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Incorporated in 1765 - Franklin County

Ashfield is a 40 square mile town in the Berkshire foothills in the southwestern corner of Franklin County. The town was originally named Huntstown in 1736 as a land grant plantation, but was incorporated under its present name in 1765 under the auspices of Lord Thurlow of Ashfield, England. From about 1812 to 1830, Ashfield was a center of the peppermint industry and by 1825 several hundred acres of peppermint were under cultivation, yielding up to forty pounds of oil per acre at a value of nearly $8 per pound. Other small industries during the 19th century included pottery making (an exhibit of which is at the Smithsonian Institute), production of wooden medical splints, a creamery and several sawmills, gristmills, woodworking mills, tanneries and maple sugaring. Of these, only maple sugaring continued to flourish and Ashfield has become well known for its maple products. For decades, Ashfield was a quiet farming community with dozens of dairy and apple farms dotting the hillsides and lowlands. In the past 40 years, however, several farms have disappeared and the open fields and pastures have returned to wooded areas. It is only in the last 20 years that more people have been moving to Ashfield than leaving it. Lured by the cool breezes and the scenic vistas, people from all walks of life have moved from the cities. These bankers, attorneys, artisans, craftspeople, writers, artists, tradesmen, technicians and others have turned Ashfield into a cultural center. Through all the years, the common theme has been that "small is better" and that Ashfield's role in the world is to be a haven from it. (Narrative supplied by community)

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Ashfield Schools