|The Town of Conway (37.8 square miles) lies in the foothills of the Berkshires just west of the Connecticut River Valley, a region rich in agriculture. It is the 4th largest in area of all towns in Franklin County and is the 11th most populous (1990 census). Conway shares boundaries with seven other towns: Buckland and Shelburne Falls to the north, Deerfield to the east and north, Whately and Williamsburg to the south, and Ashfield and Goshen to the west. It is the first hilltown northbound on State Route 116. Three miles east of the town line, Route 116 intersects Interstate 91, a north-south connection to nearby Greenfield and Northampton. Fifteen miles further east is Amherst, home to the University of Massachusetts and other colleges.|
HISTORIES OF THE TOWNS OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
|Heritage Surveys, Inc. is building a compilation of historical pictures and sketches of the towns of Western Massachusetts from its archives of ephemera and books. This is a work in progress.|
Conway is a country of hills, and occupies, a region noted for its salubrious atmossphere.
The most conspicuous elevations are Dry, Pine, Cricket, and Poplar Hills, from whose summits
fine scenic views may be obtained. The Deerfield River forms the northeastern boundary, and
flowing through the town is a valuable mill-stream called the South River, which, rising in
Ashfield, passes east to Conway Centre, and thence north and east, and empties into the
Deerfield River. Bear River and Roaring Brook are the only other noticeable mill-streams.
Native alum, fluor-spar, galena, mica slate, black limestone, and other minerals are
sometimes found, but in no considerable quantities.
Many interesting stories are still extant of the peculiar
experiences that beset the early settlers of Conway, and the primitive
conveniences with which they were compelled to make existence endurable.
Of one, William Warren, it is said that his entire stock of goods, upon
which to begin farming consisted of a cow, an axe, how, chain, and one
"bung town copper." Oxen or horses were among the sighed-for but unattainable
things, and carrying grist to mill upon his back was, if not a favorite
performance by the settler of the period, a common one.
The first action taken by the town touching matters which led to the war of '76 was Aug. 5, 1774, when, the pamphlet from the Boston committee of correspondence being considered, a committee, consisting of Captain French, Deacon Wells, Robert Oliver, Mathew Gould, and Consider Arms, was chosen and instructed to prepare a way, which they did in the following:
"Having read and considered th letters sent us from
Boston, respecting the rights of the colonies and the infringements
of those rights, we fully agree with you that those rights and privileges
are invaded, and of this province in particular. We shall join with
you in all lawful and salutary measures for the recovery of those inestimable
privileges wrested from us and firmly to secure those that remain, for
we are sensible that should we renounce our liberties and privileges
we should renounce the quality of men and the rights of humanity. We
fully pay our proportion of money desired by the General Court, in order
to the support of the Hon. Committee of Congress, greatly relying and
depending upon their resolutions."
TOWNS OF HAMPSHIRE COUNTY IN WESTERN MASSASCHUSETTS
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The land surveyors and professionals of Heritage Surveys, Inc. both work and live in the towns of Western Massachusetts. After thirty years of working closely with the many commitees and individuals of the diverse towns and cities of Western Massachusetts, Heritage Surveys, Inc. knows how to get the job done. We have worked with the homeowner, the Select Board, the Zoning Board, the Conservation Commission, the real estate professional, the land developer and the economic planner. Land surveying and site development require a knowledge of many diverse disciplines and intricacies including soil evaluation, perc tests for septic design, aerial photogrammetry, historical deed research, cad design, stormwater runoff impact, compliance with the Wetlands Protection Act and knowledge of local zoning regulations. Heritage Surveys, Inc. has a unique knowledge and added interest in the area as reflected in their interest in local ephemera, history, and books. Heritage Surveys, Inc also runs Heritage Books (www.heritagebks.com), a repository of thousands of books and pieces of ephemera, many related to Western Massachusetts.