The town of Pelham, Massachusetts, was part of the Equivalent Lands compromise, and was first settled in 1738 by mostly Presbyterian Scotch-Irish immigrants. It was officially incorporated in 1743, so it is older than Amherst by 16 years. It is perhaps best known as the home of Daniel Shays, the Revolutionary War captain who gave his name to Shays’ Rebellion in 1786, but in the 19th century its western slopes were the home of the Montague Fly-Rod Factory and of the Orient Springs Health Spa.

An eastern region of Pelham was annexed by the town of Prescott, and later submerged by the Quabbin Reservoir. 

In the 19th century, the town was home to the Orient Springs health spa and the Montague Fly-fishing Rod Mfg Co., and was a stop on the Amherst electric trolley line.

In the twenty-first century, Pelham holds the distinction of having the oldest town hall in continuous use in the United States.

Join us at noon on Friday, October 22 as Pelham resident Joe Larson tells us more of the stories of our neighboring town.

The Fall 2021 History Bites series is being given over Zoom, with technical support from our friends at Amherst Media.

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