Greenfield, Massachusetts
City of Greenfield
The Civil War Memorial on Court Square
Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Greenfield, Massachusetts
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°35′15″N 72°36′00″W / 42.58750°N 72.60000°W / 42.58750; -72.60000Coordinates: 42°35′15″N 72°36′00″W / 42.58750°N 72.60000°W / 42.58750; -72.60000
CountryUnited States
 • TypeMayor-council city
 • MayorRoxann Wedegartner
 • Total21.88 sq mi (56.65 km2)
 • Land21.41 sq mi (55.46 km2)
 • Water0.46 sq mi (1.20 km2)
250 ft (76 m)
 • Total17,456
 • Estimate 
 • Density805.96/sq mi (311.19/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)413
FIPS code25-27025
GNIS feature ID0618166

Greenfield is a city in and the county seat of Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. Greenfield was first settled in 1686. The population was 17,456 at the 2010 census.[3] Greenfield is home to Greenfield Community College, the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Franklin County Fair. The city has a Main Street Historic District containing fine examples of Federal, Greek Revival, and Victorian architecture.

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


Greenfield from Poet's Seat Tower, 1917
Greenfield from Poet's Seat Tower, 1917

Pocumtuck Indians first settled and originally inhabited the Greenfield area. Native American artifacts found in the area have been dated between 7,000 and 9,000 years B.C.[4] The Pocumtucks planted field crops and fished local rivers. Some sources claim that they were wiped out by the Mohawks in 1664 and that the land was left unoccupied.[5] Other sources show that the Pocumtucks joined the Wampanoag chief Metacom in August 1675 in the fight against English encroachment, indicating a continued presence in the area.[6] The Pocumtuck also played an important role in the Battle of Great Falls / Wissantinnewag – Peskeompskut on May 19, 1676, and tribal oral tradition indicates that following the battle, elements of the Pocumtuck fled to and were incorporated into the Abenaki people to the north and the Mahican people to the west.[6]

The area was colonized as part of Deerfield by the English in 1686. In 1753, Greenfield, named for the Green River, was incorporated as a separate town from Deerfield.

In 1795, the South Hadley Canal opened, enabling boats to bypass the South Hadley falls and reach Greenfield via the Connecticut River. Located at the confluence of the Deerfield and Green rivers, and not far from where they merge into the Connecticut River, Greenfield developed into a trade center. Falls provided water power for industry, and Greenfield grew into a prosperous mill town. John Russell established the Green River Works in 1834, hiring skilled German workers at what was the country's first cutlery factory. The Connecticut River Railroad was the first of several railways to enter the town, replacing the former canal trade. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Greenfield was one of the most important American centers of the tap and die business and was the home of Greenfield Tap & Die Company (GTD).

It was designated the county seat when Franklin County was created from Hampshire County in 1811.


The road marker in Court Square
The road marker in Court Square

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22 square miles (56.7 km2), of which 21 square miles (55.5 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km2), or 2.08%, is water.[7] Greenfield is located at the center of the county and is bordered by Colrain, Leyden, and Bernardston to the north; Gill to the east; Montague to the southeast; Deerfield to the south; and Shelburne to the west. Greenfield is located 39 miles (63 km) north of Springfield and 90 miles (145 km) west-northwest of Boston.

Greenfield lies at the confluence of the Deerfield, Green, and Connecticut rivers. The Green River runs from the north, through town to the Deerfield, which lies along the city's southern border. From there, the Deerfield meets the Connecticut, which flows southward along the Montague border before bending eastward briefly before continuing southward. Several brooks flow into the three rivers, as well as a fourth river, the Fall River, which makes up the city's border with Gill. The city is located beside the Pocumtuck Range, the northernmost subridge of the Metacomet Ridge, and is surrounded by hills, with the town center lying on an elevated point above the rivers.


Like most of New England, Greenfield has a humid continental climate, exactly on the border between Köppen Dfa and Dfb with its warmest-month (July) mean of 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). with cold, snowy winters and warm, humid summers. Extreme temperatures range from 100 °F (37.8 °C), recorded on July 22, 1926, and August 26, 1948,[8][9] to −30 °F (−34.4 °C), recorded on January 22, 1961.[10] Precipitation is abundant and well distributed (every month except February over 3 inches) and averages 41.3 inches per year.

