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Easthampton was typical of many towns incorporated in western Massachusetts just after the American Revolution. Originally part of Northampton, Easthampton became a district in 1785 and a full-fledged town in 1809. The southern section of the town was dominated by a small mountain range while the northern part was composed of small farms and mills. In the mid-19th century Easthampton saw a good deal of industrial development, much of it financed and organized by Samuel Williston. Williston pioneered the manufacture of products, like braces that utilized the new rubber-making process invented by Charles Goodyear. Williston also founded a local bank and the Williston seminary, the forerunner to today's Williston Northampton School (a private coeducational college preparatory school).