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Leyden is a town in Franklin Countymarker, Massachusettsmarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 772 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusettsmarker Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Leyden was first settled in 1737 as part of "Fall Town," which also included Bernardston and Colrain. The town was set off from Bernardstown in 1784, but it was not incorporated until February 22, 1809. The town was named for the town of Leidenmarker, Netherlandsmarker, refuge of the Pilgrims before coming to the New World. Leyden had several small industries in the eighteenth century, including grist mills, wood product mills, and dairying, but today the largest industry is maple sugar production. The town also has a reservoir which supplies the town of Greenfield.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.0 square miles (46.6 km²), of which, 18.0 square miles (46.6 km²) of it is land and 0.06% is water. Leyden lies on the northern Massachusetts border, south of Windham Countymarker, Vermontmarker. The town is bordered by Guilfordmarker, Vermontmarker to the north, Bernardstonmarker to the east, Greenfieldmarker to the south, and Colrainmarker to the west. The town center lies nine miles north of Greenfield, 47 miles north of Springfieldmarker, and 96 miles west-northwest of Bostonmarker.

Leyden lies along the eastern edge of the Berkshiresmarker, with the town mostly lying along the valleys of the Green River (which also forms the western border) and the branches of the Glen Brook. The majority of the town away from the brooks is forested, and the town has a small state forest and a wildlife management area within its borders. The confluence of the main and east branches of Glen Brook is dammed to form the Greenfield Reservoir, before the book flows southward into Greenfield and meets the Green River.

Leyden is one of only a handful of towns in Massachusetts which does not have any state routes (nearly half of which are the island towns on Nantucketmarker, Martha's Vineyardmarker and the Elizabeth Islands). There are state routes, U.S. routes and interstates in the neighboring towns, with Interstate 91 passing to the south and east of town. The nearest bus service is in Greenfield, with the nearest passenger train service in Springfield and Pittsfieldmarker, and the nearest small air service in Turners Fallsmarker. The nearest national air service is at Bradley International Airportmarker in Windsor Locksmarker, Connecticutmarker.


As of the census of 2000, there were 772 people, 277 households, and 219 families residing in the town. By population, Leyden ranked 22nd out of the 26 towns in Franklin County, and 333rd out of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 42.9 people per square mile (16.6/km²), which ranked 18th in the county and 316th in the Commonwealth. There were 306 housing units at an average density of 17.0/sq mi (6.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.45% White, 0.39% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.13% Asian, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.26% of the population.

There were 277 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.2% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 16.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 30.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 102.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,385, and the median income for a family was $53,750. Males had a median income of $40,192 versus $29,659 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,076. About 3.4% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.


Leyden employs the open town meeting form of government, and is led by a board of selectmen and an administrative assistant. Leyden has its own police and fire departments, as well as a library connected to the regional library network and a post office. The nearest hospital, Franklin Medical Center, is in neighboring Greenfield, as are most of the nearest state services.

On the state level, Leyden is represented in the Massachusetts House of Representatives by the Second Berkshire district, which covers central Berkshire County, as well as portions of Hampshire and Franklin Counties. In the Massachusetts Senate, the town is represented by the Hampshire and Franklin district, which includes most of eastern Franklin County and much of eastern Hampshire County. The town is patrolled by the Second (Shelburne Falls) Station of Troop "B" of the Massachusetts State Police.

On the national level, Leyden is represented in the United States House of Representatives as part of Massachusetts's 1st congressional district, and has been represented by John Olver of Amherstmarker since June 1991. Massachusetts is represented in the United States Senate by senior Senator Ted Kennedy and junior Senator John Kerry.


Leyden is a member of the Pioneer Valley Regional School District, which includes several northern border towns to the east. The district is essentially operated in two portions; the towns each have their own semi-independent elementary schools, with students attending Pioneer Valley Regional High School in Northfieldmarker from seventh through twelfth grades. Students in Leyden attend the Pearl E. Rhodes Elementary School from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade. There are private, parochial and charter schools in Greenfield and other nearby communities, with the most prominent private school being Northfield Mount Hermon Schoolmarker in nearby Gillmarker.

The nearest community college, Greenfield Community Collegemarker, is located in Greenfield. The nearest state college is Massachusetts College of Liberal Artsmarker in North Adams, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nearest private colleges, including members of the Five Colleges and Seven Sisters, are located southeast in the Northampton area.

Notable Residents


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