Climate data for Greenfield, Massachusetts
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 32.7
Average low °F (°C) 14.0
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.2
Average snowfall inches (cm) 15.3
Average precipitation days 10 9 10 10 10 10 10 9 8 8 9 10 113
Source: Weatherbase [11]


Greenfield lies at the junction of four highways. Interstate 91 travels north and south through the western stretch of the city and is duplexed for a 3-mile (5 km) stretch with Massachusetts Route 2. Route 2, which follows the rough path of (and is nicknamed after) the Mohawk Trail, enters over the Fall River as a surface road before becoming a limited-access highway until its concurrence with I-91. Once it leaves the interstate, Route 2 becomes a surface road again. Between the start of the limited access section of Route 2 and its split from I-91 at Exit 43, the Mohawk Trail follows Massachusetts Route 2A, which uses Route 2's former right of way through the center of Greenfield. At the town center, Route 2A meets the duplexed U.S. Route 5 and Massachusetts Route 10, which comes over the Deerfield River in the south before heading northward through town, with another interchange along the highway portion of Route 2. In October 2016, the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a $7.5 million grant to the town government to build a new downtown parking garage.[12]

The nearest general aviation airport is located in the Turners Falls section of Montague, and the nearest national air service is at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.


The town is served by the Peter Pan and Greyhound bus lines and is the hub of the Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA), whose local service extends from Bernardston to Northampton and from Orange to Charlemont. The John W. Olver Transit Center is the hub for FRTA bus service, as well as the local depot for Peter Pan and Greyhound intercity service.[13]


Engine and single-car train for the New Haven–Springfield Shuttle.  Expanded train service connecting Greenfield to points south to New Haven began in Summer 2019, and has been named the Valley Flyer
Engine and single-car train for the New Haven–Springfield Shuttle. Expanded train service connecting Greenfield to points south to New Haven began in Summer 2019, and has been named the Valley Flyer

Greenfield lies at the junction of two rail lines, an east–west line heading from the northern points of Worcester County towards the Hoosac Tunnel and Albany, New York, and the north–south line heading from Springfield in the south towards Vermont in the north. Freight service on both lines is operated by Pan Am Railways.

Passenger rail service resumed in Greenfield on December 29, 2014, with the rerouting of Amtrak's Vermonter, with all trains serving the Olver Transit Center. The former Greenfield train station (torn down in 1966) was located across the tracks from the current train platform, in the present-day Energy Park. In June 2018, it was announced that Greenfield would become the terminus for an extension of the New Haven–Springfield Shuttle, in a pilot program being launched by CTRail and the MassDOT. The new commuter rail service, now dubbed the Valley Flyer, made its first run August 30, 2019. It runs twice in each direction on weekdays and once on weekends, to and from New Haven, Connecticut, with connections to New York City.[14][15] There is a proposal known as "Northern Tier Passenger Rail" in the early stages of planning, which would extend MBTA's Fitchburg Line westward through Greenfield and terminate at North Adams.[16]


Historical population

Source: United States census records and Population Estimates Program data.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26]
U.S. Decennial Census[27]
The first post office circa 1910
The first post office circa 1910
The Weldon Hotel in 1913
The Weldon Hotel in 1913

By the 2010 census, the population had decreased to 17,456. Greenfield, as the only community in the county with a population over 10,000, is the largest community by population or population density in the county. It is also the smallest mainland county seat in the Commonwealth, as only the island towns of Edgartown and Nantucket are smaller.

As of the census[28] of 2000, there had been 18,168 people, 7,939 households, and 4,374 families residing in the city. The population density was 836.2 people per square mile (322.8/km2). There were 8,301 housing units at an average density of 382.1 per square mile (147.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.39% White, 1.34% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.10% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.41% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.54% of the population.

There were 7,939 households, out of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.9% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the town the population was spread out, with 21.9% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $33,110, and the median income for a family was $46,412. Males had a median income of $33,903 versus $26,427 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,830. About 11.4% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.2% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.


Greenfield was one of several Massachusetts municipalities that applied for, and were granted, city forms of government but wished to retain "The Town of" in their official names.[29] In December 2017, the Town Council voted to remove "The Town of" designation, making Greenfield known as the City of Greenfield.[30] Since the charter change in 2003 Greenfield has been governed by a town council and a mayor. The former town council is now called the city council and consists of four at-large councilors and nine councilors that are each elected from one of the city's nine electoral precincts.[31] The other city boards are appointed, with the exception of the seven-member school committee, which consists of the mayor plus six members elected at-large.

