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Encyclopedia > Pioneer Valley
The Pioneer Valley and Connecticut River, looking southward toward the towns of Sunderland, Amherst and Whately. The view is from Mount Sugarloaf in Deerfield.

The Pioneer Valley is a region consisting of the three counties that the Connecticut River passes through in Western Massachusetts, and especially those towns that are in the lowlands of the Connecticut River Valley. Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 808 KB)Pioneer Valley South From Mt. ... Download high resolution version (2272x1704, 808 KB)Pioneer Valley South From Mt. ... The Connecticut River as seen from the French King Bridge in western Massachusetts. ... Sunderland is a town located in Franklin County, Massachusetts, part of the Pioneer Valley. ... Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: Country United States State Massachusetts County Hampshire County Settled 1703 Incorporated 1775 Government  - Type Representative town meeting Area  - Town  27. ... Whately is a town located in Franklin County, Massachusetts. ... Mount Sugarloaf is a mountain overlooking the city of Newcastle, in New South Wales, Australia. ... Deerfield is a town located in Franklin County, Massachusetts. ... Image File history File links Pioneer_Valley_ma_highlight. ... A county is generally a sub-unit of regional self-government within a sovereign jurisdiction. ... The Connecticut River as seen from the French King Bridge in western Massachusetts. ... Western Massachusetts is a loosely defined geographical region of the state of Massachusetts which contains the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley. ... The Connecticut River Valley is a long river valley formed by the Connecticut River stretching from The New Hampshire/Quebec border to Long Island Sound on the Connecticut Coast. ...

Contents

Geology

The Pioneer Valley covers approximately the second lowest quarter of the Connecticut River Valley, an ancient Rift Valley created by the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge during the Triassic and Jurassic periods of the Mesozoic Era. The Connecticut River has been flowing through the Valley for millions of years, and was dammed to form glacial lake Hitchcock during the last ice age. The Connecticut River Valley is a long river valley formed by the Connecticut River stretching from The New Hampshire/Quebec border to Long Island Sound on the Connecticut Coast. ... African Rift Valley. ... In geology, a supercontinent is a land mass comprising more than one continental core, or craton. ... Pangea may refer to: a common alternative spelling of the name Pangaea given to the supercontinent that is believed to have existed during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras Pangea, a geology equipment supplier/developer of mineralogical testing equipment Pangea (cable system), a submarine telecommunications cable system connecting the Netherlands and... Courtesy USGS The ridge was central in the breakup of Pangaea that began some 180 million years ago. ... The Triassic is a geologic period that extends from about 251 ± 0. ... The Jurassic Period is a major unit of the geologic timescale that extends from about 199. ... The Mesozoic Era is one of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon. ... The Connecticut River as seen from the French King Bridge in western Massachusetts. ... The Seven Rila Lakes in Rila, Bulgaria are typical representatives of lakes with glacial origin A glacial lake is a lake with origins in a melted glacier. ... Lake Hitchcock formed 18,000 years ago when the Laurentide ice sheet retreated, causing glacial ice melt to begin to accumulate at the terminal moraine and block up the Connecticut River. ...


Geologically interesting parts of the valley are the basalt flows and dinosaur tracks in South Hadley, a chain of basaltic traprock ridges along the ancient tectonic rift including the Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom ranges, layers of rock deposit laid down by the river, and the Lake Hitchcock varves and deltas. Basalt Basalt (IPA: ) is a common gray to black extrusive volcanic rock. ... The Connecticut River Valley trackways are the fossilised footprints of a number of Late Triassic dinosaurs from the sandstone beds of South Hadley, Massachusetts. ...   Settled: 1659 â€“ Incorporated: 1775 Zip Code(s): 01075 â€“ Area Code(s): 413 Official website: http://www. ... Mount Holyoke (elevation 940/286m) is the western-most peak of the Mt. ... Mount Tom in Californias eastern Sierra Nevada range is a large and prominent peak near Bishop. ... Lake Hitchcock formed 18,000 years ago when the Laurentide ice sheet retreated, causing glacial ice melt to begin to accumulate at the terminal moraine and block up the Connecticut River. ... A varve is an annual layer of sediment or sedimentary rock. ... Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. ...


Political geography

The river valley and the neighboring Hill Towns comprise the entirety of the Pioneer Valley. Western Massachusetts is a loosely defined geographical region of the state of Massachusetts which contains the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley. ...


