Genealogy in Franklin County, Massachusetts
Town of Gill


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Gill lies in the central part of Franklin County and is roughly bounded by Bernardston on the north, Northfield on the north and east, Erving on the southeast, Montague on the south, and Greenfield on the west. Gill was organized September 28, 1793 from a part of Greenfield. On February 28, 1795, a part of Northfield was annexed to Gill. On March 14, 1805, Great Island in the Connecticut River was annexed to Gill.

In 1874, Elias Nason described the town of Gill as follows:
Gill
is a very beautiful town of 105 farms and 653 inhabitants, lying in the north central part of Franklin County, 106 miles north-west of Boston; having for its boundaries Bernardston and Northfield on the north; the latter and Erving, from both of which it is divided by the Connecticut River, on the east; Montague, from which it is separated by the same river, which here makes a beautiful bend westward, on the south; and by Greenfield, from which Fall River, a valuable mill-stream, divides it, on the west. In the lower sandstone, which forms, with calcareous gneiss, the geological basis of the town, the remarkable bird-tracks are found. The locality is a peninsula at the narrows, formed by a creek setting back north-easterly from the Connecticut River.

This place is charmingly diversified in its natural features, which present some of the finest landscape-views in the State. The Stacy Mountain, in the bend of the Connecticut River, in the south-east, commands a delightful view of the green intervals, the islands in the river, Black Rock, and Miller's Falls, immediately below it on the south, together with the mountain-ridges, enclosing a vast amphitheatre on every hand. From Darby Hill, rising beautifully from the margin of the river near the centre of the eastern line, and from Grass Hill at the northern angle, admirable prospects are obtained. Woodward's Brook, an affluent of the Connecticut, drains the northern part; and Otter Pond and Lily Pond, two small sheets of water, enhance the scenic beauty of the north-west and south-west corners of the town. The celebrated Turner's Falls are in the river between this town and Montague, under which place they are described. The hydraulic power of Gill is magnificent, and will, at no distant day, be utilized. The Lumbering Manufacturing Company is now doing an extensive business.

The soil of the place is deep and strong, and the farmers are prosperous. In addition to the usual products of the county, broom-corn and tobacco are largely cultivated. The valuation of the town is $490,849; the rate of taxation, $1.10 per $100. The town has a post-office at Gill Centre and at Riverside; and is accommodated by the Connecticut-river and by the Vermont and Massachusetts Railroads. It has a good town-hall and library; six school-districts; a Congregational church, organized Sept. 18, 1793, of which the Rev. E. S. Potter is the present pastor; also a Methodist church, under the care of the Rev. R. Mitchell. The town sent 66 men into the late war, of whom 4 were lost.

This place, originally the easterly part of Greenfield, was named in honor of Lieut-Gov. Moses Gill; and was incorporated Sept. 28, 1793. A part of Northfield was annexed to it Feb. 28, 1795; and Great Island, in Connecticut River, March 14, 1805. The Rev. John Jackson, the first minister, was settled here in 1798; and in 1802 he was succeeded by the Rev. Jabez Munsell.

On the 18th of May, 1676, Capt. Turner, with 160 men, suddenly attacked a body of Indians encamped around the falls, since name for him, and slew about 300 of the enemy. His own loss was about 37 men. Aroused from their slumber, the Indians rushed to the river, exclaiming, "Mohawks, Mohawks!" and many were swept down the cataract, and lost. Others were killed upon the margin of the stream. (For an account of this fight, see Mr. Samuel G. Drake's "Book of the Indians," book iii. pp. 74, 75.)
(Source: Nason, Elias, 1811-1887. A gazetteer of the state of Massachusetts : with numerous illustrations on wood and steel / by Elias Nason. -- Boston : B.B. Russell, 1874. -- p. 223)

Online Genealogical Resources

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Bibliography

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General Information

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