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 15, 2008[32]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
Independent 6,335 54.96%
Democratic 3,831 33.24%
Republican 1,243 10.78%
Minor Parties 117 1.02%
Total 11,526 100%


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Greenfield City Hall
Greenfield City Hall

Greenfield's first mayor, Christine Forgey, served until 2009 when she was defeated in a primary election. Greenfield's second mayor, Bill Martin, took second place in the 2009 primary as a write-in candidate and went on to win the general election in June. Martin's tenure began with a formal inauguration ceremony, the city's first, which also featured a mayoral fanfare, Long Live Our Mayor, written for the occasion in the style of Hail to the Chief. At the inauguration, Martin read a proclamation declaring July 1 as "Inauguration Day" in all following years. After Martin's retirement in 2019, Roxann Wedegartner became Greenfield's third mayor.

In Greenfield, the Mayor appoints most of the members of the various city boards, with the city council approving appointments. The mayor also serves as a voting member of the school committee, but is forbidden to serve as its chairman or vice-chair. In addition, the mayor sits as an ex officio non-voting member on all the other city boards.

City Council

The City Council[33] consists of 13 members: four "Councilors at Large" and nine "Precinct Councilors" elected to represent each of the nine voting precincts. As of 2021, Penny Ricketts is the Council President, and Sheila Gilmour is the Vice-President.

Municipal services

Greenfield operates its own police and fire departments. As of 2014, ambulance service is provided under a contract with the local hospital system. The town is also patrolled by the Second (Shelburne Falls) Barracks of Troop "B" of the Massachusetts State Police.[34] It runs a sizeable public works department and is the home base of the regional waste management system. The Greenfield Public Library is one of the larger libraries in the area, and is connected to the regional library network. Greenfield also operates numerous municipal parks and recreation areas including a town swimming center.

County seat

As county seat, Greenfield is home to many different state offices, including courthouses and one of the offices of the Northwest District Attorney, Dave Sullivan. The Franklin County Sheriff is based in Greenfield and operates the Franklin County Jail at the corner of Elm and Allen streets. The city also has the central post office for the "013" series of ZIP codes, which extends through Franklin County and several towns in Worcester County. Greenfield is home to the privately run Baystate Franklin Medical Center, which serves much of the northern Pioneer Valley.

Legislative delegation

Greenfield is part of the Second Berkshire district of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which includes sixteen cities and towns in Berkshire and Franklin Counties. Paul Mark is the State Representative.

In the Massachusetts Senate, the town is part of the Hampshire and Franklin district, which includes much of eastern Franklin and Hampshire counties. State Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg represented this district but it now sits vacant.[35]

Nationally, Greenfield is represented in the United States House of Representatives as part of Massachusetts's 2nd congressional district, and is represented in the 113th United States Congress by James McGovern.

As of 2014, Massachusetts is represented in the United States Senate by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey.


Greenfield operates its own public school system for the town's 1,700 students. Greenfield operates the Academy of Early Learning at North Parish for pre-kindergarten students, three elementary schools – the Four Corners School to the north, the Federal Street School centrally, and the Newton Elementary School to the west – for students from kindergarten through fourth grade, the Greenfield Middle School for students from fifth grade through seventh grades, and Greenfield High School for eighth through twelfth grades. 8th grade is separate and not part of the official high school. Greenfield's athletic teams are nicknamed the "Green Wave", and their school colors are green and white.

Alternative public schools

Greenfield operates the Poet Seat School, an alternative middle and high school for special needs students. On July 9, 2009, Greenfield's local school committee approved creation of the Virtual Academy or "MAVA @ Greenfield", the only kindergarten-through-twelfth grade distance learning school of its kind in the state.[citation needed] The MAVA program is also expected to provide expanded course offerings to students in the traditional public schools. Greenfield is also home to the Four Rivers Charter Public School, which serves students in grades 7-12.

Private schools

Greenfield's oldest private school is the Stoneleigh-Burnham School, a private 7th-12th grade boarding school for girls. The Center School, established in 1981, serves students from preschool through eighth grade with a progressive approach to education.[36]

As of 2014 there are no religious schools in Greenfield; the Cornerstone Christian School closed in 2013, and Holy Trinity School, a K-8 parochial school, closed in 2011.

