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WILLIAMSBURG

Incorporated in 1771 - Hampshire County

While scenic Williamsburg is a quiet little town from which one may, summer or winter, step into the forests of the Berkshire Hills, it is the last stop on the Pioneer Valley bus system that connects the town to Northampton, Amherst and all the educational, cultural and market opportunities that the five college campuses attract. The population includes many families that have descended from those farmers that settled where they had cleared the woods more than two hundred years ago, intermarried with the industrialists and immigrant mill workers that made their way up the river in the mid-nineteenth century. There is also a large population of educators, professionals and others who have come to Williamsburg over the years, to enjoy the peace and tranquility of small town life. Perhaps, the character of the town is owed to the fabric of its past: an unusual history that has gone largely untold for generations. In 1874, the mill town, as it was then, suffered a great industrial disaster when the huge, poorly constructed reservoir burst, demolishing many mills, homes and lives along its course to the Connecticut River in Northampton. Heroes rode before the flood saving hundreds of lives. Volunteers revived the villages. Few of the factories were rebuilt and many of the industries were moved to other locations and the laboring population followed. Time has healed those scars with fresh vegetation and a new generation born without the memories of the past. The main streets of both villages, Williamsburg and Haydenville, feature remarkable examples of Greek Revival architecture in homes and public buildings; this pride of the industrial era, on higher ground, spared by the raging flood. Today, can be seen the effects of volunteerism, in the museums, libraries, schools and activities of all ages. There is an ongoing spirit, a civic pride, prompting gifts and endowments in a time honored tradition. (Narrative supplied by community)

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Williamsburg Schools