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In the early days before Westfield received it's present day name it was called Woronoco which means "it is fat hunting". The rich meadow lands and deep lush forests made Westfield, from the beginning, one of the most prosperous in the colony. Natural mill sites were at once utilized for the manufacture of lumber and flour, also some iron ore was discovered there. In 1635 or 1636 The towns of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts were settled. In 1639-1640 trading houses were established in Woronoco by parties from Connecticut who attempted to claim the land for Connecticut, however a survey determined that it should be a part of Springfield, Massachusetts. The earliest records of the town show that the first grant of land was awarded to Ensign Thomas Cooper on the 4th of December, 1658. In December of 1667 and early 1668 the early land grants were approved for the early settlers upon the condition that they settled with their families there no later than November 10, 1668.

Woronoco Becomes Westfield

In Boston, on May 19th, 1669, Westfield became a town officially. Below is a quote from the records.

At a General Court of Election, held at Boston, 19th of May, 1669. "There being a motion made to this Court in behalfe of the inhabitants at Woronoke, belonging to Springfield, that they may be a township of themselves, Springfield being willing thereto, as appears pr coppy of an order of that towne, under their record's hand, wth remajnes on file, this Court judeth it meete to grant them to be a township, and allows them, according as other townes all priviledges, and that the said towne be called Westfield."

Early Settlers of Westfield

The earliest grants of land were given to George Phelps, Isaac Phelps, Thomas Noble, David Ashley, Rev. John Holyoke, the minister, John Ponder, and Hugh Dudley on Fort side (Main street); Capt. Aaron Cook, Mr. James Cornish, Thomas Dewey, John Osborn, and John Ingersoll on South side (Little River street). More coming soon!

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