- Pioneer Valley
. A group of businessmen interested in promoting tourism gave the name to the region in 1939.
The Pioneer Valley covers approximately the second lowest quarter of the
Connecticut River Valley, an ancient Rift Valleycreated by the breakup of the supercontinent Pangeaalong the Mid-Atlantic Ridgeduring the Triassicand Jurassicperiods of the MesozoicEra. The Connecticut Riverhas been flowing through the Valley for millions of years, and was dammed to form glacial lakeHitchcock during the last ice age.
Geologically interesting parts of the valley are the
basaltflows and dinosaur tracks in South Hadley, a chain of basaltic traprock ridges along the ancient tectonic rift including the Mount Holyokeand Mount Tomranges, layers of rock deposit laid down by the river, and the Lake Hitchcock varves and deltas.
The river valley and the neighboring Hill Towns comprise the entirety of the Pioneer Valley.
The ethnic and racial diversity varies greatly between urban and rural areas. Fact|date=February 2007Although long predominantly European-American, the region is rapidly growing in non-European diversity in urban areas, notably in
Latinopopulation. Fact|date=February 2007 Among the European-American community, the population reflects the British Isles background of the original settlers and the immigrant population through the late-1800s, with large numbers of individuals with backgrounds of Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, French Canadian, and Greek heritage. Fact|date=February 2007 The Latino community has a significant Puerto Rican community. Fact|date=February 2007 Amherst is home to the largest number of Asian-Americans, as well as South and East Asians. Fact|date=February 2007. Russian and Ukrainian immigrants from the former Soviet Union are increasing in Springfield and surrounding communities.
The most well-known are the members of the Five Colleges consortium:
Mount Holyoke College
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Other four-year colleges include:
American International College
Bay Path College
Western New England College
Westfield State College
Dedicated Graduate Schools include:
Conway School of Landscape Design Community colleges in the area include:
Greenfield Community College
Holyoke Community College
Springfield Technical Community College
In addition, there are private middle and high schools in the area, including:
Northfield Mount Hermon
Williston Northampton School
The Bement School
Academy at Charlemont
Cathedral High School (Springfield, Massachusetts)
The Pioneer Valley is sometimes known to its inhabitants as "Happy Valley", but more typically residents refer to it simply as "the Valley." It is the "valley full o' Pioneer" in "the sleepy west of the woody east" of which the
Pixiessang in the song "UMass."
Valley residents also have a love of arts, both visual and performing, as demonstrated by numerous art galleries, countless theaters and performances, the residencies of both
Dr. Seussand Eric Carlein the valley, the visual Dr. Seuss Memorialin Springfield, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.
*PREDVESTNIK, The Russian Language Newspaper of Pioneer Valley, ( [http://www.predvestnik.com Official website] )
With an independent bookstore in almost every town, several small publishers, and countless local authors, the Valley could well be counted as a reader's paradise. Amherst has at least four bookstores, South Hadley has at least one notable bookstore ("
The Odyssey Bookshop"). Since the late 1980s, Montague has had The Bookmill, and the World Eye Bookshop is in its 40th year in Greenfield. Northampton has least four independent bookstores. One of the more popular, Raven Used Books, features a wide variety of titles and subjects. [http://www.ravenusedbooks.com]
The Pioneer Valley has a broadly varied economic baseFact|date=February 2007.
Franklin County in the north serves as a significant agricultural region despite its size, due to the rich
topsoilfound in the area. The valley's sweet cornand asparagusare considered, especially among New Englanders to be some of the world's finest. Cow Corn, potatoes, and shade-grown tobaccoare also major crops. Fields of all sort, particularly corn and tobacco fields, as well as numerous farmhouses and tobacco barns dot the landscape. Light industry is concentrated in the town of South Deerfield and the city of Greenfield, while service industries exist throughout the county. Increasingly Franklin County is becoming a place of bedroom communities, with the major transportation routes of Interstate 91, Route 2, and U.S. Route 5 facilitating a boom in residential building that has not kept pace with commercial development in many of the county's towns.
The [http://hallmark.edu/ Hallmark Institute of Photography] is located in Turners Falls.
Two major corporations,
Channing Beteand Yankee Candle, are headquartered in South Deerfield and Greenfield. Both communities have been had controversial zoning issues surrounding permitting variances to build big box stores such as Wal-Mart. Greenfield received national attention when its decision prevented Wal-Martfrom building a store in town.
The county also garners tourism due to such attractions as
Historic Deerfield(which hosts a craft fair in the summer and an even larger and more popular fall craft fair) , and a ButterflyGarden located in South Deerfield. The annual arrival of thousands of American and foreign tourists to observe the area's spectacular autumn foliage is a welcome boost to revenue.
With the Five Colleges, Hampshire County has a significant part of its economy devoted to serving college students, including numerous independent bookstores and stationery shops.
The area is also home to many restaurants, ranging in class from
sports bars to steakhouses. Northampton (also known to some as Hamp and others as NoHo) is the culinary capital of Western Massachusetts as well as having a reputation as a lesbian Mecca. The practice of adding candy, crushed cookies, and nuts to individual servings of ice cream, commonly called "smoosh-ins" or "mix-ins," was invented by Steve Herrell, proprietor of Herrell's ice cream parlor in Northampton.
