Enfield, Massachusetts

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See Enfield, Connecticut for the town that was located in the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1683-1749.
"The end of Enfield." A photograph of downtown Enfield, sometime after 1938.

Enfield was a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, incorporated in 1816 from portions of Greenwich and Belchertown. It was named in honor of one of its early settlers, Robert Field.[1] General Joseph Hooker, Union general during the American Civil War, was once a resident, and his grandfather was once a town leader. It was centered at the junction of the east and west branches of the Swift River, and the Athol Branch of the Boston and Albany Railroad ran through the town. The town bordered six other towns - Belchertown, Pelham, Greenwich, Prescott, Ware, and Hardwick.

Enfield was disincorporated on April 28, 1938 and portions of the town were annexed to the adjacent towns of Belchertown, New Salem, Pelham, and Ware. (Not all of the former town is now in Hampshire County: the portion ceded to New Salem is now in Franklin County.) The headquarters of the Metropolitan District Commission during the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir was located in the former town hall, and was the last building razed in the Swift River Valley, in 1940. The majority of the town center now lies submerged beneath the reservoir, although the Quabbin Observatory and Enfield Lookout, located on scenic Quabbin Hill, as well as the main entrance and headquarters of Quabbin State Park, a popular tourist destination with an emphasis on state history and nature, are all within the former town's limits.

Enfield House, an on-campus living facility at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, is named after the former town.

Enfield in popular culture[edit]

  • Much of the novel Infinite Jest takes place in a city called Enfield, Mass., but geographic clues make clear that this is not a reference to the actual Enfield, and is instead a fictional stand-in for Brighton. The Enfield Tennis Academy and Ennet House, major locations in the novel, are located there.
  • Someday by Jackie French Koller is a children's book about the history of Enfield. It is about a girl who has to move from Enfield so they can flood the town to make a drinking water reservoir for Boston.

Quabbin towns that were disincorporated[edit]



  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 119. 

Source: Tougias, Michael. Quabbin: A History And Explorer's Guide. Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts: On Cape Publications, 2002.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°19′N 72°22′W / 42.317°N 72.367°W / 42.317; -72.367