Shutesbury lies on 27.11 square miles along the southern border of Franklin County and the border of Hampshire County. It is a rural town bordered by Wendell to the north, New Salem to the east, Pelham to the south, Amherst to the southwest, and Leverett to the west. The town lies at the northern end of the western branch of the Quabbin Reservoir. The West Branch of the Swift River still flows through town to the reservoir, and the eastern half of town is defined by the hills leading to the river. The brooks in the eastern part of town lead to this river, while the brooks in the western part of town flow towards the Towanucksett/Fort River.
- Shutesbury State Forest, is a 845-acre forest that offers fishing, hunting and hiking. It is located off Cooleyville Road. Call 413-367-0317 for further information.
- Lake Wyola offers swimming, fishing and boating. There is a state park beach on Lakeview Road. Boating is permitted but vehicles must be launched from the public boat ramp off of Locks Pond Road. From Route 63, take North Leverett Road. From Route 202, take Prescott Road to Wendell Road. For more information call 413-367-0317
Shutesbury, incorporated in 1761 and named in honor of Governor Samuel Shutes, was originally known as "Roadtown." This name may have come from the village's early beginnings.
About the year 1733, 95 people, most of whom resided in Lancaster, constructed a public highway from their town to Sunderland. Saying their private enterprise was done at considerable cost and resulted in great public benefit by shortening the distance from certain towns in the valley to Boston, they petitioned the General Court to appropriate lands to recompense them for their outlay. In 1735, the House of Representatives approved the petition under the conditions that the grant should embrace land near the highway laid out by the petitioners and that four years after the return and acceptance of the plot, 60 families should be settled and each family should build a house 18 feet square and clear and break four acres of land for tillage and four acres for English grass.
The settlers were also to lay out a lot for the first settled minister, one for a ministry and one for a school, to build a meetinghouse, to settle a learned and orthodox minister of the gospel, and to fit the road upon which the grant was based for a cart-way.
On May 30, 1735, the proprietors held their first meeting in Lancaster at the house of William Richardson. Captain Oliver Wilder was moderator and Jonathan Houghton was clerk.
Shutesbury, unlike other valley villages, never suffered from Indian assault at any time, but as a precautionary measure, a fort was built in 1748 near the residence of Reverand Abraham Hill, a hlf mile north of the town center.
An early industry was lumbering, which still operates in several locations. Mineral springs were plentiful and a bottling business grew up around them along with many cottage industries. Additionally, there was once a hat factory and a few inns for travelers.
For more information, visit the Shutesbury Town Website.