Franklin County

The rural Franklin County is the most rural county of Massachusetts. Greenfield is the largest municipality. Franklin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. ... Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: , Country United States State Massachusetts County Franklin County Settled 1686 Incorporated 1775 Government  - Type Mayor-council city Area  - City  21. ...


Hampshire County

Hampshire County is the home of five prominent colleges. Significant municipalites are Northampton and Amherst. Hampshire County is a county located in the state of Massachusetts. ... Nickname: [[Image:Northampton_ma_highlight. ... Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: Country United States State Massachusetts County Hampshire County Settled 1703 Incorporated 1775 Government  - Type Representative town meeting Area  - Town  27. ...


Hampden County

The mostly urban Hampden County is dominated by the cities of Springfield, Chicopee, Westfield, and Holyoke (listed in order of population). Hampden County is a county located in the state of Massachusetts. ... Nickname: Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: , Country United States State Massachusetts County Hampden County Settled 1636 Incorporated 1852 Government  - Type Mayor-council city  - Mayor Charles Ryan (D) Area  - City  33. ...   Settled: 1652 â€“ Incorporated: 1848 Zip Code(s): 01013, 01020, 01021 â€“ Area Code(s): 413 Official website: http://www. ... Nickname: Coordinates: Country United States of America State Massachusetts Counties Hampden County Settled 1660 Incorporated (town) May 19, 1669 Incorporated (city) November 2, 1920 Government  - Mayor Richard K. Sullivan Jr. ... See Holyoke, Colorado for the city in Colorado. ...


Demographics

Ethnicity

The ethnic and racial diversity varies greatly between urban and rural areas. [citation needed] Although long predominantly European-American, the region is rapidly growing in non-European diversity in urban areas, notably in Latino population. [citation needed] Among the European-American community, the population reflects the British Isles background of the original settlers and the immigrant population through the late-1800s, with large numbers of individuals with backgrounds of Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, French Canadian, and Greek heritage. [citation needed] The Latino community has a significant Puerto Rican community. [citation needed] Amherst is home to the largest number of Asian-Americans, as well as South and East Asians. [citation needed]. Russian and Ukrainian immigrants from the former Soviet Union are increasing in Springfield and surrounding communities. // The term Latino is a linguistic identity that refers to an individual that has significant ancestry from a nation-state where a Latin derived language is spoken or is the offical language of the government. ...


Educational institutions

The most well-known are the members of the Five Colleges consortium: The Five Colleges are composed of four liberal arts colleges and one university in the Connecticut River Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, belonging to a consortium called Five Colleges, Incorporated, which was established in 1965. ...

Other four-year colleges include: Amherst College is a private, independent, elite[1][2] liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA. It is the third oldest college in Massachusetts. ... Hampshire College is an experimenting private liberal arts college in Amherst, Massachusetts. ... Mount Holyoke College is a liberal arts womens college in South Hadley, Massachusetts. ... Smith College, located in Northampton, Massachusetts, is the largest womens college in the United States []. Smith admits only female undergraduates, but admits both men and women as graduate students. ... The University of Massachusetts Amherst (otherwise known as UMass Amherst or UMass) is a research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA. The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers over 90 undergraduate and 65 graduate areas of study. ...

Dedicated Graduate Schools include: DAR Hall American International College is a private, co-educational institution located in the Mason Square neighborhood of Springfield, Massachusetts. ... Bay Path College is a private college that is located in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. ... Elms College is a coeducational private liberal arts college that is located in Chicopee, Massachusetts. ... Springfield College is a college located in Springfield, Massachusetts. ... Western New England College is a private, independent, coeducational college founded in 1919. ... Westfield State College is a small liberal arts college, located in Westfield, Massachusetts, USA. Located 20 minutes from Springfield, MA and about 2 hours from Boston. ...

Community colleges in the area include: The Conway School of Landscape Design (CSLD), founded in 1972, is a unique graduate program located on a 24. ... In Canada and the United States, a community college, sometimes called a technical college, county college, junior college or a city college, is an educational institution providing higher education and lower-level tertiary education, granting certificates, diplomas, and Associates degrees. ...

