Greenfield is a city in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. Greenfield was first settled in 1686. The population was 17,456 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Franklin County. Greenfield is home to Greenfield Community College, the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, and the Franklin County Fair. The city has a Main Street Historic District containing fine examples of Federal, Greek Revival, and Victorian architecture.
Historic Sites & Museums
Pocumtuck Indians first settled and originally inhabited the Greenfield area. Native American artifacts found in the area have been dated between 7,000 to 9,000 years BCE. The Pocumtucks planted field crops and fished local rivers but were wiped out by the Mohawks in 1664. Thereafter, the newly unoccupied area — being the eastern terminus of the Mohawk Trail, a principal route for Native American trade traveling west into New York — was colonized as part of Deerfield by the English in 1686. In 1753, Greenfield, named for the Green River, was incorporated as a separate town from Deerfield.
In 1795 the South Hadley Canal opened, enabling boats to bypass the South Hadley falls and reach Greenfield via the Connecticut River. Located at the confluence of the Deerfield and Green rivers, and not far from where they merge into the Connecticut River, Greenfield developed into a trade center. Falls provided water power for industry, and Greenfield grew into a prosperous mill town. John Russell established the Green River Works in 1834, hiring skilled German workers at what was the country's first cutlery factory. The Connecticut River Railroad was the first of several railways to enter the town, replacing the former canal trade. During the 19th and 20th centuries, Greenfield was one of the most important American centers of the tap and die business and was the home of Greenfield Tap & Die Company (GTD).
It was designated the county seat when Franklin County was created from Hampshire County in 1811.