According to allcitycodes, Amherst, Massachusetts is a town located in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. It is bordered by Hadley to the north, Pelham to the east, Leverett to the south and Sunderland and Shutesbury to the west. The town has a total area of 22.9 square miles, with an estimated population of over 39,000 people.
The geography of Amherst is largely made up by rolling hills and open fields punctuated by small woods and ponds. At its highest point, Amherst stands at 845 feet above sea level at Skinner Mountain. The town is home to several rivers including Mill River, Fort River and Fort Hill Brook which all feed into the Connecticut River located just east of Amherst’s town center.
The climate in Amherst is generally considered mild with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing for extended periods of time during winter months and rarely exceeding 85 degrees Fahrenheit during summer months. Average annual precipitation levels are 42 inches with snowfall averaging around 40 inches per year.
Amherst’s landscape also includes several historic sites such as the Emily Dickinson Homestead which was home to one of America’s most famous poets as well as Old Chapel which was built in 1820 and served as a place for students at nearby Amherst College to gather for religious services until 1927 when it became a museum.
The town’s geography provides residents with plenty of opportunities to explore nature including more than 20 miles of trails through wildlife sanctuaries maintained by organizations like The Trustees of Reservations as well as numerous parks offering recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, boating and fishing. With its rolling hills, riverside views and easy access to both urban amenities and rural landscapes, Amherst is truly an ideal place for both nature lovers and city dwellers alike!
History of Amherst, Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts is a town located in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. The area was first settled in 1659, when colonists from Connecticut purchased the land from the non-native Nipmuc tribe. The town was officially incorporated as Amherst in 1759 and named after General Jeffrey Amherst, a British officer who had served in the French and Indian War.
In 1727, Reverend Jonathan Belcher founded Amherst College which quickly became one of the most prestigious liberal arts institutions in America. In the 19th century, Amherst served as an important stop on the Underground Railroad as well as a major center for abolitionist activities.
During World War II, Amherst played an important role in aircraft production with over 5,000 workers employed at several factories located within town borders. After the war ended, many of these factories closed down and some were converted into housing for returning veterans.
The 1960s saw a period of rapid growth for Amherst with new housing developments popping up all over town and businesses relocating to take advantage of its proximity to other major cities such as Boston and Hartford. This period also saw an influx of new residents from around the world who added to the diversity of this small New England community.
Today, Amherst is home to over 39,000 people from all walks of life who enjoy its unique blend of rural beauty and urban amenities. With its rolling hills, riverside views and easy access to both urban amenities and rural landscapes, this small New England town offers something for everyone!
Economy of Amherst, Massachusetts
Amherst is a vibrant and diverse town located in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts. The local economy is driven by education, healthcare, retail, and technology. Amherst is home to several major employers such as the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hampshire College, and Baystate Medical Center. The University of Massachusetts alone employs over 6,000 people and has an annual budget of over $1 billion.
The retail sector in Amherst is also booming with numerous shopping malls and centers such as the Eastgate Shopping Center and the Northampton Mall. Smaller businesses are thriving too with locally owned boutiques and restaurants popping up all over town.
Amherst has also become a hub for technology companies in recent years with several software startups setting up shop here due to its proximity to other major cities such as Boston and Hartford. These businesses are attracted by the highly educated workforce that can be found in Amherst due to its numerous colleges and universities.
The town’s economy is further bolstered by its tourism industry which draws visitors from all over New England looking to explore its many parks offering recreational activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, camping and more!
Overall, Amherst’s strong economy has helped it become one of the most desirable places to live in New England offering both an affordable cost of living while still providing plenty of opportunities for those looking to make their mark on this small yet dynamic community!
Politics in Amherst, Massachusetts
Amherst is a progressive town with a long history of political activism and engagement. The town is home to numerous grassroots organizations that work on issues ranging from environmental protection to economic justice. Residents are also active in local politics, regularly voting in municipal elections and participating in town meetings.
The town’s municipal government consists of an elected Board of Selectmen who are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the town. The Board is responsible for proposing legislation and setting the annual budget which must then be approved by Town Meeting.
The Town Meeting itself is an important part of Amherst’s political process as it allows residents to directly participate in their government by debating and voting on all major decisions regarding the budget, taxation, and zoning regulations.
At the state level, Amherst is represented by two State Senators and six State Representatives who serve constituencies within the town limits. All representatives are Democrats and have generally supported progressive policies such as universal healthcare, raising taxes on wealthy individuals, increasing investment in public education, and expanding access to reproductive health services.
Finally, at the federal level Amherst is represented by one Representative who serves Massachusetts’ First Congressional District which includes much of western Massachusetts. This Congressman has also been a strong advocate for progressive values such as protecting immigrants’ rights, expanding access to affordable healthcare, fighting climate change, protecting workers’ rights, and tackling income inequality.
Overall, Amherst’s strong commitment to progressive values has helped make it one of the most politically engaged towns in Massachusetts!