-northwest of Springfield, and 110 miles (180 km) west-northwest of Boston.

Hawley is located among the northern Berkshires, with the northern edge of town falling to the valley of the Deerfield River. Several brooks and the Chickley River flow into the river through town. The town is home to Hawley Bog, one of the few bogs in Massachusetts to be preserved in its natural state. There are several small peaks in town, with the highest being Parker Hill to the south. The hill lies within Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest, which has several recreation sites for all seasons. Mohawk Trail State Forest also extends into the town from Charlemont and Savoy, in the northwest corner of town. Between the two forests lies Stump Sprout Cross-Country Ski Area, which also provides other recreational activities off-season. A portion of Berkshire East Ski Area also lies within town, with the base of the area being in Charlemont.

The main road through town is Massachusetts Route 8A, which connects Route 116 to the south with Route 2 to the north. Route 2, the Mohawk Trail, passes just north of the town line for most of the town border. The nearest interstate, Interstate 91, can be accessed in nearby Greenfield. There is no rail, air or bus service in town. The town is roughly equidistant from the two nearest points for rail and air service, Greenfield and North Adams. The nearest Amtrak service is in Pittsfield, and the nearest national air service is at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.


As of the census of 2000, there were 336 people, 137 households, and 99 families residing in the town. By population, Hawley ranks 25th out of the 26 towns in Franklin County, and 347th out of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 10.9 people per square mile (4.2/km2), which ranked 25th in the county and 348th in the Commonwealth. There were 192 housing units at an average density of 6.2 per square mile (2.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.32% White, 0.30% African American, 0.89% Asian, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.30% of the population.

There were 137 households, out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.0% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.85.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.5% under the age of 18, 3.0% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 108.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $38,125, and the median income for a family was $46,875. Males had a median income of $30,833 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,333. About 11.8% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.3% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.


David Dunnels White Tombstone
David Dunnels White's Tombstone, in Bozrah Cemetery, East Hawley, Massachusetts...Medal of Honor Nominee...Civil War

Hawley and neighboring Charlemont make up the Hawlemont Regional School District, a sub-district of the nine-town Mohawk Trail Regional School District, which serves much of western Franklin County. Town students attend the Hawlemont Regional Elementary School in Charlemont from pre-kindergarten through sixth grades, and all students in the district attend Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland. There is a private academy, the Academy at Charlemont, in Charlemont as well, and other private and religious schools are in nearby towns.

The nearest community college, Greenfield Community College, is located in Greenfield. The nearest state college is Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nearest private college is Williams College in Williamstown, with several others located southeast in the Northampton area.

Notable people

  • David Dunnels White, Medal of Honor nominee, for the capture of Major General Custis Lee, son of Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Sailors Creek, Virginia, April 6, 1865. He is buried in the Bozrah cemetery in East Hawley

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Hawley (Massachusetts) para niños

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