In addition, there are private middle and high schools in the area, including: Greenfield Community College is a two-year Community College in Greenfield, Massachusetts. ... Holyoke Community College (HCC) is a state-funded public two year college located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. ... Springfield Technical Community College better known as STCC (pronounced stick by locals) is a two-year community college in Springfield, Massachusetts. ...

Deerfield Academy is a private, coeducational prep school located in Deerfield, Massachusetts. ... Northfield Mount Hermon School Northfield Mount Hermon School (NMH) is a ninth-twelfth grade private college preparatory school (secondary school) located in Northfield, Massachusetts, United States. ... The Williston Northampton School, more commonly known simply as Williston, is a co-ed private preparatory school in Easthampton, Massachusetts for students from grades seven through twelve. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

Culture

The Pioneer Valley is sometimes known to its inhabitants as "Happy Valley", but more typically residents refer to it simply as "the Valley." It is the "valley full o' Pioneer" in "the sleepy west of the woody east" of which the Pixies sang in the song "UMass." The Pixies[1] are an American alternative rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1985. ...


Art

Valley residents also have a love of arts, both visual and performing, as demonstrated by numerous art galleries, countless theaters and performances, the residencies of both Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle in the valley, the visual Dr. Seuss Memorial in Springfield, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Theodor Seuss Geisel (March 2, 1904 – September 24, 1991) was a famous American writer and cartoonist best known for his classic childrens books under the pen name Dr. Seuss, including The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and One Fish Two Fish... Eric Carle Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is a childrens book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. ... The Dr. Seuss National Memorial is a sculpture garden located at The Quadrangle in Springfield, Massachusetts, honoring the American childrens author Dr. Seuss. ... The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is a museum devoted to the art contained in picture books and especially childrens books. ...


Local media

There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

Independent bookstores

"Of the many quirks in the Montague Bookmill, a bookstore and cafe just outside Amherst and Northampton, perhaps the most serendipitous are on its bathroom walls."—The Boston Globe, 2005
"Of the many quirks in the Montague Bookmill, a bookstore and cafe just outside Amherst and Northampton, perhaps the most serendipitous are on its bathroom walls."—The Boston Globe, 2005

The New York Times noted that Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

while this charming pocket of the state, known as the Pioneer Valley, may be wild turkey country, as well as the approach to Vermont ski country, it's also used-book country. Our three-day visit was dedicated to browsing and buying amid the valley's rich and collegial network of bookshops and private dealers. More members of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers (36) are to be found in this area than in bookish Greater Boston (25).

[1]

with an independent bookstore in almost every town, several small publishers, and countless local authors, the Valley could well be counted as a reader's paradise. Amherst has at least four bookstores, South Hadley has at least one notable bookstore (The Odyssey Bookshop). Since the late 1980s, Montague has had the Bookmill, and the World Eye Bookshop is in its 40th year in Greenfield. Northampton has least four independent bookstores, including Raven Used Books [2], with many independent bookstores covering two floors. The Odyssey Bookshop (1963 - ) at 9 College Street in South Hadley, Massachusetts is a noted independent bookstore which serves the Mount Holyoke College community. ... The Bookmill (sometimes The Book Mill) is an independent bookstore in Montague, Massachusetts. ...


Recreation

Economy

The Pioneer Valley has a broadly varied economic base[citation needed].


Franklin County

Franklin County in the north serves as a significant agricultural region despite its size, due to the rich topsoil found in the area. The valley's sweet corn and asparagus are considered, especially among New Englanders to be some of the world's finest. Cow Corn, potatoes, and shade-grown tobacco are also major crops. Fields of all sort, particularly corn and tobacco fields, as well as numerous farmhouses and tobacco barns dot the landscape. Light industry is concentrated in the town of South Deerfield and the city of Greenfield, while service industries exist throughout the county. Increasingly Franklin County is becoming a place of bedroom communities, with the major transportation routes of Interstate 91, Route 2, and U.S. Route 5 facilitating a boom in residential building that has not kept pace with commercial development in many of the county's towns. Franklin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. ... Topsoil is the uppermost layer of soil, usually the top six to eight inches. ... Sweetcorn (or sweet corn, also known as sugar corn), is a hybridized variety of maize (Zea mays), specifically bred to increase the sugar content. ... Binomial name L. Asparagus officinalis is a plant species in the family Asparagaceae from which the popular vegetable known as asparagus is obtained. ... This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... “Corn” redirects here. ... Binomial name Solanum tuberosum L. The potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a perennial plant of the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family, commonly grown for its starchy tuber. ... Shredded tobacco leaf for pipe smoking Tobacco can also be pressed into plugs and sliced into flakes Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in genus Nicotiana. ...


