Soap-stone and an extensive bed of serpentine, or rock of various colors, are found in the town. In 1837, there were two woollen mills, 4 sets of woollen machinery; cloth manufactured, 26,000 yards, valued at $54,000; males employed, 26; females, 24; capital invested, $36,000. There were 9,724 Saxony sheep; wool produced, 26,741 lbs.; average weight of fleece, two and threefourths lbs.; value of wool, $17,381 65; capital invested, $120,945. Population, 710. Distance, 24 miles from Northampton, 17 from Pittsfield, and 110 from Boston.
THE Indian name of Northampton was Nonotuck. It formerly included Southampton, Westhampton, and Easthampton, since incorporated as towns. The fertility, extent, and beauty of the fine intervals in this region attracted the attention of settlers at an early period. The township was purchased in 1653, and conveyed to John Pynchon, Esq., for the planters, by Wawhillowa, Nenessahalant, Nassicohee, and four others, (one of whom was a married woman,) styled "the chief and proper owners," for one hundred fathom of wampum by tale, and ten coats, besides some small gifts, in hand paid to the sachems and owners, and also for ploughing up sixteen acres of land on the east side of Quonnecticut river the ensuing summer. These "all bargained for themselves, and the other owners by their consent." The original planters were twenty-one in number, and the legal grant was made to them in 1654, by "John Pynchon, Elizur Holyoke, and Samuel Chapin, commissioners for laying out Nonotuck, by the general court," and the settlement of the town commenced the same year.* In 1656, "towns men" (or selectmen) were chosen, and in 1657 three commissioners were chosen at a town meeting "as a court to end small causes." The same year, the town employed an agent "to obtain a minister, and to devise means to prevent the excess of liquors and cider from coming to the town." In 1662, at the formation of the county of Hampshire, consisting of the three towns of Springfield, Northampton, and Hadley, Northampton was made a half shire, and in 1794 was made the county town.
The village of Northampton is situated about a mile from Connecticut river, a little elevated above the surrounding meadows. These meadows are some of the best land in New England, and are in the highest state of cultivation. The village, although very irregularly laid out, + is one of the most beautiful and best built
* There is a tradition that one English family came to Northampton in 1652, and lived on land which is east of what is now called Hawley street.
+ "It has been said that they [the streets] were laid out by the cows, and that wherever these animals, when going to feed in the forests, made their paths, the inhabitants located theirs streets. The probability is, that the first planters, being both inclined and obliged to build near to each other, placed their houses wherever the ground