The town of Montague Is locally referred to as The Town Of 5 Villages. The villages of Montague are Montague Center, Montague City, Lake Pleasant, Millers Falls, and Turners Falls. The village of Turners Falls comprises over half the population of the town of Montague, and is almost always used as a Metonymy for the entire town by residents. The Five Villages of Montague all have their own qualities, and history that make each one of them unique.
The 5 Villages Of Montague
Montague Center is the site of the original eighteenth century settlement of the town. Montague Center village is where you can visit the original civic center of the town with the original Town Hall now serving as a library, and its many fine examples of Colonial, and early 19th century Greek Revival architecture. Montague Center Historic District was listed on the National Register Of Historic Places in 2001.
Montague City is not a city as its name would imply, but a residential neighborhood that was the site for a series of canals, and locks that where built in the late 18th Century to facilitate commerce on the Connecticut River north of the falls at present day Turners Falls. Today the canal is still in use, but it is used to generate hydroelectricity.
Lake Pleasant Village is a late 19th century resort community on the shores of Lake Pleasant. The Village was a popular meeting spot for the early Spiritualists, and temperance movements. Today the village of Lake Pleasant is no longer a resort community due to a fire that destroyed much of the village, and Lake Pleasant becoming a public water supply that is off limits to recreation. The Spiritualist movement is still present within the village today at The Thompson Memorial Temple.
Millers Falls is a village tucked away amongst the hills of northeast Montague on the banks of The Millers River. Millers Falls became a major junction for rail service in the mid 19th century, and this coupled with cheap hydropower provided by The Millers River spurred industrialization within the village. Today with the mills all closed Millers Falls has become a quiet mostly residential community with most of it's activity being focused in the village center. The village center is listed on The National Register of Historic Places, and has many fine examples of Late Victorian Era architecture thanks to rebuilding that took place in the late 1800's after a fire destroyed all but one of the original buildings on Main ST.
Turners Falls was founded in 1868, and was planned as an industrial community, but that plan never quite came to total fruition like in other towns such as Lowell.Turners Falls did become a thriving community though on the backs of Hydro powered mills, and being the end destination for log drives down The Connecticut River from The Great North Woods.Today Turners Falls is the civic, and commercial center of the Town of Montague as well as housing over half the population of the town. Turners Falls has much to offer travelers who happen to find themselves here You can go to one of the many festivals, and events, take an excursion out onto the Connecticut river, see a show at The Shea Theater, Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center, take a walk or bike ride on the Canal Side Rail Trail, go shopping on Avenue A, or check out one of the many restaurants in the village.
Massachusetts Route 2 (The Mohawk Trail Scenic Byway) is the main access route for the Town of Montague.
For Turners Falls
- From the north and south, take Interstate 91, and then exit 46 onto Route 2 East/Mohawk Trail towards Boston to the traffic lights in Gill Turn right onto Main St. (over the Gill-Montague Bridge) Continue onto Avenue A.
- From the west, take Route 2 east past route 91 to the traffic lights in Gill. Turn right onto Main St. (over the Gill-Montague Bridge) Continue onto Avenue A.
- From the east, take Route 2 west to Gill. At the Route 2 lights in Gill, turn left onto Main St. (over the Gill-Montague Bridge). Continue onto Avenue A.
For Millers Falls, Lake Pleasant, and Montague Center
- Take MA Route 2 East or West to MA Route 63 (The Connecticut River Farmland Scenic Byway) South to access these villages.
The village of Turners Falls is very walkable, and a very bicycle/pedestrian friendly village. The rest of the Town of Montague outside Turners Falls is best seen, and traversed with a vehicle due to distances between villages.
- 1 The French King Bridge. The French King Bridge is the three-span "cantilever arch" bridge that carriers traffic from MA Route 2 over Connecticut River near the Village of Millers Falls.
- 2 The Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A. The Great Falls Discovery Center is a Visitors center Housed in old Mill buildings in the Historic center of Turners Falls. The center is run by The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and exhibits show the cultural, industrial, and natural history of the Connecticut River. Free.
- 1 Canalside Rail Trail. The Canalside Rail Trail is a paved path for walking or biking that follows along, and over the Connecticut river that offers many scenic views of the river over it's 3.7 mile length. Free.
- 2 Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, ☏ . Theater that was established in 1927 and serves as a performing arts venue for concerts and theatrical productions. Price per show varies.
- 1 The Montague Bookmill, 440 Greenfield Road, ☏ . Bookstore & cafe housed in an old grist mill that was built in 1834. The building is listed on the national register of historic places.
|Routes through Montague|
|Shelburne ← Greenfield ←||W E||→ Gill → Gardner|