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Leyden, Massachusetts
Frizzell Hill, looking west towards the town center
Frizzell Hill, looking west towards the town center
Official seal of Leyden, Massachusetts
Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts
Location in Franklin County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Franklin
Settled 1738
Incorporated 1809
 • Total 18.0 sq mi (46.7 km2)
 • Land 17.9 sq mi (46.4 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)
Elevation 928 ft (283 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 711
 • Density 39.43/sq mi (15.225/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01301/01337
Area code(s) 413
FIPS code 25-35285
GNIS feature ID 0618169

Leyden is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 711 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Leyden was first settled in 1737 as part of "Fall Town", which also included Bernardston and Colrain. The town was set off from Bernardston in 1784, but it was not incorporated until February 22, 1809. The town was named for the city of Leiden, Netherlands, refuge of the Pilgrims before colonizing the Americas. Leyden had several small industries in the eighteenth century, including grist mills, wood product mills, and dairying, but today the largest industry is maple sugar production. The town also has a reservoir which supplies the town of Greenfield. The Brotherhood of the Spirit commune was founded in Leyden in 1968.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.0 square miles (46.7 km2), of which 17.9 square miles (46.4 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.66%, is water. Leyden lies on the northern Massachusetts border, south of Windham County, Vermont. The town is bordered by Guilford, Vermont, to the north, Bernardston to the east, Greenfield to the south, and Colrain to the west. The town center lies 9 miles (14 km) north of Greenfield, 47 miles (76 km) north of Springfield, and 96 miles (154 km) west-northwest of Boston.

Leyden lies along the eastern edge of the Berkshires, with the town mostly lying along the valleys of the Green River (which also forms the western border) and the branches of Glen Brook. The majority of the town away from the brooks is forested, and the town has a small state forest and a wildlife management area within its borders. The confluence of the main and east branches of Glen Brook is dammed to form the Greenfield Reservoir, before the brook flows southward into Greenfield and meets the Green River.

Leyden is one of only a handful of towns in Massachusetts which does not have any state routes (nearly half of such towns are on the islands of Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands). There are state routes, U.S. routes and interstates in the neighboring towns, with Interstate 91 passing to the south and east of town. The nearest bus and passenger train service is in Greenfield, and the nearest small air service in Turners Falls. The nearest national air service is at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1840 646 —    
1850 2,253 +248.8%
1860 606 −73.1%
1870 518 −14.5%
1880 507 −2.1%
1890 407 −19.7%
1900 379 −6.9%
1910 363 −4.2%
1920 330 −9.1%
1930 261 −20.9%
1940 260 −0.4%
1950 306 +17.7%
1960 343 +12.1%
1970 376 +9.6%
1980 498 +32.4%
1990 662 +32.9%
2000 772 +16.6%
2010 711 −7.9%

Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2000, there were 772 people, 277 households, and 219 families residing in the town. By population, Leyden ranked 22nd out of the 26 towns in Franklin County, and 333rd out of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 42.9 people per square mile (16.6/km²), which ranked 18th in the county and 316th in the Commonwealth. There were 306 housing units at an average density of 17.0 per square mile (6.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.45% White, 0.39% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.13% Asian, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.26% of the population.

There were 277 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.2% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 16.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the town, the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 30.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 102.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $50,385, and the median income for a family was $53,750. Males had a median income of $40,192 versus $29,659 for females. The per capita income for the town was $26,076. About 3.4% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 3.0% of those age 65 or over.

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