West Springfield, Massachusetts is situated at the confluence of the Connecticut and Agawam Rivers on land which was purchased in 1636 from the local aboriginal Algonkians by a small group of English adventurers lead by fur trader and merchant William Pynchon.
The initial "Plantation" was called Agawam and all of the first houses were built on the east bank of the Connecticut River in present day downtown Springfield. In 1640 the name of the Plantation was officially changed from Agawam to Springfield in honor of William Pynchon’s birthplace in England.
The first settlers moved to the west side of the Connecticut River between 1654 and 1659. In 1696, after many difficult and trying years of having to cross the river under all kinds of adverse weather conditions to attend church on Sundays, the settlers on the west side of the river received permission from the Massachusetts General Court to be incorporated as a new parish of Springfield and to procure their own minister.
The population on the west side of the Connecticut River grew rapidly and on February 23, 1774, the present day communities of West Springfield, Agawam, and Holyoke were incorporated as a single town called West Springfield.
Monuments commemorating West Springfield’s active part in the Revolutionary War decorate our town common. An additional and perhaps more important event involving West Springfield during the Revolutionary War period was the town’s involvement in Shays’ Rebellion. Revolutionary War hero Captain Luke Day, who was also second in command to Daniel Shays during the Rebellion, made some military decisions which were instrumental in saving the lives of many of West Springfield’s soldiers while, at the same time, helping to call attention to the fact that if the "United States" were to form a stable government, those "United States" would have to agree to a constitution which incorporated a strong federal government.
Until relatively recently West Springfield was primarily a farming community and has acquired national and even international fame; as the birthplace of the first Morgan Horse, as the home of the Big E (the 6th largest agricultural fair in the United States with an annual attendance of over 1 million people), and as the location of the Josiah Day House which is recognized as the oldest brick saltbox house in the United States.