Buckland is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,902 at the 2010 census. The town shares the village of Shelburne Falls with neighboring Shelburne. The town center at Shelburne Falls is the western end of the Bridge of Flowers, a local tourist attraction.
Buckland is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Buckland was first settled in 1742 as “No Town”, as it was not currently part of either the village of Charlemont or Ashfield, which the land belonged to as one large town. A sawmill was set up that year by Othneil Taylor and Asaph White, and eventually settlement occurred. However, the townspeople did not want to cross the Deerfield River or travel the long distance to Ashfield Village to attend services, so they petitioned the Massachusetts General Court for a separate incorporation. The town was incorporated on April 14, 1779, as Buckland, presumably named for the abundant hunting in the area.
Buckland was the birthplace of Mary Lyon, founder of the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, now known as Mount Holyoke College.
Buckland is a member of the Mohawk Trail Regional School District, which covers six towns on the elementary level and most of western Franklin County on the upper levels of education. Buckland-Shelburne Regional Elementary School (in Shelburne) serves students from pre-kindergarten through sixth grades for the two towns, and students from grades 7-12 attend Mohawk Trail Regional High School. Mohawk Trail Regional’s athletics teams are nicknamed the Warriors, and their school colors are blue and gold. There are several private, religious and charter schools located in the Greenfield area, with the most prominent being Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, the Academy at Charlemont in Charlemont, Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, and Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield.
The nearest community college, Greenfield Community College, is located in Greenfield. The nearest state college is Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, and the nearest state university is the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nearest private colleges, including members of the Five Colleges and Seven Sisters, are located southeast in the Northampton area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,991 people, 772 households, and 542 families residing in the town. By population, Buckland ranks ninth out of the twenty-six towns in Franklin County, and 291st out of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. The population density was 101.8 people per square mile (39.3/km2), which ranks seventh in the county and 280th in the Commonwealth. There were 839 housing units at an average density of 42.9 per square mile (16.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.53% White, 0.45% African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.50% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.16% of the population.
There were 772 households, out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $45,833, and the median income for a family was $51,420. Males had a median income of $38,684 versus $24,977 for females. The per capita income for the town was $20,033. About 3.5% of families and 6.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.