With the exception of New England-based
supermarkets (Big Y, Stop & Shop, Pricechopper), almost all of the big-box retailers in Hampshire County are located in the town of Hadley where the Hampshire Malland the Mountain Farms Mallare located. Save for Hadley, and perhaps Northampton, the rest of the region is a land of " mom and pop" stores and a spattering of chain convenience stores.
With most of the large cities in Western Massachusetts, Hampden County generally has a more commercial-industrial economy than anywhere else in the region, a land of big-box retailers and heavy industry.
Tourism is also popular, particularly from the rest of
New England, due to the museums at The Quadrangle, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and CityStagein Springfield, and attractions such as The Big Ein the town of West Springfield, and Six Flags New Englandin Agawam. The Holyoke Mall at Inglesidein Holyoke, Memorial Drive in Chicopee, Riverdale Street (often referred to by locals as "Riverdale Road") in West Springfield, and Boston Road in Springfield are popular destinations for shopping.
Outlying towns such as Tolland are sparsely populated and close enough to
the Berkshiresthat outdoor activities such as campingmake up a large part of their economy.
Appreciation of the natural environs is a big part of the Valley life, with numerous non-profit nature sanctuaries, as well as state and municipal parks and forests. Because of the considerable natural and cultural resources of the Pioneer Valley, state environmental agencies have made a substantial investment in protecting undeveloped land in the region, particularly along the Connecticut River, and in the mostly rural 'hilltowns' to its west. Government conservation efforts have targeted wildlife and rare plant habitat, recreational sites and corridors including the
Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, and the very rich agricultural soils in farming towns such as Hadley, Massachusetts. Their efforts have been augmented and assisted by local and regional conservation land trusts, and state-wide and national conservation organizations. Many of these organizations also protect additional land through direct ownership of conservation areas and land held under conservation easement. Many municipalities in the area also have conservation holdings, usually under the aegis of the community's 'conservation commission', the appointed body which also applies local and state environmental regulations, or held as part of local water supply systems.
One notable area consists of [http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/mtom.htm Mount Tom State Reservation] , [http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/hksp.htm Mount Holyoke Range State Park] , and [http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/central/skin.htm Skinner State Park] , which, joined with the 600-acre Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary held by the
Massachusetts Audubon Society, form a long wildlife corridor stretching across the Connecticut River.
Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation
* [http://busacksblog.blogspot.com Busack's Blog (Pioneer in the Valley)]
* [http://www.chronos-historical.org/highway/index.html US-5: A Highway to History] (History of the Pioneer Valley)
* [http://www.valleyvisitor.com/ Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau]
* [http://www.pvpc.org/ Pioneer Valley Planning Commission]
* [http://www.ecommunityguide.com/ Pioneer Valley Guide]
* [http://www.granbyma.net/whattodoinpioneervalley.php What to Do in Pioneer Valley]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Pioneer Valley 8 — (PV8) is one of many chapters of the North American Family Campers Association (NAFCA). The chapter was formed on September 28, 1960 at the home of Ken Barbara Taylor in Westfield, MA. The chapter is based in the Springfield region of… … Wikipedia
Pioneer Valley Hospital — is a community hospital located in West Valley City, UT. The hospital offers General Medical and Surgical Care, General Intensive Care, Cardiac Intensive Care, Cardiology Department, Pediatric Medical and Surgical Care, Obstetrics, Orthopedics… … Wikipedia
Pioneer Valley Educational Press — is a children s book publishing company. Their books are geared towards the reading recovery program.External links* [http://www.pvep.com Pioneer Valley Educational Press official website] … Wikipedia
Pioneer Valley Zendo — is a Soto Zen zendo established in 1976 in Charlemont, MA as a sister temple to Antai ji in Japan, where Kosho Uchiyama was roshi. Koshi Ichida, Eishin Ikeda and Shohaku Okumura were the zendo s original founders, and the place was run by… … Wikipedia
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority — Infobox Bus transit name = Pioneer Valley Transit Authority/ UMass Transit logo size = 202px image size = 250px image caption = company slogan = Moving Forward! parent = founded = 1974 headquarters = 2808 Main Street Springfield, MA 01107 locale … Wikipedia
Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School — Infobox School name = Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School location = 15 Mulligan Drive South Hadley, MA country = USA enrollment = approx. 400 faculty = 40 (Full Time) 60 (Part Time/ Administrative) type = charter school grades … Wikipedia
Pioneer River (Queensland) — Infobox River river name = Pioneer River caption = The Pioneer River weaves through Mackay origin = Pinnacle Ranges near Epsom mouth = Pacific Ocean at East Mackay basin countries = Australia length = 120 km elevation = discharge = watershed =… … Wikipedia
Pioneer Football League — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Pioneer Football League Fundada 1991 División … Wikipedia Español
Valley City, Ohio — Valley City is an unincorporated community in central Liverpool Township, Medina County, Ohio, United States. The west branch of the Rocky River and Plum Creek flow near Valley City from south to north.It is located at intersection of State… … Wikipedia
Pioneer Park — is a 44 acre (109 ha) city park in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States, run by the Fairbanks North Star Borough Department of Parks and Recreation. It opened in 1967 as Alaskaland to celebrate the centennial of the Alaska Purchase. The name was… … Wikipedia