Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls - photo by Peter MacDonaldBridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls (photo by Peter MacDonald)

Whately has a total area of 20.7 square miles and lies along the southern border of Franklin County, north of Hampshire County, bordered by Conway to the northwest, Deerfield to the northeast, Sunderland to the east, Hatfield to the south, and Williamsburg to the west. Whately is located 11 miles south of Greenfield, 26 miles north of Springfield, and 95 miles west of Boston. The population is approximately 1470.

 

Attractions

  • Whately Historical Museum, in the former Center School at 218 Chestnut Plain Road, is open Tuesday mornings 9:00 am to noon and by appointment. The exhibits include memorabilia and crockery made by Whately residents in the 1800s. For information call Adelia Bardwell at (413) 665-3837

History

Whately was incorporated on April 24, 1771, not long after the 55 people living there petitioned for separation from Hatfield because of the long distance they lived from the center of town. Hatfield had agreed to set off the district at their town meeting in May, 1770, and the boundary lines were already carefully drawn and agreed upon.

The original draft of the Act of Incorporation passed through its many readings in the House of Representatives and received consent from the Council with no name. The original papers show the name of the town was inserted by Governor Thomas Hutchinson in honor of his British friend in Parliament, Thomas Whately, from whom he had received much political help.

The town got right down to business after being incorporated, holding its first town meeting May 6, 1771 at the house of Daniel Morton, innkeeper.

The First Congregational Church was formed on August 21, 1771, with 19 men, 25 women and listed separately, one slave. The first pastor was Reverend Rufus Wells from Deerfield.

Many of Whately's first citizens were descended from the people who settled Hadley and Hatfield. Among them were Lucius Allis, Samuel Baldwin, Robert Bardwell, Samuel Dickenson, John Field, David Graves, Richard Morton, Moses Sanderson, David Scott and John White.

Whately is the site of the first gin distillery in the state. Water power gave rise to many mills - saw, grist, cider and woolen - as well as chair and coffin factories. Ore deposits were used in an iron works and pottery was made from clay. Many other shops and mills flourished.

However, Whately has always primarily been an agricultural area with commercial crops that include apples, cider, hay, maple products, tobacco and vegetables during this century.

Website

For more information, visit the Whately Town Website.

Demographics

Area 20.67 sq. mi. 
2015 Population  1,474
2015 Registered voters  1,116
FY15 Tax Rate $16.17
2011 Per Capita Income $20,664
2015 Average single family tax bill $4,400

 

Contacts

Town Hall
4 Sandy Lane, South Deerfield, MA  01373
(413) 665-0054
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Lynn Sibley (413) 665-0054
Town Administrator Mark Pruhenski, (413) 665-4400
Selectboard Jonathan Edwards (chair), Paul Newlin, Frederick Orloski
Assessors Katherine Fleurie (chair), Melanie Chorak, Frederick Orloski (413) 665-4400 x4 
Board of Health Fran Fortino (chair), Michael Archbald, Ronnie Williams
Treasurer/Tax Collector Lynn Sibley
Police Chief James Sevigne Jr. dispatch, (413) 625-8200
Fire Chief John Hannum,  (413) 478-0873 (non-emergency) 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Keith Bardwell,  (413) 665-2983 
Frontier Regional School District Superintendent Martha Barrett, (413) 665-1155 
Franklin County Tech School Superintendent Richard Martin, (413) 863-4239 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Wendy Peppercorn, (413) 665-2170 
Building Inspector/Franklin County Cooperative
Inspection Program
Chris Brothers, clerk (413) 774-3167 x.109

 

 

"My husband is a motorcycle enthusiast and likes riding the Mohawk Trail"
"The county is peppered with old and new all mixed up"
"An air of peace and tranquility"
"Real community authenticity. Franklin County is not pseudo anything."
"More down to earth, no pretense, real people."
     
Go To Top