Leyden — Natural Features
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
Leyden, greater than Rome in one respect, is set upon more than a score of hills, which dot the town upon the north and the south, upon the east and the west. It occupies a region noted for its salubrious atmosphere and for its delightful landscapes. From the highest eminence, in the western part of the town, the view includes portions of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, an area of charming country in which mountains, valleys, and streams combine to present a picture of rare beauty.
A famous natural curiosity is Leyden Glen, on the south, near the Greenfield line. At this place the brook has worn a passage through the high rocks fifteen feet in width and from thirty to fifty feet in depth. This gorge, which is forty rods in length, is a wildly romantic spot, and the beautiful glen presents a delightful retreat, where tourists make annual summer pilgrimages. At the head of the glen the waters of the brook are confined within the limits of a reservoir, whence the village of Greenfield obtains an abundant supply of pure water.
Green River, which has its head-waters in Coleraine and Leyden (West Hollow Brook in the latter being one of its sources), flows southward and empties into the Deerfield River near Greenfield. Stone was quarried to some extent for the bridge of the Connecticut River Railroad Co. in Bernardston, but the lack of transportation facilities—Leyden having no railway communication—limits the usefulness of the quarry. A curiosity that has for years attracted wide attention is "the hanging rock," on the farm of Mr. Jonathan Budington. This rock, which weighs upward of twenty tons, and is so set that a slight pressure of the human hand moves without displacing it, is said to have maintained that condition since the year 1800.