About Springfield, Massachusetts
About Springfield, Massachusetts
About the City of Springfield, MA
Springfield, MA is known as the "City of Firsts" because of the many innovations that have taken place in this city. It's also known as the "City of Homes" for its Victorian style homes and architectures. There are three counties that make up Springfield MA Metropolitan area, also known as "Greater Springfield. These counties are Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin. Fifty two cities make up these 3 counties for a total population of 692,942 residents as of 2019. Springfield MA is the 3rd largest city in the state of Massachusetts.
What Is Springfield, MA Known For?
Springfield, Massachusetts is most famous for being the birthplace of basketball. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue is a historical museum.
Six Flags New England is perhaps the largest and most popular mega theme park and water park in New England featuring dozens of rides and games. Located in Agawan, MA of Greater Springfield Six Flags New England boast 63 total attractions and 12 roller coasters.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
A Little History About Springfield
Springfield is a major urban industrial center of metropolitan status at the junction of regional routes between Boston and New York. The city lies in the Connecticut River Valley, and was originally settled as a private plantation of the Massachusetts Bay colony by William Pynchon in 1636. Commercial trade was the main business of the city from its earliest history, beginning with Pynchon's fur trading with the Indians. Trading led to warehousing and increasing population spurred the establishment of a saw mill. A painful setback in development occurred in 1675, when raids during King Philip's war destroyed 45 of the 60 houses in the settlement, but the community recovered and the building of the county courthouse in 1723 and the U.S. Armory in 1794 boosted development.
"City of Firsts” – A moniker earned through a history of innovation.
Water-powered Blanchard lathe used for duplicating gun stocks from 1850's. Harpers Ferry Armory.
The "City of Firsts" Innovations
By 1820, Springfield's population of 3,914 made it the largest community in western Massachusetts. There were mills and cotton duck factories in town, but for 174 years, the armory remained the U.S. Army's primary design and production facility for small arms. This attracted skilled workers, among them inventor Thomas Blanchard who produced a steam motor carriage in 1826 and a steamboat on the river in 1828. David Ames established a paper mill and invented a cylinder paper machine in 1822, becoming the largest producer in the state. The railroad arrived in the 1830's and after 1859 the city became the hub of rail lines.
The Auto Industry Began in Springfield
Iron works in Springfield built bridges, trusses, locomotives and railroad coaches. The Civil War brought "intense and concentrated prosperity" to the city, according to historians. The city produced ammunition, uniforms and swords and employment at the armory leaped from 200 to 2600 when the army's other armory at Harper's Ferry was lost to the South. After the war, when many communities lost their industrial capacity, Springfield shifted to producing luxury and consumer goods such as parlor games, gold chains, ice skates and photo albums. Immigrants in the city came from Ireland, French Canada and Italy to work in diversified production of everything from lawnmowers to beer. The auto industry began in Springfield when Charles and Frank Duryea built the first American car in 1893 and won the first auto race in the country in 1895. The motorcycle industry also began in Springfield in 1902. In 1900 there were over 500 plants in the city, 10% of all such facilities in the entire state.
By the middle of the 20th century such companies as Westinghouse and Rolls Royce were located in Springfield, which remains in modern times a business and commercial hub of the area. It is located in southwestern Massachusetts, bordered by Agawam and West Springfield on the west, Chicopee and Ludlow on the north, Wilbraham on the east, and Longmeadow and East Longmeadow on the south. Springfield is 89 miles southwest of Boston; 25 miles from Hartford, Connecticut; and 134 miles from New York City. Narrative compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).