History

Photos are courtesy of the Shutesbury Historical Commission and are available as postcards (printable order form).

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In 1874, Elias Nason described the town of Shutesbury as follows:

Town Celebration 1937
Town Celebration, 1937
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Shutesbury occupies the south-east corner of Franklin County, is 112 miles west of Boston, and has New Salem and Prescott (from the latter of which it is divided by Swift River) on the east, Pelham on the south, Amherst and Leverett on the west, and the latter and Wendell on the north. It has 614 people, 154 dwelling-houses, 150 farms, and a valuation of $194,865. It was settled by families from Sudbury; for some time bore the name of "Roads Town," but received at its incorporation (June 30, 1764) its present name in honor of Gov. Samuel Shute. The land is rocky and uneven. The highest eminence is Morse's Hill, which overlooks Lock's Pond and Lock's Village in the north-west angle of the town. Near this place molybdenite, a sulphuret of molybdenum, is found. An immense bowlder east of Lock's Pond, called "The Sentinel," bears the marks of telluric forces, and was doubtless brought from a long distance during the glacial period. It may be considered as one of the earliest settlers of the town. Swift River drains the eastern, Roaring Brook and other streams the western section of the town. Near the centre of the town there is a mineral spring, impregnated with muriate of lime, which has obtained celebrity.

Leverett Road 1900
Leverett Road, 1900
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Mount Mineral Spring was incorporated in 1867. There is much woodland in the place; and eight or ten saw-mills are constantly preparing lumber, laths, clapboards, shingles, and staves for market. Many railroad-ties are cut here; and as many as 59,000 bushels of charcoal have been made in a year. The town has one post-office; seven district-schools; a Congregational church (established Oct. 27, 1842), of which the Rev. John P. Watson is pastor; and a Baptist church of which the Rev. J. D. Donovan is pastor.

Dihlman Store 1968
Dihlman Store, 1968
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The town sent 18 soldiers into the late war, of whom 3 were lost. The salubrity of the air is highly conducive to the longevity of the people.

Ephraim Pratt, a resident of this place, was born in Sudbury Nov. 1, 1687; and died here in May, 1804, at the remarkable age of 116 years. He married Martha Wheelock at the age of 21; and lived to see, it is said, 1,500 descendants. He was temperate and cheerful.

Town Common 1880
Town Common, 1880
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The Hon. PAUL DILLINGHAM was born here in August, 1800; and in 1805 removed with his father to Waterbury, Vt., of which State he was, from 1865 to 1867, governor. S. H. Crandall is the present town-clerk.

(Source: Nason, Elias, 1811-1887. A gazetteer of the state of Massachusetts: with numerous illustrations on wood and steel / by Elias Nason. Boston: B.B. Russell, 1874. p. 464)

Shutesbury Today

The Town of Shutesbury has carried some of its past history forward. Once known as a lumbering town, Shutesbury still retains some lumbering interests. Named for Governor Samuel Shute, the town was established in 1761 and its plentiful mineral springs resulted in a healthy bottling business growing up in the community. Shutesbury is bordered by the Quabbin Reservoir, and the town's proximity to the huge body of water ensures preservation of some of its rural character because of the restrictions placed on development within the watershed of the Quabbin. The reservoir itself also creates opportunities for boating, swimming, camping and fishing.

Geography

Location
Western Massachusetts, bordered by Wendell on the north, the Quabbin Reservoir and New Salem on the east, Pelham and Amherst on the south and southwest, and Leverett on the west. Shutesbury is about 9 miles north of Amherst, 88 miles west of Boston, and 175 miles from New York City. Total Area: 27.18 sq. miles
Land Area: 26.62 sq. miles
Population: 1,800
Density: 68 per sq. mile
Climate
(National Climatic Data Center)(Amherst Station)
Normal temperature in January.....23.6°F Normal temperature in July........71.9°F Normal annual precipitation.......42.5" U.S.G.S. Topographical Plates
Shutesbury, Millers Falls, Quabbin Reservoir Regional Planning Agency
Franklin County Metropolitan Statistical Area
(1993 Definition)

Government

Municipal Offices
Telephone Numbers for Public Information:
Administrative - (413) 259-1214
Public Information - (413) 259-1204.
Form of Government
Board of Selectmen, Administrative Assistant, Open Town Meeting
Year Incorporated As a town: 1761
Registered Voters 1,197
Democrats 331 27.7 % Republicans 71 5.9 % Other parties 14 1.2 % Unenrolled Voters 781 65.2 %
Legislators
Senators and Representatives by City and Town

Transportation & Access

The major axes of transportation in Franklin County, where Shutesbury is situated, are State Route 2, and Interstate Route 91, which follows the Connecticut River. The region is well-served by rail. The Springfield Terminal Railway (the former Boston and Maine) lines parallel the two main highways, and the Central Vermont Railway's main line passes N-S through the eastern portion.

Major Highways

The principal highway is U.S. Route 202, which runs N-S between State Routes 2 and 9, both cross-state roads. Local roads provide access to other highways and forms of transportation in the region. Rail
Passenger rail service is available on Amtrak in neighboring Amherst, where the "Montrealer" makes a daily stop. There is no freight rail service in Shutesbury, but the network of intermodal facilities serving Massachusetts is easily accessible. Bus
Shutesbury is a member of the Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA). There is no fixed route service, but FRTA provides limited paratransit services for the elderly and disabled through the Amherst Council on Aging.

Other

The Orange Municipal Airport, a General Aviation (GA) facility, is easily accessible via U.S. Route 202. It has 2 asphalt runways 5,000'x 150' and 4,998'x 150'. Instrument approaches available: Non-precision.