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Officials in America
THIS town was originally a part of Deerfield, called Deerfield North West. It received its present name from
Lord Shelburne, of England. It was incorporated a distinct town in 1768. The first settlement was made in the eastern
part of the town; the first meeting house, which was built of logs and plastered, stood about half a mile north
of the present Congregational church in the center of the town. The first Congregational minister was Rev. Robert
Hubbard, who was settled in 1773; he died in Middletown, Ct. in 1788, aged 45. His successor was Rev. Jesse Townsend,
who was settled in 1792, and resigned in 1797: the next pastor was Rev. Theophilus Packard, D. D., who was settled
in 1799; he was succeeded by his son of the same name in 1828. The Shakers came into this town in 1782; they continued
here about three years, when they removed to New Lebanon: a Mr. Wood was their elder or leader. The oldest house
now standing in Shelburne Falls village was built by thcse people. The first Baptist church in this town was formed
in 1788, and their first minister was a Mr. Green; in 1792 Rev. David Long became its pastor, and continued his
labors nearly forty years. The Unitarian society was formed in 1828. The Rev. Pliny Fiske, a missionary to Palestine,
who died at Beyroot, in Syria, in 1825, was a native of this town.
The following is a S. Eastern view of Shelburne Falls village, on Deerfleld river, on the western boundary of the
town. It consists of about thirty dwelling houses, a church, an academy, and other buildings. The descent of the
river at this place is forty seven feet in the distance of forty rods, which affords abundant water power for several
mills for different purposes. This village is uncommonly neat and beautiful in its general appearance. The engraving
shows the northern part. Deerfield river runs a few rods westward of the houses represented; it bends round to
the eastward, passing over a rocky bed, falling in some places perpendicularly, foaming and roaring. This, with
the elevated banks on each side, covered with forest trees, presents a wild and picturesque scene.
The church seen in the engraving in the distance is the Baptist church, erected in 1836. The second Baptist church
was formed in 1833, and the Rev. John Alden, Jr., was constituted pastor. The Franklin Academy located in this
village, was incorporated in 1823. Two buildings are connected with the institution: one, (the academy) is a brick
edifice, 52 feet by 38, and three stories in height. it is seen in the engraving in the distance, with a small
tower or steeple on the roof. The other is the house occiipied by the principal, and others connected with the
academy. it is 80 feet by 30, and stands about 60 rods east of the brick building. The average number of scholars
for the last five years has been about 90 each term. Ever since its formation it has been under the charge of Mr.
Alden, the Baptist Chergyman mentioned above. This place is 4 miles from the center of the town, 9 from Greenfield.
25 from Northampton, and 100 from Boston. Population, 1,018. in 1837 there was one woollen mill; 1 scythe manufactory,
which manufactured 7,200 scythes, the value of which was $9,400. Fifteen hands were employed in the manufacture
of scythe snaiths; capital invested in this manufacture was $10,000. There were 6,000 palm-leaf hats manufactured,
valued at $1,000. The value of wool produced in the town was $4,500; boots and shoes, $4,000.
Historical Collections Relating to the
History and Antiquities of
Every town in Massachusetts with
By John Warner Barber.
Published by Warren Lazell.