DescriptionAmherst was named for Lord Jeffrey Amherst, a British general in the French and Indian War. In the town's early years the residents made several efforts to industrialize but were most successful with cattle farming. In 1864 the livestock's prizewinning reputation led to the founding of Massachusetts Agricultural College, which later developed into the University of Massachusetts (UMass). The Amherst campus, 300 Massachusetts Ave., is the flagship of the state's public university system; phone (413) 545-4237 for campus tour information.
In 1821 Amherst College was founded and was dedicated to preparing young men for missionary work; in the mid-19th century more liberal educational aims were adopted. Among renowned graduates are Henry Ward Beecher and Calvin Coolidge. Also adding to the area's scholarly atmosphere were some of its residents: author Ray Stannard Baker (David Grayson) and poets Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Eugene Field.
Today the city ranks as one of the country's most progressively liberal communities. It is home to modern cultural venues like the Amherst Cinema Arts Center, 28 Amity St., (413) 253-2547, and various art galleries. The Amherst Art Walk also takes place downtown the first Thursday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m.
Visitor InfoAmherst Area Chamber of Commerce 28 Amity St. AMHERST, MA 01002. Phone:(413)253-0700
Things to SeeAmherst College