Buckland Massachusetts, 1890

Buckland is a pleasant farming town in the western part of Franklin County, 125 miles from Boston on the Fitchburg Railroad. This road crosses the northeast corner of the town, where the Buckland station is located ; but that of Shelburne Falls, on the eastern border, is also convenient. The post-office is Buckland, and the villages are the centre and Buckland Four Corners.

The surrounding towns are Charlemont on the north, Shelburne and Conway on the east, Ashfield on the south, and Hawley and Charlemont on the west. The beautiful Deerfield River forms the entire northern line, and taking a sharp turn south forms the line of Shelburne on the eastern side. It receives as tributaries in Buckland, beginning at the west, First, Second, Third, Ware's and Clark's brooks, and Clesson's River, which crosses the middle of the town from south to north, receiving Taylor's Brook on the way, and furnishing power for several mills.

The manufactures consist of cutlery (employing, in 1885, 216 persons), gimlets, some small machinery, lumber, stone, food preparations and silk goods ; the last employing 20 girls. The entire number of manufactories was 12, and the aggregate product $39,494. There are 153 farm; whose product for the same year was $143,671. The assessed area is 11,721 acres, which includes the 2,601 acres of woodland. The population, in 1885, was 1,760, which was sheltered in 338 houses. The valuation in 1888 was $527,168 ; with a tax-rate of $12.50 on $1,000. There are seven school-houses, valued at about $5,000.

The surface of the town is very uneven, and near the Deerfield River the scenery is charmingly picturesque. The geological structure is calciferous mica-schist and calcareous gneiss.

A Mr. White and Captain Nahum Ward were among the first settlers ; and the first child born here was Jonathan Ward.

The earlier name for this plantation was Notown ; and it once constituted a part of Charlemont. It was incorporated as the town of Buckland, April 14, 1779. A Congregational church was organized here in October, 1785, with 18 members. The first pastor was the Rev. Josiah Spaulding, who was held in great esteem. This church still continues ; and there is also one of the Methodists.

This town is the birthplace of Mary Lyon (1797-1849), the celebrated teacher and author.

p. 211 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890