OUTLINE SKETCHES OF THE
40, 50, 60, and 80acre grants; "according to the quality, estate, usefulness, and other considerations of such persons as the committee approved."
From 1670 to 1674 inclusive, 38 grants were made, and so many desired to settle in the new Town, that the Committee
"determined to fill up the place to one Hundred Familes." These expectations were suddenly extinguished by the breaking out of King Philip's war, in the summer of 1675. During this war the Town was abandoned, and its settlement was
not resumed until the spring of 1677.
From September, 1674, to February, 1676, no grants were made; at the close of the war, most of the planters returned.
Major Pynchon's saw-mill was burned,* and some dwellings ¥
of the settlers. After the war the Town was rapidly resettled, and January 2,
1682, the Committee finished their labors of making grants to settlers, and March 9 following, a meeting of the qualified voters was assembled by their order, to whom was left the
"managing of all ye affaires of ye Towne henceforward." Two hundred and four years have passed away, and without exception the little "Town Meeting"
has annually assembled to choose its own rulers, and manage its own affairs according to law.
No settlement was probably made under the grants of 1670 or '71 and '72, until the spring of 1673, at that time Major
had completed a saw-mill near the mouth of "Stony River,"' and a
dwelling-house near it.
Samuel Marshfield of Springfield, was employed by Major Pynchon as land measurer, to lay out the Town, and to measure out, and allot to the settlers their lands. He was afterward, at the first Town Meeting, chosen to be land measurer, "particularly to perfect all of old
wch he had taken in hand, also any new to be measured."
In 1682 the General Court of Massachusetts § ordered that country grants of Lands should
be surveyed only by surveyors on oath
and Samuel Marshfield was appointed surveyor in Hampshire County.
The manner of division was peculiar. The first applicant had the first choice of location. Each could have a homestead or house lot, a home lot, a meadow, and some upland.
The area of meadow within the Town was estimated at five hundred acres.
* Maj. Pynchon's Letter to his son.
¥ Judd's Hadley.
§ Mass. Col. Rec., Vol. 5.
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Copyright September 1999 ©, Kathy
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