At 54.2 square miles, Belchertown is the sixth largest community in Massachusetts in terms of land area. The eastern part of the town is located on the shore of the Quabbin Reservoir, one of the largest man-made reservoirs in the country. Water supply from this “accidental wilderness” serves nearly half the residents of the state. A noted wildlife preserve surrounds the reservoir. This semi-rural, residential community, with its scenic landscape and proximity to both Amherst and Springfield, has experienced unprecedented residential development.
Summer residents discovered Belchertown in the early 1900s, establishing a few large summer hotels. Up until the time of the Civil War, an active carriage trade had thrived in town. Today, few farms are left. Small businesses flourish in the center of town with its expansive, beautiful Town Common. The annual Belchertown Fair is one of the oldest, continuously operated fairs in the country, including handicraft exhibits, horse and oxen pulls, and a church supper held on the Common.
Points of interest include: The Stone House Museum, built in 1827, which exhibits Rogers Group sculptures and Early American furnishing; Lake Metacomet and Lake Arcadia; the McLaughlin Fish Hatchery, one of the largest fish hatcheries east of the Mississippi River; and the Swift River Wildlife Management Area.