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Franklin County




The Town of Leyden is one of the northernmost towns in Massachusetts and

abuts Vermont. It is an isolated rural hill town on the suburban corridor

from Greenfield to Vermont and residents are proud of its lofty location in

the southern highlands of the Green Mountains. The town was named for a

town in Holland.

Settlement began late in Leyden because of the uplands, the absence of high

quality agricultural land and its exposure to Indian attack. The

settlement of the community in the early 1740's was not followed by any

real growth until the end of the French and Indian wars brought peace and

safety to the area. One of the earliest industries in town was

cheesemaking. Famous sons of Leyden include John Riddell, the inventor of

the binocular microscope, and Henry Kirke Brown, sculptor of the Washington

and Lincoln statutes at West Point and in the Capitol.

The town was the site of a Dorrite religious community established in 1792

and the entirely agricultural character these new residents found in the

18th century essentially extended into the 20th century. The town is still

agricultural, producing beef, pork, wool and butter and making maple sugar.

(Seal supplied by community. Narrative based on information

provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission)



Northwestern Massachusetts, bordered by Guilford, Vermont, on the north;

Bernardston on the east; Greenfield on the southeast; and Colrain on the

southwest and west. Leyden is 52 miles north of Springfield and 110 miles

northwest of Boston.

Total Area: 18.00 sq. miles

Land Area: 17.99 sq. miles

Population: 662

Density: 37 per sq. mile

(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

Colrain, Bernardston

Regional Planning Agency

Franklin County

Metropolitan Statistical Area
(1993 Definition)


Municipal Offices

Main Number: (413) 774-4111

Telephone Numbers for Public Information
Form of Government

Board of Selectmen

Administrative Assistant

Open Town Meeting

Year Incorporated

As a town: 1809

Registered Voters (Secretary of State 1994)
Number %

Total Registered 394

Democrats 67 17.0 %

Republicans 70 17.8 %

Other parties 0 0.0 %

Unenrolled Voters 257 65.2 %


Senators and Representatives by City and Town



Home Sales (Banker & Tradesman)-

Town Stats - Free market Statistics

Subsidized Housing Units (DHCD 1998)

DHCD Subsidized Housing Inventory

Subsidized Housing Units: The number of housing units which count toward the municipality's 10% goal for low- and moderate-income housing. It includes both subsidized affordable units and market rate units in certain eligible subsidized developments.

Public Housing Units (DHCD 1999)
Conventional State: 0

Conventional Federal: 0

Rental Assistance(DHCD 1999)

State (MRVP: 0

Federal (Section 8): 0



The major axes of transportation in Franklin County, where Leyden is

located, are State Route 2 and Interstate Route 91, which follows the

Connecticut River. The region is well-served by rail. The Springfield

Terminal Railway lines (the former Boston and Maine Railroad) parallel the

two major highways, and the Central Vermont Railway's main line passes N-S

through the eastern portion of the county.

Major Highways

There are no state highways in Leyden. Local roads provide access to U.S.

Route 5 in nearby Bernardston and to Interstate 91 in Greenfield.


There is no passenger or freight rail service in Leyden, but the network of

intermodal facilities serving Massachusetts is easily accessible.


Leyden is not affiliated with a regional transit authority.


The Turners Falls Municipal Airport, a General Aviation (GA) facility, is

easily accessible. It has a 3,013'x 75' asphalt runway. Instrument

approaches available: Non-precision.


Board of Library Commissioners On-line Library Catalog

(American Association of Museums)



Telephone Numbers for Public Information

Recreational Facilities(Recreational sites and activities)

Department of Environmental Management Recreation Section


(Dept. of Public Health 1992)



Long Term Care




Rest Homes



Telephone Numbers for Public Utilities


The Department of Housing and Community Development would like to thank the many government agencies noted as having provided information for the community profiles. In addition to these agencies, the Regional Transit Authorities assisted with the transportation component of the profiles. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of many city and town officials, which enabled us to include information obtainable only at the local level. DHCD would also like to thank the following individuals for providing special help: Leslie A. Kirwan, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Local Services, Department of Revenue; Richard Shibley, Deputy Secretary of State; Bob Beattie of the Department of Public Health; Charles W. Clifford from the Martha's Vineyard Commission; Dennis Coffey of the Executive Office of Transportation and Construction; Donna Fletcher and Christian Jacqz of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs; James Griffin from the MBTA; Karen Loh from Banker & Tradesman; Todd Maio from the Department of Welfare; Geoffrey Morton from the Election Division of the Secretary of State's Office; Stephen R. Muench of the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission; Rol Murrow of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Mary Ann Neary and Emmanuelle Fletcher, reference librarians at the State House Library; Jeff Nellhaus from the Department of Education; and George Sanborn, reference librarian at the State Transportation Library.

NOTE: The COMMUNITY PROFILE draws information from a diversity of sources. The main source of information is listed under each section. In some instances comments submitted by the municipality were incorporated to correct and/or enhance the information obtained from the main source. However, no changes were made to those data bases which must be consistent throughout the state. DHCD has made efforts to ensure the accuracy of all data in the COMMUNITY PROFILES, but cannot take responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of the information contained in this document.

Department of Housing and Community Development

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