Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||30.9 sq mi (80.0 km2)|
|• Land||30.9 sq mi (79.9 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.1 km2)|
|Elevation||1,752 ft (534 m)|
|• Density||11/sq mi (4.2/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0619380|
Hawley was first settled in 1760 as Plantation Number 7, by a group from Hatfield. The town was called the "Hatfield Reserve" until it was officially incorporated in 1792. The town was named for Joseph Hawley of Northampton, a local leader in the American Revolution. Hawley's main industries were forestry and, eventually, recreation. The town originally included the land of its neighbor, Plainfield, which split off in the early nineteenth century.
Today, the town has very little industry. There are a few remaining farms, artisans and small businesses, though most people commute from the town, work from home or work for municipalities. The town has no gas stations, convenience stores, or liquor stores. Hawley does not have a police department, but does have a fire department.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 30.9 square miles (80 km2), of which 30.9 square miles (80 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.06%) is water. The town is located at the southwest corner of Franklin County, with Hampshire County to the south and Berkshire County to the west. The town is bordered by Charlemont to the north, Buckland to the east, Ashfield to the southeast, Plainfield to the south, and Savoy to the west. Hawley is located 22 miles (35 km) west of Greenfield, 45 miles (72 km) north-northwest of Springfield, and 110 miles (180 km) west-northwest of Boston.
Hawley is located among the northern Berkshires, with the northern edge of town falling to the valley of the Deerfield River. Several brooks and the Chickley River flow into the river through town. The town is home to Hawley Bog, one of the few bogs in Massachusetts to be preserved in its natural state. There are several small peaks in town, with the highest being Parker Hill to the south. The hill lies within Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest, which has several recreation sites for all seasons. Mohawk Trail State Forest also extends into the town from Charlemont and Savoy, in the northwest corner of town. Between the two forests lies Stump Sprout Cross-Country Ski Area, which also provides other recreational activities off-season. A portion of Berkshire East Ski Area also lies within town, with the base of the area being in Charlemont.
The main road through town is Massachusetts Route 8A, which connects Route 116 to the south with Route 2 to the north. Route 2, the Mohawk Trail, passes just north of the town line for most of the town border. The nearest interstate, Interstate 91, can be accessed in nearby Greenfield. There is no rail, air or bus service in town. The town is roughly equidistant from the two nearest points for rail and air service, Greenfield and North Adams. The nearest Amtrak service is in Pittsfield, and the nearest national air service is at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 336 people, 137 households, and 99 families residing in the town. By population, Hawley ranks 25th out of the 26 towns in Franklin County, and 347th out of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 10.9 people per square mile (4.2/km²), which ranked 25th in the county and 348th in the Commonwealth. There were 192 housing units at an average density of 6.2 per square mile (2.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.32% White, 0.30% African American, 0.89% Asian, and 1.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.30% of the population.
There were 137 households out of which 29.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.0% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.85.
In the town, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 3.0% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 108.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.8 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $38,125, and the median income for a family was $46,875. Males had a median income of $30,833 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,333. About 11.8% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.3% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
Hawley employs the open town meeting form of government, and is led by a board of selectmen and an administrative assistant. The town only has two full-time employees with most being part-time or volunteer, as in the case with the fire department and emergency services. There is no library or post office in Hawley; neighboring Charlemont provides these services. The nearest hospitals are in Greenfield and North Adams.
On the state level, Hawley is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as part of the Second Berkshire district, represented by Paul Mark, which covers central Berkshire County, as well as portions of Hampshire and Franklin Counties. In the Massachusetts Senate, the town is part of the Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin district, represented by Ben Downing, which includes all of Berkshire County and the western portions of Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The town is patrolled by the Second (Shelburne Falls) Station of Troop "B" of the Massachusetts State Police.
On the national level, Hawley is represented in the United States House of Representatives as part of Massachusetts's 1st congressional district, and has been represented by Richard Neal of Springfield since January 2013. Massachusetts is currently represented in the United States Senate by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey.
Hawley and neighboring Charlemont make up the Hawlemont Regional School District, a sub-district of the nine-town Mohawk Trail Regional School District, which serves much of western Franklin County. Town students attend the Hawlemont Regional Elementary School in Charlemont from pre-kindergarten through sixth grades, and all students in the district attend Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland. There is a private academy, the Academy at Charlemont, in Charlemont as well, and other private and religious schools are in nearby towns.
The nearest community college, Greenfield Community College, is located in Greenfield. The nearest state college is Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nearest private college is Williams College in Williamstown, with several others located southeast in the Northampton area.
David Dunnels White, Medal of Honor nominee, for the capture of Major General Custis Lee, son of Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Sailors Creek, Virginia, April 6, 1865. He is buried in the Bozrah cemetery in East Hawley.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): Hawley town, Franklin County, Massachusetts". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 152.
- Town of Hawley - Franklin Co. Chamber of Commerce
- "Total Population (P1), 2010 Census Summary File 1". American FactFinder, All County Subdivisions within Massachusetts. United States Census Bureau. 2010.
- "Massachusetts by Place and County Subdivision - GCT-T1. Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1990 Census of Population, General Population Characteristics: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1990. Table 76: General Characteristics of Persons, Households, and Families: 1990. 1990 CP-1-23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1980 Census of the Population, Number of Inhabitants: Massachusetts" (PDF). US Census Bureau. December 1981. Table 4. Populations of County Subdivisions: 1960 to 1980. PC80-1-A23. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1950 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. 1952. Section 6, Pages 21-10 and 21-11, Massachusetts Table 6. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1930 to 1950. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1920 Census of Population" (PDF). Bureau of the Census. Number of Inhabitants, by Counties and Minor Civil Divisions. Pages 21-5 through 21-7. Massachusetts Table 2. Population of Counties by Minor Civil Divisions: 1920, 1910, and 1920. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1890 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. Pages 179 through 182. Massachusetts Table 5. Population of States and Territories by Minor Civil Divisions: 1880 and 1890. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1870 Census of the Population" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1872. Pages 217 through 220. Table IX. Population of Minor Civil Divisions, &c. Massachusetts. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1860 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1864. Pages 220 through 226. State of Massachusetts Table No. 3. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- "1850 Census" (PDF). Department of the Interior, Census Office. 1854. Pages 338 through 393. Populations of Cities, Towns, &c. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- List of Massachusetts Legislators by City and Town
- Station B-2, SP Shelburne Falls
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