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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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From the time of its founding in 1669 to 1725, Westfield, Massachusetts, was the most western town in the Massachusetts Colony. Westfield transformed itself from an agricultural town into a thriving industrial city in the 19th century. Good transportation was available by both water and railroad. The whip industry began in 1808, and by 1840 there were thirteen companies. By 1850, thirty companies were producing whips. The industry gave the city its nickname of "Whip City." Other companies made paper, organs, and cigars, and there were powder mills (for producing gun powder) and brickyards. In 1844, the first students enrolled in the Westfield Normal School, where they would be trained to be teachers. The school is still in town, and is now called Westfield State College.
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