TIMELINE (in progress)
Prior to European settlement, the area of Cummington was most likely a resource for Native Americans from the
Connecticut River valley, the Norwottucks who most likely fished in the Westfield and Swift rivers, raised crops along
their banks and hunted in the surrounding hills. As European settlement grew in the Connecticut River valley, it is
probable that Native American seasonal settlement increased in Cummington.
1762 Plantation No.5 is auctioned off by the British-owned Massachusetts Bay Colony to help pay for the French and Indian
War. It is purchased by a group of 26 proprietors (land developers) led by Col. John Cumings of Concord,
Massachusetts. They in turn sold land to potential settlers. Each settler received similarly sized tracts by lot of
approximately 100 acres.
First proprietor's meeting held in Concord, Massachusetts in December.
1764 The first mill is established by Charles Prescott on Kearney Brook southeast of junction with Honey Hill Road.
1765 Eight families had settled in Cummington. Virtually all of the Colonial period settlement occurred in Cummington's
uplands due to concerns about flooding and disease along marshlands of Westfield River.
1770 First tavern established by Joseph Farr slightly west of Honey Hill Road.
1771 First proprietor's meeting that was held in Cummington/
Cummington's first pastor, Reverend James Briggs, a Yale graduate, began to preach in Cummington.
1774 William Mitchell established a tavern at the intersection of Stage and Plainfield Roads.
1779 Cummington is officially incorporated as a town by the Massachusetts Legislature. It is named for its main proprietor,
Colonel John Cumings though Cumings never visited the town. At that point the governing body changed from the
Proprieter to the town meeting system.
1782 First meeting house established.
1783 Cummington population is 851.
1794 William Cullen Bryant born on November 3 on Potash Hill Road.
1821 Baptist Society founded. its meeting house was erected in 1823.
1826 Cummington Academy established. Building erected in 1828.
1830 Cummington reaches peak population of 1261.
1838 Village Church built on Main St. in Cummington.
1839 West Cummington church built.
1869 Hillside Agricultural Society held its first Cattle Show. This would later become the Cummington Fair.
1872 The Bryant Free Library established as a gift from William Cullen Bryant along with a home for the librarian.
1874 The Cummington Grange was organized on May 25.
1923 The Cummington Community House was given to the town by Cummington native Worcester Warner.
1933 Greenwood Music Camp established by Dorothy (Bunny) Fay Little , Dwight Little and Ruth Hill McGregor.
1939 Cummington Press established by Harry Alvin Duncan.