- Standard View
This location was desirable because of the large amounts of relatively flat, rich, and stone-free agriculture land and the small waterfall which could power a mill on what became known as the Mill River, a tributary to the Connecticut River.
For a decade the settlement was legally part of the Town of Hadley, but in 1670, Hatfield separated from Hadley and built its own meeting house which served as the center of government and the Congregational Church.
In addition to agriculture, the waterfall on Capawonk Brook/Mill River powered a grist mill and a saw mill, while the Running Gutter Brook powered a linseed oil mill.
Thomas Meekins built the first sawmill on the spot where the Shattuck Gun Shop now stands in 1669. In 1661, he built and opened a grist mill on Capawonk Brook/Mill River. Perhaps that first grist mill remains in part in the now Old Mill Inn.
Originally built as a grist mill in 1870, the Old Mill Inn has seen many transformations, from gun machining shop/known as Crescent Pistol Company-Prescott Pistol Shop/ and/or Shattucks Gun Shop in 1881, to office building in 1989, to its most recent incarnation in 2006 as a luxury bed and breakfast/The Old Mill Inn.
In addition, in 1737 the first linseed oil mill was built in Massachusetts on Running Gutter Brook about 1/2 mile above Strong's sawmill site on Linseed Rd., West Hatfield and in 1816, the first broom corn crop wasraised in Hatfield - 1000 acres raised later. Hatfield became the site of quite a broom corn industry.GPS: 42° 22.31' N 72° 36.49' W ele 141'/43 meters