Deerfield — Division Of The Town

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      In 1743 the inhabitants of Green River began to move for a division of the town, that they may be set off into a separate municipality, by the name of Cheapside, and in November asked by petition to the town that the dividing line be Deerfield River, from its mouth to Sheldon's Brook; thence up that brook west to the seven-mile line. The town refused. After the peace of 1748 the question again came up. The old town was willing to divide, the boundary to be the north line of the old Dedham 8000-acre grant. Greenfield insisted on the river and brook, as before. This matter was finally, in 1753, left to a committee of three from towns below, who reported on the 10th of April that the south boundary should be the 8000-acre line, the west to include one tier of lots beyond the seven-mile line. More trouble grew out of the disposition of the sequestered ministerial lands in Cheapside, with contests at home, in the Legislature, and civil courts, which were not settled until 1772. Greenfield, still coveting Cheapside, has made several severe legislative struggles for its annexation, but the mother-town has always successfully defended the integrity of the ancient boundary.
      In 1759 a controversy arose with Hatfield about the boundary between the towns, which was unsettled and caused considerable trouble until 1766, when it was fixed to start from the place where the Pocomptuck path crossed the Weekioannuck Brook, and run westward parallel to the south line of Hatfield.
      It was not until the conquest of Canada that men began to locate in "Deerfield Southwest," but the district filled up very rapidly, and in 1767 Conway was set off as a town. "Deerfield Pasture" or "Deerfield Northwest" was inhabited before the last French war, but no permanent settlement was made there until about 1762. A thriving colony soon grew up on her fertile hills, and Shelburne became independent of the mother-town in 1769. Gill, set off from Greenfield in 1793, is the youngest daughter of old Pocomptuck; perhaps Gill might be more properly called a grandchild. Minor changes have been made in the lines between Whately, Conway, and this town, which cannot be noted here, or the several attempts of Bloody Brook to be set off as a town.

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