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The New England Peace Pagoda in Leverett
Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||23.0 sq mi (59.5 km2)|
|• Land||22.9 sq mi (59.2 km2)|
|• Water||0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)|
|Elevation||438 ft (134 m)|
|• Density||82/sq mi (32/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0618168|
According to the Massachusetts FCCC, Leverett was first settled in the 17th century when pioneers developed the Swampfield Plantation. The first permanent settlement, however, was not established until 1750, and the settlers officially petitioned Sunderland to become their own town in 1774. The town was named for John Leverett, the twentieth governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
In 1985, a Buddhist monastic order called Nipponzan Myohoji erected a large monument in Leverett. This structure, known as the New England Peace Pagoda, is considered the first of its kind in North America. Two historic Evangelical churches are also located in Leverett, North Leverett Baptist and Moores Corner Church which was founded by a protégé of Evangelist D.L. Moody.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 23.0 square miles (60 km2), of which 22.9 square miles (59 km2) are land and 0.1-square-mile (0.26 km2) (0.61%) is water. Leverett is located on the edge of the Pioneer Valley and the hills of northwestern Massachusetts, just east of the Connecticut River. The southwestern corner of town is relatively flat plains, while the rest is dominated by hills, the tallest of which is Brushy Mountain, with an elevation of 1,260 feet (380 m).
Several brooks drain through the town, all heading toward the Connecticut River. Leverett Pond is the town's largest body of water, lying near the center of town. A small part of Mount Toby State Forest crosses into the town from the west. The town's most famous geological feature, however, is Rattlesnake Gutter, a boulder-filled chasm near the geographic center of town.
Leverett is located along the southern border of Franklin County, north of Hampshire County. The town is bordered by Montague to the north, Wendell to the northeast, Shutesbury to the east, Amherst to the south, and Sunderland to the west. There are four small villages in the town, Leverett Center, East Leverett, North Leverett and Moores Corner. North Leverett begins at the intersection of Montague Road and Cave Hill Road, extending north to the Montague and Wendell borders. From Leverett Center, Leverett is 14 miles (23 km) south-southeast of the county seat of Greenfield, 27 miles (43 km) north of Springfield, and 86 miles (138 km) west of Boston.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,663 people, in 632 households, and 448 families residing in the town. The population density was 72.8 people per square mile (28.1/km²). There were 648 housing units at an average density of 28.4 per square mile (10.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.31% White; 0.24% African American; 0.54% Native American; 1.38% Asian; 1.62% from other races; and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.44% of the population.
Of the 632 households, 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living in them; 58.5% were married couples living together; 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present; and 29.0% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the town the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24; 22.1% from 25 to 44, 35.7% from 45 to 64; and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.
The median income for a household was $63,203, and the median income for a family was $73,333. Males had a median income of $45,078 versus $36,607 for females. The per capita income for the town was $31,891. About 1.6% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.
There are no interstates or limited-access highways in the town; the nearest, Interstate 91, lies west of town, across the Connecticut River. The only state route to pass through town, Route 63, runs through the western side of town, heading from Amherst into Montague. The route is closely mirrored by the New England Central Railroad line. A connecting bus route between Greenfield and Amherst, provided by the Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA), passes through the town, but there are no regularly scheduled stops. The nearest general aviation airport is Turners Falls Airport in Montague, and the nearest national air service is at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Leverett, Massachusetts.|
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