town (township), Hampshire county, south-central Massachusetts, U.S. It lies along the Connecticut River. Settled in 1684 as part of Hadley, it was recognized as a separate precinct in 1732, incorporated as a district in 1753, and reincorporated as a town in 1775. South Hadley prospered briefly as a manufacturing centre (producing textiles, paper, buttons, and leather) during the 1830s, but it is now primarily a residential locality with a service-based economy. The town is best known as the seat of Mount Holyoke College, founded by Mary Lyon in 1837 as one of the first institutions of higher learning for American women. The campus has a museum of art and an arboretum with a greenhouse complex. Area 18 square miles (47 square km). Pop. (1990) 16,685; (2000) 17,196.
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