Higher education

Greenfield is home to Greenfield Community College, which serves the northern Pioneer Valley and offers some courses to Greenfield High students seeking advanced learning opportunities.

The nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. There are also several private colleges, including members of the Five Colleges and Seven Sisters, in the region, as well as Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire.


Greenfield has five FM radio stations, one FM Translator, two AM radio stations, one cable television station, and one daily local newspaper.

FM stations

¹ – WMCB-LP/WLPV-LP operate under a "share time" agreement with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

AM stations

Cable stations


Points of interest

Leavitt-Hovey House/Greenfield Public Library c. 1910
Leavitt-Hovey House/Greenfield Public Library c. 1910

Notable people

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Poet's Seat Tower circa 1915
Poet's Seat Tower circa 1915

See also


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Greenfield Town city, Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  4. ^ Hoffman, Curtiss; Fowler, William S.; Chamberlain, Elaine S. (1991). A handbook of Indian artifacts from Southern New England. Lincoln, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Archaeological Society special publication, #4. p. 142.
  5. ^ Melvoin, Richard (1989). New England Outpost. Norton. pp. 44–45. ISBN 9780393026009.
  6. ^ a b McBride, Kevin (February 2016). "Technical Report Battle of Great Falls / Wissantinnewag - Peskeompskut (May 19, 1676)" (PDF). Technical Report Battle of Great Falls / Wissantinnewag – Peskeompskut (May 19, 1676). U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 24, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Greenfield Town city, Massachusetts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
  8. ^ "July Daily Averages for Greenfield, MA (01301)" (Table). The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  9. ^ "August Daily Averages for Greenfield, MA (01301)" (Table). The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  10. ^ "January Daily Averages for Greenfield, MA (01301)" (Table). The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  11. ^ "Greenfield, Massachusetts Travel Weather Averages". Canty and Associates LLC. Retrieved 2012-09-26.
  12. ^ Schoenberg, Shira (October 27, 2016). "Greenfield awarded $7.5 million state grant for new parking garage". Advance Publications. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  13. ^ "Comment welcome on new transit depot". The Recorder. June 10, 2009.
  14. ^ "Rail News Roundup 14". Trains in the Valley. June 12, 2018. Archived from the original on June 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Owens, David. "Massachusetts Plans To Expand Commuter Trains North Of Springfield In 2019". Hartford Courant. Hartford, CT. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018.
  16. ^ "Northern Tier Passenger Rail Study". Trains In The Valley. 2019-05-15. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  17. ^ "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
  18. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  19. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  20. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  21. ^ "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  22. ^ "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  23. ^ "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  24. ^ "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  25. ^ "1860 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  26. ^ "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
  27. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  28. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  29. ^ "CIS: Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates".
  30. ^ "Greenfield to officially become a city".
  31. ^ City of Greenfield, MA. "City Council". Retrieved 2020-02-23. The City Council consists of thirteen (13) members: four (4) "Councilors at Large" and nine (9) "Precinct Councilors" elected to represent each of the nine (9) voting precincts in City.
  32. ^ "Registration and Party Enrollment Statistics as of October 15, 2008" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2013-11-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ "".
  35. ^ "The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts".
  36. ^ "History of the Center School". The Center School.
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2002-02-28. Retrieved 2010-10-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^[dead link]
  39. ^
  40. ^ "FM Query Results -- Audio Division (FCC) USA".
  41. ^ "FM Query Results -- Audio Division (FCC) USA".
  42. ^ "AM Query Results -- Audio Division (FCC) USA".
  43. ^ [1][dead link]
  44. ^ Urban, Cori (February 7, 2011). "Wilson's Department Store remains an institution in downtown Greenfield". Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  45. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1897,' Biographical Sketch of Silas Bullard, pg. 700
  46. ^ Hunter, Cheryl (November 26, 2014). "Sounds Local: Signature Sound Celebrates 20 years; Woman Songwriters' Collective Celebrates new EP". The Recorder (Greenfield). Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  47. ^ 'Archbishop Paul Russell-Boston priest and Vatican diplomat,' The Boston Pilot, Donis Tracy, June 10, 2016
  48. ^ Biographical Directory of the United States Congress,

Further reading