They are part of the Metacomet Ridge , a mountainous trap rock ridgeline that stretches from Long Island Sound to nearly the Vermont border. Because of its large, steep and rocky upstream watershed, the river has a history of severe flood episodes, inundating adjacent parts of Westfield several times. South of the river, the intersecting trends of growth of Westfield State University and declining manufacturing changed the city's character. Due to its alluvial lands, the inhabitants of the Westfield area were entirely devoted to agricultural pursuits for about years. Westfield is split into the "South Side" and the "North Side" by the Westfield River , and the northwestern section of town is known as Wyben. Early in the 19th century, manufacture of bricks, whips, and cigars became economically important.
Westfield is bordered on the east by linear cliffs of volcanic trap rock known as East Mountain and Provin Mountain. Only four buildings exceed four stories in height. Westfield transformed itself from an agricultural town into a thriving industrial city in the 19th century, but in the second half of the 20th century its manufacturing base was eroded by wage competition in the U. Town meetings were held in a church meeting house until , when Town Hall was erected on Broad Street. In , Massachusetts made Woronoco part of Springfield. In spite of a complicated system of pumps, dikes, waterways, and upstream dams, Westfield lies in a floodplain zone and is still considered flood-prone. These stores are located along Route Yet it borders hilltowns to the west that were depopulated of subsistence farmers in the 19th century as land became readily available on the western frontier. With population dipping below ten per square kilometer in some upland townships, forests are reverting almost to pre-settlement conditions with wild turkey, bears, coyotes and even moose returning after absences perhaps measured in centuries. History[ edit ] The area was originally inhabited by the Pocomtuc tribe, and was called Woronoco meaning "the winding land" . Other firms produced bicycles, paper products, pipe organs , boilers and radiators, textile machinery, abrasives, wood products, and precision tools. From its founding until , Westfield was the westernmost settlement in the Massachusetts Colony , and portions of it fell within the Equivalent Lands. No building is allowed to be taller than the town's firetruck ladders. Trading houses were built in —40 by settlers from the Connecticut Colony. The area of Woronoco or "Streamfield" began to be permanently settled in the s. In the early 20th century, Westfield was at the center of the Pure Food movement, an effort to require stricter standards on the production of food. Until a major fire on January 6, , the Westfield Professional Building covered half a downtown city block and was six stories tall. The entire building was consumed with extensive damage to neighboring buildings because the fire department's ladder and snorkel vehicles weren't tall enough and the building did not have a sprinkler system. According to the United States Census Bureau , the city has a total area of Early in the 19th century, manufacture of bricks, whips, and cigars became economically important. Due to its alluvial lands, the inhabitants of the Westfield area were entirely devoted to agricultural pursuits for about years. This transition over a few miles from the 21st century urbanization to population densities nearly as low as early colonial times is notable if not unique. Massachusetts asserted jurisdiction, and prevailed after a boundary survey. Subsequent zoning prohibited virtually all new construction over three stories, even after improvements in fire suppression technologies and vehicles became available. A Home Depot store and a Price-Rite were recently added to Westfield's wide array of shopping centers. Allyn , a Westfield resident and pure foods expert for McClure's Magazine, lived in Westfield until his murder. This building also served as City Hall from to
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