About This Place
Blandford is a town in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,233 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the home of the Blandford Ski Area.
Blandford was first settled in 1735 by Scots-Irish settlers and was officially incorporated in 1741. Settlement came to Blandford and other "hilltowns" some 75 years after more fertile alluvial lowlands along the Connecticut River where tobacco and other commodity crops were cultivated. In contrast farming in the hilltowns was of a hardscrabble subsistence nature due to thin, rocky soil following Pleistocene glaciation and a slightly cooler climate, although upland fields were sometimes less subject to unseasonal frosts. Initial settlement in the nearby Pioneer Valley was by English Puritans whereas Blandford's Scots-Irish settlers were Presbyterian and their English was still somewhat influenced by Gaelic. Thus there were significant ethnic, religious, economic, and linguistic differences between these adjacent regions of settlement.
During the American Revolutionary War, General Henry Knox led a detachment of troops that hauled cannon from Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain over the Berkshires and through Blandford, eventually on to Boston to bombard the British, forcing their withdrawal from the city. His route is now called the Henry Knox Trail.