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Community Profile: Franklin County

The most rural of the state’s counties, Franklin County is comprised of 26 towns with a total population of just over 70,000 people. The county seat is Greenfield, with a community — which recently changed its charter and became a city — of roughly 18,000 people that is home to Franklin Medical Center and Greenfield Community College. Other centers of business and tourism include Deerfield, home to the many components of Yankee Candle Corp., including its flagship store, corporate headquarters, and Chandler’s Restaurant, and also Historic Deerfield; Shelburne Falls, home to the famous Bridge of Flowers and the studio of noted glass artist Josh Simpson; and Northfield, home to Northfield Mount Herman School.

Agriculture and tourism remain the main pillars of the county’s economy, with Route 2, or the Appalachian Trail, a popular spot, especially in the fall. Meanwhile, the Route 5 corridor in Deerfield and South Deerfield has become home to a number of attractions that have supplemented the Yankee Candle complex. Greenfield is still home to a number of manufacturers, and has recently become a popular site for environmental-sector businesses and agencies. Other communities in the county are: Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Erving, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Monroe, Montague, New Salem, Orange, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell, and Whately.

The county’s business community is served by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce (www.franklincc.org).

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