The Town of Northfield is located in Western Massachusetts in Franklin County. Northfield is a rural community with easy access to Amherst, Northhampton, Greenfield, Brattleboro and Keene. It is a town of farmland, forested hills, streams, wetlands and wildlife. Northfield is the only town in Massachusetts situated on both sides of the Connecticut River.
The Town of Northfield was an early attraction for colonial settlers due to its rich and fertile plains along the Connecticut River, and Europeans had begun farming there in 1673. However, its history was bumpy and the town was twice abandoned before a permanent settlement was achieved in 1714. The town was incorporated in 1723.
Northfield's early fame was based on land, but its later international reputation was built on missionaries. The town was known for producing large numbers of Protestant missionaries. In 1879, Northfield Seminary was established. The girls' school later grew into the Northfield School for Girls, now Northfield Mount Hermon School in the neighboring community of Gill, and became co-educational.
First Light/GDF Suez sited their pumped-storage hydroelectric facility in Northfield and also use the location for a wildlife exhibit and visitor center. The utility company provides boat tours on the Connecticut River and has year-round recreational and education programs, including cross-country skiing. Northfield is one of the cultural centers of Franklin County.