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South Hadley, Massachusetts
South Hadley (Green) 20090103 0037.jpg
Official seal of South Hadley, Massachusetts
Location in Hampshire County in Massachusetts
Location in Hampshire County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Hampshire
Settled 1721
Incorporated 1775
 • Total 18.4 sq mi (47.6 km2)
 • Land 17.7 sq mi (45.9 km2)
 • Water 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
Elevation 257 ft (78 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 17,514
 • Density 989.5/sq mi (381.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01075
Area code(s) 413
FIPS code 25-64145
GNIS feature ID 0618208

South Hadley (Listeni/ˈhædl/, HAD-lee) is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 17,514 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.

South Hadley is home to Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley High School, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School, and the Berkshire Hills Music Academy.


South Hadley was an uninhabited area of Hadley from 1659 until 1721 when the first English settlers arrived from Hadley. A separate town meeting was held in 1753, and the town was officially split and incorporated in 1775.

The town is the home of the nation's first successful navigable canal as well as the oldest continuing institution of higher education for women.

The Civil War Monument (believed to be by Jerome Connor) in the center of the Commons was given to South Hadley by William H. Gaylord in the 1900s. The Gaylords also donated the Gaylord Memorial Library, located near the center of town.


South Hadley is located in the western part of Massachusetts, specifically in the Pioneer Valley. It is bordered on the north by Hadley and Amherst, on the east by Granby, and on the south by Chicopee. The Connecticut River defines the town's western border and separates it from the cities of Holyoke and Easthampton. South Hadley is 45 miles (72 km) south of Brattleboro, Vermont, 87 miles (140 km) west of Boston, and 145 miles (233 km) from New York City.

Although no Interstate Highways cross South Hadley's borders, U.S. Route 202, and Massachusetts Highways 33, 47, and 116 provide primary routes of transportation. Interstate 91 can be accessed in Holyoke while Interstate 90 is accessible through Chicopee. Westover Metropolitan Airport is located in neighboring Chicopee; offering air services throughout the region. Bradley International Airport, serving the greater Hartford-Springfield area, is located 17 miles (27 km) to the south. The closest Amtrak station is in Holyoke.

The Village Commons, a center for dining, shopping, and leisure, is located at the juncture of Massachusetts Routes 116 and 47, in the area commonly called South Hadley Center. Additional commercial centers are located on Massachusetts Routes 116 and 33. South Hadley is also the home of Mount Holyoke College, the oldest continuously operating institution of higher education for women, founded in 1837.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.4 square miles (48 km2), of which 17.7 square miles (46 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (3.70%) is water. The mountain range called the Mount Holyoke Range passes through the north of the town and separates it from Hadley and Amherst. There are 12 reservoirs in the town fed by eight distinct streams and also six natural ponds.


The first confirmed evidence of a dinosaur to be found in North America was unearthed in South Hadley by Pliny Moody while plowing in 1802, 40 years before dinosaurs were identified as a fossil group. The sandstone slab bearing large, mysterious footprints was later purchased by Elihu Dwight, who gave the prints the name of "Noah's Raven". Professor Edward Hitchcock then obtained the slab, which is now on prominent display in the Amherst College Museum of Natural History. Hitchcock believed the fossils were made by gigantic ancient birds, long before scientists accepted that modern birds and dinosaurs are related.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 2,495 —    
1860 2,277 −8.7%
1870 2,840 +24.7%
1880 3,538 +24.6%
1890 4,261 +20.4%
1900 4,526 +6.2%
1910 4,894 +8.1%
1920 5,527 +12.9%
1930 6,773 +22.5%
1940 6,856 +1.2%
1950 10,145 +48.0%
1960 14,956 +47.4%
1970 17,033 +13.9%
1980 16,399 −3.7%
1990 16,685 +1.7%
2000 17,196 +3.1%
2010 17,514 +1.8%
* = population estimate.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2000, there were 17,196 people, 6,586 households, and 4,208 families residing in the town. The population density was 971.0 people per square mile (374.9/km²). There were 6,784 housing units at an average density of 383.1 per square mile (147.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.05% White, 1.20% African American, 0.12% Native American, 2.53% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.77% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.36% of the population.

There were 6,586 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. Of all households 30.4% were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the town, the population was spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 14.9% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 72.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 65.8 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $46,678, and the median income for a family was $58,693. Males had a median income of $42,256 versus $31,219 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,732. About 4.1% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.8% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

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