Huntington Massachusetts, 1890
Huntington is a long, narrow, mountainous township in the extreme southwesterly part of Hampshire County; having, for its boundaries, Chesterfield on the north, Westhampton and Southampton on the east, Montgomery on the south, and Chester on the west. The assessed area is 14,794 acres. The northern part, being broken and mountainous, is without inhabitants, except along the valleys of the streams. The area of forest is 4,054 acres; the trees being chiefly beech, maple and chestnut.
The villages are Norwich (the centre), Knightville, Norwich Bridge, and Huntington Village in the southwest. The first is a post-office and the last a post-office and railway station. It is 119 miles west of Boston on the Boston and Albany Railroad. Rock House and two or three other hills on the east and west sides of the town have considerable altitude. Between them flows the Westfield River, slightly west of south; receiving near the border the nearly parallel affluents, Pond and Roaring brooks, on its eastern side, and Little River and Middle Branch River on the western. There are several good water-powers. Norwich Pond, in the northeast section, is a beautiful and valuable sheet of water, covering about one hundred acres.
The principal rock is calciferous mica-schist, in which are found apatite, black tourmaline, beryl, spodumene, blende, and quartz crystals. Good material for whetstones is also found. The soil is loam chiefly, and the arable parts yield good crops of hay, maize, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, potatoes and tobacco. Of maple sugar there have been made 13,895 pounds in a single season. There are 110 farms; and their products in the last census year reached the value of $98,764. The manufactures are woollen goods, paper, leather, lumber, whips, metallic goods, stonework, boots and shoes, flour and meal. Upwards of 80 persons are employed in the paper mill, and about 75 in the woollen mill. The value of the aggregate product, as reported in 1885, was $230,024. The population was 1,267, and the dwelling-houses 270. The valuation in 1888 was $482,395, and the tax-rate $18 on $1,000.
The village schools are graded; and occupy a portion of the large town-hall. Six other school buildings have a value of about $2,000. There are three Sunday-school libraries connected with the two Congregational and the Baptist churches. The Roman Catholics also have a church here.
This town was originally the eastern part of Murrayfield, and was incorporated June 20, 1773, under the name of "Norwich." This was changed, March 9, 1855, to its present name, in honor of Charles P. Huntington, of Northampton. The Rev. Stephen Tracey, settled in 1781, was the first minister. The first settlement was made at Pitcher Ridge, about 1760, by an Indian family bearing the name of Rhodes. Other early settlers were Caleb Fobes, William Miller and John Kirtland. During Shays' rebellion, a party of insurgents visited the town, and carried Captain Samuel Kirtland prisoner to Northampton, where, however, he was soon released. Huntington sent 120 men into the Union armies during the late war.
pp. 391-392 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890