Chief town, Hampden county. This is one of the most beautiful and important inland towns in New England. It is situated on the east bank of Connecticut river, and is supplied with a good hydraulic power by Chickopee and Mill rivers. It is 87 miles W. by S. from Boston, 17 S. by E. from Northampton, and 27 N. from Hartford, Ct. Its Indian name was Agawam. First settled, 1635. Incorporated, 1645. Population, 1820, 3,914; 1830, 6,784; 1837, 9,234. Along the banks of the Connecticut are large tracts of fine alluvial meadow, which are very productive. Back from the river the land rises by a gentle acclivity to an extended pine plain.
The village and business part of the town is on a street between 2 and 3 miles in length, running parallel with the river. This village is very pleasant, well built, and contains many beautiful buildings. A handsome bridge, 1,234 feet in length, connects this town with West Springfield. Boats for the transportation of passengers, and for towing freight boats, are continually plying between this place and Hartford, during the season of navigation. The rail road from Boston to Albany will pass through Springfield, which, with the great natural advantages it possesses, must render it one of the most important commercial depots on Connecticut river.
About 4 miles north of the principal village, near the confluence of Chickopee river with the Connecticut, stands the neat and enterprising village of Chickopee, one of the most beautifully located villages in New England.
The United States Arsenal is delightfully situated on an elevated plain about half a mile east of the principal village. The buildings are arranged with great taste and judgement, around a level square of 20 acres, and make a fine appearance. The buildings are all of brick; on one of which is a cupola, from which an extensive and delightful view of Connecticut river and the surrounding country is presented. The water works are situated on Mill river, about a mile south of the arsenal. This establishment was founded in 1795, and is considered the most important arsenal of construction in the United States. There are 260 men constantly employed in the various branches of this manufacture. In 1837, the lands and buildings attached to this establishment were valued at $210,000; machinery, $50,000; 170,000 muskets on hand, $2,040,000; muskets manufactured during the year ending April 1, 1837, 14,000, valued at $154,000: amount of ordnance and stock on hand, $80,000.
An establishment for the manufacture of brass cannon, employing 25 hands, lately commenced by a private company, will manufacture cannon to the amount of $50,000 per annum.
There are in Springfield 7 cotton and 4 paper mills, 3 tanneries, and manufactures of iron castings, cutlery, ploughs, chairs, cabinet and tin wares, boots, shoes, cards, hard ware, steam boats, joiners tools, paper machinery, shuttles, bobbins, rifles, stoves, machinery, swords, &c. The total value of the manufactures of Springfield for the year ending April 1, 1837, exclusive of those by the U.S., amounted to $1,709,700.