Northfield — Villages
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
The villages in Northfield are three, and they are called Northfield Village, West Northfield, and Northfield Farms.
Northfield Village, or Northfield Street, as it is sometimes designated (a station on the New London Northern Railroad), is the most important of the three, and is, moreover, the point where the early settlements of the town concentrated. The inhabitants reside chiefly upon one broad, handsome thoroughfare, known as the "Street," which extends nearly north and south, and which for the space of about a mile is shaded upon either side by noble elms and prettily embellished by numerous tasteful dwellings. The village is a place of popular resort in the summer, when, decked with leafy richness and blooming with bounteous natural beauty, it is indeed an inviting spot.
The Connecticut River flows along the village front, and majestic hills, rearing their heads in the near background and in the distance as far as the eye can reach, complete a picture such as Nature presents when she is seen at her best.
The population of the village is about 500, and there are also within its limits two churches, three stores, a town-hall, one hotel, a Masonic hall, a school, an agricultural-implement manufactory, a post-office, and a public library.
Here also is one of the oldest Masonic lodges in Massachusetts, the Harmony Lodge, organized in 1796, with a present membership of 75. This is said to be about the only lodge that withstood the anti-Masonic wave which rolled over Western Massachusetts in 1826-30.
A grange flourished here some years ago, but has latterly shown symptoms of a serious decline.
The village was visited by a disastrous fire on the night of Dec. 18, 1878, when L. T. Webster's store and the post-office were completely destroyed, and a loss entailed to the amount of $9000.
West Northfield is a small settlement in the north, adjoining the Vermont State line, and west of the Connecticut River, which, at this point, divides the town. The Connecticut River Railroad and New London Northern Railroad connect at this point. There are in the village a store, school, and post-office, and a population devoted almost exclusively to agricultural pursuits.
Northfield Farms, in the southwest, a station on the New London Northern Railroad, is, as its name implies, peopled with agriculturists, and has but one store, in which the post-office is located.
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