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Like many towns in Western Massachusetts, Conway, Massachusetts, once part of Deerfield, depended on waterpower for its expansion and stability. To the North the town was and is defined by the Deerfield River, a powerful body of water that stretches up into Vermont. Conway's original home lots were placed along the South River; one of the Deerfield River's powerful tributaries, it nearly bisects the town. Conway's industrial development in the 19th century depended on the South River and a large number of small brooks, rivers, and streams throughout town for energy.