Southampton is a small, rural town of approximately 6,200 people in Western Massachusetts. Located in Hampshire County, just west of the Connecticut River Valley, Southampton is about 100 miles west of Boston and 250 miles north of New York City. The town covers about 29 square miles. The Town straddles two of the state’s major watersheds, those of the Connecticut and the Westfield Rivers.
Established in 1775 as a farming community, Southampton’s historically rural character is still intact. Residents value the town’s agricultural heritage, its scenic areas and hiking trails. In recent years, Southampton has become an attractive community for residential development because of its rural nature, the quality education provided by the William E. Norris elementary school, and also because of its central location to the cities of Northampton, Westfield, Holyoke, and Springfield. With little industrial and commercial base, Southampton can be considered a bedroom community to the Springfield-Hartford metropolitan area. There are no direct highway interchanges in Southampton, but both the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 91 are easily accessible.
Although Southampton is still considered a rural community, the number of farms has diminished significantly over the past 20 years. There is only one dairy farm remaining. There are a handful of farms that raise beef cattle and there is a growing number of horse boarding stables and individual horse owners. There are also noticeable levels of backyard chicken and goat farming at the household level. Family-owned orchards and market gardens are frequently visited in season. There are several conservation areas in town with at least 700 acres of preserved open space and forested areas for hiking.