The Hallmark Institute of Photography is located in Turners Falls. Turners Falls is a census-designated place and village located in the town of Montague in Franklin County, Massachusetts. ...


Two major corporations, Channing Bete and Yankee Candle, are headquartered in South Deerfield and Greenfield. Both communities have been had controversial zoning issues surrounding permitting variances to build big box stores such as Wal-Mart. Greenfield received national attention when its decision prevented Wal-Mart from building a store in town. The Yankee Candle Company is the largest US manufacturer of scented candles. ... South Deerfield is a census-designated place and village located in the town of Deerfield in Franklin County, Massachusetts. ... Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: , Country United States State Massachusetts County Franklin County Settled 1686 Incorporated 1775 Government  - Type Mayor-council city Area  - City  21. ... Big box store is a colloquial term used to describe a retail store housed in a rectangular, one-floor building with a high ceiling. ... Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ... Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: , Country United States State Massachusetts County Franklin County Settled 1686 Incorporated 1775 Government  - Type Mayor-council city Area  - City  21. ... Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ...


The county also garners tourism due to such attractions as Historic Deerfield (which hosts a craft fair in the summer and an even larger and more popular fall craft fair) , and a Butterfly Garden located in South Deerfield. The annual arrival of thousands of American and foreign tourists to observe the area's spectacular autumn foliage is a welcome boost to revenue. Overview Historic Deerfield is the oldest part of the township of Deerfield in Franklin County, Massachusetts. ... Superfamilies and families Superfamily Hedyloidea: Hedylidae Superfamily Hesperioidea: Hesperiidae Superfamily Papilionoidea: Papilionidae Pieridae Nymphalidae Lycaenidae Riodinidae A butterfly is an insect of the order Lepidoptora. ...


Hampshire County

With the Five Colleges, Hampshire County has a significant part of its economy devoted to serving college students, including numerous independent bookstores and stationery shops. The Five Colleges are composed of four liberal arts colleges and one university in the Connecticut River Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, belonging to a consortium called Five Colleges, Incorporated, which was established in 1965. ...


The area is also home to many restaurants, ranging in class from sports bars to steakhouses. Northampton (also known to some as Hamp and others as NoHo) is the culinary capital of Western Massachusetts as well as having a reputation as a lesbian Mecca. The practice of adding candy, crushed cookies, and nuts to ice cream was invented by Steve Herrell, proprietor of Herrell's ice cream parlor in Northampton. Tourists sit outside a bar in Chiang Mai, Thailand A bar is an establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold to be drunk on premises. ... A steakhouse (or steak house) is a restaurant that specializes in beef steaks. ... Nickname: [[Image:Northampton_ma_highlight. ... Missing image Ice cream is often served on a stick Boxes of ice cream are often found in stores in a display freezer. ...


With the exception of New England-based supermarkets (Big Y, Stop & Shop, Pricechopper), almost all of the big-box retailers in Hampshire County are located in the town of Hadley. Save for Hadley, and perhaps Northampton, the rest of the region is a land of "mom and pop" stores and a spattering of chain convenience stores. Exterior of a typical British supermarket (a Tesco Extra) Exterior of typical North American supermarket (a Safeway) This Flagship Randalls store in Houston, Texas is an example of an upscale supermarket. ... Hadley is a town located in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. ... A small business may be defined as a business with a small number of employees. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Hampden County

With most of the large cities in Western Massachusetts, Hampden County generally has a more commercial-industrial economy than anywhere else in the region, a land of big-box retailers and heavy industry.


