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South Hadley, Massachusetts
—  Town  —
Official seal of South Hadley, Massachusetts
Location in Hampshire County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Hampshire
Settled 1721
Incorporated 1775
 • Type Representative town meeting
 • Town Administrator Michael Sullivan
 • Board of Selectmen
 • 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 ( /ˈhædl/, HAD-lee)[1] 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.[2] A separate town meeting was held in 1753, and the town was officially split and incorporated in 1775.[2][3]

The town is the home of the nation's first successful navigable canal[4] as well as the oldest continuing institution of higher education for women.

The Civil War Monument (believed to be by Jerome Connor)[5] 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.[6]


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 and offers air services throughout the region. Bradley International Airport, serving the greater HartfordSpringfield 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, including South Hadley Falls, which is across the river from Holyoke. 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 Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College. Hitchcock believed the fossils were made by gigantic ancient birds, long before scientists accepted that modern birds and dinosaurs are related.[7][8]


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%

As of the census[19] 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.


Mount Holyoke Campus in South Hadley, winter 2016.

Mount Holyoke College, a member of the Five College Consortium, and one of the Seven Sisters colleges, is located in South Hadley.

South Hadley High School is known for its highly competitive boys' athletic teams. It is home of the 2004 state champion lacrosse team that won Division II with the smallest high school enrollment of all 81 teams. It also won the 2005 Division IA Super Bowl in football. The 2008 boys' golf team won the Division 1 state championship. The Tigers Hockey team, composed of students from Holyoke, Granby, and South Hadley High Schools, have won WMass Championships in 1989, 2010, 2012, and 2017 as well as the 2009 and 2011 Massachusetts Division IIIA Ice Hockey State Championship. The South Hadley football team won the division II Super Bowl vs. Putnum in 2010 after completing a season with only one loss to division one foe Longmeadow. The baseball team won the Division II Massachusetts' state championship in 2012.

The South Hadley High School Marching Band has competed in the state and-or New England USSBA Championship each year. In 2005 they placed second nationally and won Best Percussion. In 2006 they won the United States Marine Corps Esprit De corps award, second place in USSBA, and Best Percussion. In 2007 they took best percussion for the third year in a row, Massachusetts USSBA championship, New England Championship, and seventh place in the Northern States championship. In 2008 they repeated as best percussion (for the fourth straight year) and seventh place in the Northern States championship. South Hadley continues to have one of the only competitive marching band programs in all of Western Massachusetts.

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School is a public charter school located in South Hadley, focusing in the performing arts.

Berkshire Hills Music Academy (BHMA), founded in 1999 and opened in 2001, is a private post-secondary residential school providing young adults with learning or developmental disabilities, the opportunity to live in a collegiate setting and acquire independent living skills while developing their musical potential. BHMA emphasizes students' aptitudes and abilities rather than their deficits.[20] The school is located on 40 acres (160,000 m2) at the former Joseph Skinner estate.

Notable people[]

  • Daniel T. Barry, retired NASA astronaut; contestant on the CBS reality television program Survivor: Panama-Exile Island.[21]
  • Gerald Warner Brace (1901–1978), American writer, educator, sailor and boat builder.
  • Joseph Brodsky (24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996), Russian poet and essayist, who began teaching at Mount Holyoke in 1974. For the last fifteen years of his life until his death in 1996, he was Andrew W. Mellow Professor of Literature at the college. He died at the age of fifty-five. He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987 and was appointed United States poet laureate in 1991.
  • Joseph Goodhue Chandler (1813–1884), portrait painter.
  • Alfred C. Chapin (1848–1936), lawyer, Congressman, and mayor of Brooklyn, NY 1888–1891.[22]
  • Donald R. Dwight (1931–), Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1971 to 1975.[23]
  • A. Bartlett Giamatti (1938–1989), the seventh commissioner of Major League Baseball and former president of Yale University.
  • George Herbert Mead (1863–1931) was an American philosopher, sociologist and psychologist, primarily affiliated with the University of Chicago, where he was one of several distinguished pragmatists. He is regarded as one of the founders of social psychology.
  • Phoebe Prince (1994–2010), teenage girl who was bullied and committed suicide as a result.
  • Erastus G. Smith (1855–1937), member of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Dean of Beloit College.
  • Lesley Visser (1953–), the first woman to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in 2006. During her 40-year career in sports journalism she has worked for The Boston Globe, ESPN, ABC Sports, and CBS.[24]
  • Phineas White (1770–1847), United States Representative from Vermont.[25]
  • Benjamin Ruggles Woodbridge (1739–1819) doctor, colonel of the Massachusetts militia during the American Revolutionary War, and a member of the Massachusetts legislature.[26][27]

See also[]

  • Woodbridge Street Historic District
  • United States Post Office–South Hadley Main


  1. ^ "Hadley". Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b “History And Antiquities of Every Town In Massachusetts” by John Warner Barber, 1848. (edited excerpt)
  3. ^ South Hadley town website - Historical milestones Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  4. ^ The Role of the South Hadley Canal in Western New England's Development Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  5. ^ Early Artisans: Jerome Connor- Elbert Hubbard: An American Original. PBS (1943-08-20). Retrieved on 2013-09-07.
  6. ^ Gaylord Memorial Library Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  7. ^ "Collections | Ichnology | Amherst College" (in en). 
  8. ^ Meszaros, John (2017-12-12). "The First Scientist to Study Dinosaur Footprints Thought Giant Birds Made Them" (in en). Atlas Obscura. 
  9. ^ "TOTAL POPULATION (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010. 
  10. ^ "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts". US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  13. ^ "1950 Census of Population". 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. 
  14. ^ "1920 Census of Population". 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. 
  15. ^ "1890 Census of the Population". 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. 
  16. ^ "1870 Census of the Population". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  17. ^ "1860 Census". 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. 
  18. ^ "1850 Census". Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c.. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  19. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  20. ^ "Berkshire Hills Music Academy" (in en). 
  21. ^ "DANIEL T. BARRY (M.D., PH.D.)". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  22. ^ Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac. 1890. p. 149. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  23. ^ Massachusetts Election Statistics 1970. p. 63. 
  24. ^ Chimelis, Ron (July 20, 2009). "South Hadley's Lesley Visser a sports journalism pioneer". MassLive. Retrieved June 3, 2015. 
  25. ^ "WHITE, Phineas, (1770 - 1847)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 30, 2012. 
  26. ^ Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, Vol 17, online database, The Generations Network Inc., Provo, Utah (1998); original data from the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, Vol. 17, Wright and Potter Printing Co., Boston (1896), pp. 798-800.
  27. ^ Frothingham, Richard, Jr.: History of the Siege of Boston and of the Battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, Second Edition, published by Charles C. Little and James Brown, Boston (1851) Chapters V and VII, regarding the Bunker Hill Battle, pp. 136, 183.

External links[]

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