Northampton, Massachusetts

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Nickname : Hamp, NoHo
Northampton ma highlight.png
Location in Massachusetts
Basic data
Foundation : 1654
State : United States
State : Massachusetts
County : Hampshire County
Coordinates : 42 ° 20 ′  N , 72 ° 39 ′  W Coordinates: 42 ° 20 ′  N , 72 ° 39 ′  W
Time zone : Eastern ( UTC − 5 / −4 )
Residents : 28,978 (as of: 2000)
Population density : 324.5 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 92.2 km 2  (about 36 mi 2 ) of
which 89.3 km 2  (about 34 mi 2 ) are land
Height : 43 m
Postal code : 01060
Area code : +1 413
FIPS : 25-46330
GNIS ID : 0606674
Website :
Mayor : David Narkewicz

Northampton is a city in Hampshire County in the US state of Massachusetts . With around 29,000 inhabitants, the city is the administrative center of Hampshire County. The city is significant as the seat of several prestigious colleges and schools as well as the adjacent University of Massachusetts in the neighboring city of Amherst. Northampton is on the Connecticut River .


Northampton is located in western Massachusetts on the Connecticut River . The city has a total area of ​​92.2 km². The Northampton metropolitan area includes the parishes of Florence, Bay State and Leeds. It is bordered to the north by the towns of Hatfield and Williamsburg, to the west by Westhampton, to the east by Hadley and to the south by Easthampton. Northampton is located in a fertile, wooded valley, the so-called Pioneer Valley.

Economy and history

Northampton, main street

Northampton was founded in 1654 by Puritan settlers from neighboring Springfield . However, the history of the settlement is much older. Pocumtuc , Mahican and Mohawk tribes had lived there for several thousand years. The city name Northampton was based on the Indian names Norwottuck and Nonotuck and the English sister city. Witch trials took place in the city in the 18th century .

In the early 19th century, the city experienced its first boom due to its geographic location between Boston, New York and New Haven. Immigrant craftsmen and farmers from Poland and Ireland made the city a center of the textile and agricultural machine industries.

With the expansion of traffic (canal connection and railroad) in the middle of the 19th century, the further economic rise began. Towards the end of the century, the foundation stone was laid for Northampton, which is still an important university location today.

Smith College , which is still important today, was founded in 1871 . 1886 the Forbes Library . Further schools were founded. In 1891 the first urban music theater in the USA, the Academy of Music, was founded here.

The town's most famous son is Calvin Coolidge , who lived there for most of his life. In the 1910s, the future US president was mayor. He also lived in the city as president. Many buildings, institutions and streets bear his name.

To this day, Northampton has been spared an economic decline (textile industry) in contrast to many neighboring cities. The city has become a magnet for many intellectuals and artists from all over the USA thanks to its many upscale educational opportunities and its left-wing liberal political climate.

Population development


According to a 2000 survey, Northampton has 28,978 people; there are 11,880 households and 5,880 families. The proportion of lesbians in Northampton is significantly higher than in most other US cities. The majority of the population is white (90.01%), with 2.08% African American, 0.30% Native American, 3.13% Asian, 0.05% from the Pacific islands and 2, 41% described themselves as "other". Hispanics or Latinos make up 5.24% of the population.

In Northampton, of the 11,880 households, approximately 22.9% have children under the age of 18, 36.7% are married couples, 10.1% are single women, and 50.5% are non-family households. 37.3% are single households and 10.7% of people over 65 live alone. An average household consists of 2.14 people, an average family of 2.87 people. There are more women than men in Northampton.

Lesbian community

Northampton is a liberal mecca in Massachusetts thanks to 5 colleges and the largest community for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexuals. Smith College has a very active lesbian community and some female-to-male transgender students. Smith College is a central part of Northampton's cultural scene.


Northampton has been ruled by Mayor Mary Clare Higgins ( Democratic Party ) since 1999 .

The City Government consists of the elected mayor, the nine elected representatives (the Council), the City Clerk and the Treasurer. All representatives are elected for two years.

Northampton is home to a number of NGOs , including the Bill of Rights Defense Committee , Free Press, and the Freedom Center.

Sights and culture

Northampton is a tourist attraction in western Massachusetts. Numerous, well-preserved buildings from the turn of the century line up along the main street, Main Street . In addition to the Academy of Music , the Coolidge Theater, Coolidge Memorial Room, Smith College Campus and the Forbes Library, there are many architecturally interesting buildings. Many cafes, restaurants, galleries and illustrious retailers enliven the city center. The city prides itself on its colorful nightlife with numerous music clubs. It was in these clubs that some of the careers of well-known independent bands such as Sonic Youth , Dinosaur Jr. and Dog Eat Dog began. Several cultural festivals and one of the oldest agricultural fairs in the USA (Three County Fair) shape cultural life. The senior choir Young @ Heart also became known .

The park-like grounds of Smith College , the banks of the Connecticut River, several attractive bike paths, e.g. B. to the neighboring town of Amherst (university) and the numerous nature reserves shape the natural character of the city.

sons and daughters of the town