Montgomery, MA is a small, rural and -- until recently -- a primarily farming community in Hampden County. With only 838 people across its 15 square miles, it has a population density of 43 people per square mile. The town is bordered by Southampton, Westfield, Russell, and Huntington. It is over 100 miles west of Boston, placing it closer to two other state capitals (Albany and Hartford) than the capital of its own state.
Located on top of a high plain, the town is surrounded by mountains: Lizzie, Tekoa, and Shatterack. There are several brooks running through town, as well as the Westfield Reservoir and Tekoa Reservoir. There are no major roads running through the town other than a very small portion of the Massachusetts turnpike. In fact only nine roads lead into the town at all.
Hampden County is the southernmost county in Massachusetts’s Pioneer Valley. Known for its fertile soil, the county has become an economic and cultural center for Western Mass.
This community was settled somewhat later than other Massachusetts towns in the area. Originally part of Westfield, it was known as “The New Addition” and settlers came here in 1767. It was then incorporated in 1780, and named after General Richard Montgomery, who served first in the British army, and then rose to prominence during the American Revolution. He led troops into Canada in 1775, capturing Fort St. Johns and Montreal. During the attack on Quebec City, he was killed.
Historically, and until quite recently, agricultural was not only the primary, but the only industry in town. Timber from the wooded lands was used to build homes and ship to other areas, while farmers grew grain and raised livestock. Today, our town has few businesses including home-based businesses, day cares, and a home construction business. There are no schools in town, and students attend a regional school district.
Until 1812, Hampden County was a part of the larger Hampshire County. However, when Northampton was granted the county seat, the county broke off around Springfield, a much faster-growing city. Today it is the most urban county in western Massachusetts, as well as the economic and cultural center of this part of the state.
With both Springfield and Hartford nearby, towns in Hampden County are considered part of the Knowledge Corridor. The partnership between the two large cities has blossomed, with Hartford taking over the business center, while Springfield flourishes in arts and recreation. Without much industry in the area itself, residents who do not farm can find work in one of these two cities, or in the surrounding towns. In this Knowledge Corridor, education, finance, construction, and many other industries can be successfully pursued, giving residents options beyond the farming found in town.
Montgomery, MA is a small close-knit town, proud of its traditions. With events such as the annual Memorial Day Parade, the town comes together to celebrate its history and traditions. While farming has long been the primary industry, residents can take advantage of the wide range of business and cultural opportunities that exist within the region.