Tourism is also popular, particularly from the rest of New England, due to the museums at The Quadrangle, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and CityStage in Springfield, and attractions such as The Big E in the town of West Springfield, and Six Flags New England in Agawam. The Holyoke Mall at Ingleside in Holyoke, Memorial Drive in Chicopee, Riverdale Street (often referred to by locals as "Riverdale Road") in West Springfield, and Boston Road in Springfield are popular destinations for shopping. This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... The Dr. Seuss Memorial and Museum of Fine Arts. ... The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame honors players who have shown exceptional skill at basketball, all-time great coaches and referees, and other major contributors to the game. ... The Springfield Symphony Orchestra is an orchestra based in Springfield, Massachusetts. ... Nickname: Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: , Country United States State Massachusetts County Hampden County Settled 1636 Incorporated 1852 Government  - Type Mayor-council city  - Mayor Charles Ryan (D) Area  - City  33. ... The Big E, also known as The Eastern States Exposition, is billed as New Englands Great State Fair. It is the 6th largest agricultural fair in the United States, and the largest in the northeastern portion of the country. ... The Town of West Springfield (familiarly known as West Side) is a city[1] in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. ... Six Flags New England, or SFNE, is a theme park in the Six Flags chain of parks, named for the New England region in which it is located. ... Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: Country United States State Massachusetts County Hampden County Settled 1635 Incorporated 1855 Government Type Mayor-council city  - Mayor Richard A. Cohen (D) Area  - City  24. ... The Holyoke Mall at Ingleside is a shopping mall located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. ... See Holyoke, Colorado for the city in Colorado. ...   Settled: 1652 â€“ Incorporated: 1848 Zip Code(s): 01013, 01020, 01021 â€“ Area Code(s): 413 Official website: http://www. ... The Town of West Springfield (familiarly known as West Side) is a city[1] in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. ... Nickname: Location in Massachusetts Coordinates: , Country United States State Massachusetts County Hampden County Settled 1636 Incorporated 1852 Government  - Type Mayor-council city  - Mayor Charles Ryan (D) Area  - City  33. ...


Outlying towns such as Tolland are sparsely populated and close enough to the Berkshires that outdoor activities such as camping make up a large part of their economy. Tolland is a town located in Hampden County, Massachusetts. ... The Berkshires (pronounced as or ) is a region located in Western Massachusetts (with portions located in the adjacent states of Vermont, New York, and Connecticut). ... Car camping is camping in a tent, but nearby the car for easier access and for supply storage. ...


Conservation

Appreciation of the natural environs is a big part of the Valley life, with numerous non-profit nature sanctuaries, as well as state and municipal parks and forests. Because of the considerable natural and cultural resources of the Pioneer Valley, state environmental agencies have made a substantial investment in protecting undeveloped land in the region, particularly along the Connecticut River, and in the mostly rural 'hilltowns' to its west. Government conservation efforts have targeted wildlife and rare plant habitat, recreational sites and corridors including the Metacomet-Monadnock_Trail, and the very rich agricultural soils in farming towns such as Hadley, Massachusetts. Their efforts have been augmented and assisted by local and regional conservation land trusts, and state-wide and national conservation organizations. Many of these organizations also protect additional land through direct ownership of conservation areas and land held under conservation easement. Many municipalities in the area also have conservation holdings, usually under the aegis of the community's 'conservation commission', the appointed body which also applies local and state environmental regulations, or held as part of local water supply systems. The Metacomet-Monadnock trail is a 114 mile hiking trail that begins at the MA/CT state border (connecting across the line to Connecticuts Metacomet Trail) and stretches north across the state of Massachusetts to Mount Monadnock in southern New Hampshire. ... Hadley is a town located in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. ... A land trust is an agreement whereby one party (the trustee) agrees to hold ownership of a piece of real property for the benefit of another party (the beneficiary). ... In the United States, a conservation easement is an easement — a transfer of usage rights — which creates a legally enforceable land preservation agreement between a landowner and a municipality or a qualified land protection organization (often called a land trust), for the purposes of conservation. ...


One notable area consists of Mount Tom State Reservation, Mount Holyoke Range State Park, and Skinner State Park , which, joined with the 600-acre Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary held by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, form a long wildlife corridor stretching across the Connecticut River. The Massachusetts Audubon Society, founded in 1896 and headquartered in Lincoln, Massachusetts, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to Protecting the nature of Massachusetts. ...


References

  1. ^ Hellman, Peter (1998): "WEEKEND EXCURSION; Every Town Is One for the Books." The New York Times, March 13, 1998[1]

See also

Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Western Massachusetts is a loosely defined geographical region of the state of Massachusetts which contains the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley. ...

External links

  • Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
  • Pioneer Valley Guide
  • What to Do in Pioneer Valley

 
 

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