5 Great Facts About Western Mass

Western Massachusetts was the site of several “firsts” and known for innovation.  Among the many examples of this are the first Gee Bee Monoplane, railroad sleeping cars, the first wrench and the first dog show in the United States.  Here are 5 other interesting facts about Western Mass:


Several esteemed authors have roots in the region including beloved authors Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle and Emily Dickinson.  Today there are sites that immortalize the talents of all three.


Forest Park in Springfield is one the largest municipal parks in the country.  Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (who also designed Central Park in NYC), the park features a zoo, aquatic gardens, outdoor amphitheater, winding wooded trails, and surprising, expansive views.  The park is the site of America’s first public, municipal swimming pool and currently hosts a popular high-tech lighting display, known as Bright Nights during the holiday season.


The first armory in the United States is the Springfield Armory National Historic Site commissioned by George Washington.


Notable residents (past or present) of Western Mass include WWE Wrestler John Cena, Blue Bloods actress Bridget Moynahan, Author Augusten Burroughs, Musicians Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Actors Kurt Russell and Uma Thurman.


Basketball was invented at Springfield College by Dr. James Naismith.  The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame pay homage to the sport and Dr. Naismith with a high tech museum located on the Springfield Riverfront.

Best of Western Mass

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