Tour de Turtle Bone Ride: Deerfield, Montague, Greenfield, Leyden, Colrain, Shelburne, Buckland, Hawley, Charlemont, Heath

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For this week’s Tour de Turtle bone ride we decided to head to Northwest Massachusetts to a magical place called Franklin County. We’ve written about several of these towns before, most notably the God-forsaken village of Colrain, and in doing so have rubbed some of the locals the wrong way. Were we too hard on them? To find out we decided to give the following ten towns another look in this order: Deerfield, Montague, Greenfield, Leyden, Colrain, Shelburne, Buckland, Hawley, Charlemont, Heath. How will we rank them from nicest to dumpiest? Let’s find out….

 

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1. Deerfield

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Deerfield is a really swell town. It’s the closest to civilization of the ten we visited and has exits right off of I-91. It’s got a cool downtown

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Subway and Cumby’s

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Nice little neighborhoods

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Big homes with well manicured lawns

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Cool farms

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Granted you will run into hippies

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But they’re not as in your face as hippie zoos like Amherst.

Deerfield is famous for “Old Deerfield” which is basically Salem with no traffic

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So yea, I wouldn’t wanna live in any of these towns simply because Franklin County is in the middle of nowhere. But if I had to pick one for the Turtleboy family, it would probably have to be Deerfield.

 

 

2. Greenfield

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Last time we blogged about Greenfield it was because of those dooshnozzle Dads who went to the press because their cop neighbor had a confederate flag in his private garage and their adopted black son “feared for his life” because of it. We all know it was a huge lie, and as it turned out they both are teachers and their Facebook pages were….interesting. But they were supported in town, which is obviously the big drawback of living in Greenfield. It’s hippie central. But hey, at least hippies don’t turn their front lawns into scrap metal giveaways.

Greenfield is the megacity of Franklin County with it’s ginormous population of 17,000. It’s got a Wendy’s AND a CVS!!!

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The downtown is nifty

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The neighborhoods are safe for the children, so long as you don’t spy on your neighbors and find a confederate flag in their garage.

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But there is one part of town that looks like a shithole which will make sense later on – the part near Turner Falls.

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I’m not even shitting you, this is a legit car dealership in Greenfield called “Alan’s Auto Sales”:

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I’m pretty sure it’s just a graveyard of Alan’s hand-me-down junkers that he ran into the ground and was too lazy to get rid of. So yea, Greenfield is a pretty nice place to live, as long as you don’t live next door to those two asshole Dads or Alan.

 

 

3. Shelburne

Located right on the Deerfield River, Shelburne is a pleasant looking town

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Except for that one part that borders Colrain…..

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Then again, Colrain is a disease that tends to spread to anything it touches, so we won’t hold that against Shelburne. Shelburne is one of those “Northbridge” towns, in that no one actually lives in Shelburne, they live in Shelburne’s version of Whitinsville – Shelburne Falls. And Shelburne Falls is a lovely  little section of town where hippies can drink their soy milk and talk about how awesome its gonna be when Bernie is President.

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4. Leyden

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Leyden is a nice town, but the downtown is a little too dangerous for Turtleboy’s liking:

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Just kidding, it’s a ghost town on a hill. There are less than 1,000 people who live in this town, so there’s no neighborhoods or anything like that for Turtleboy Jr. to skateboard or play stickball. It’s a nice place to live if you’re one of those weirdos who wants to have their plot of land all alone because you hate human interaction.

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So yea, there’s nothing wrong with Leyden. It’s not dumpy or anything. But it’s the most boring place on earth and you’re pretty much in Vermont.

 

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5. Buckland

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Buckland’s got some nice parts

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And some dumpy parts

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Apparently the thing to do in Buckland is to get your won school bus and park it in your driveway

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There’s a booming pump service industry

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Downsides include a high concentration of hippies

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Neighbors who like to throw their 1800’s era bathtubs in their yards

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And covered bridges, covered in hippie propaganda

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Could be worse though. At least Buckland is on Route 2, and it’s home to Mohawk Trail Regional High School – a school of 500 students that draws from NINE FREAKING TOWNS.

 

 

6. Heath

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Disclaimer – the Turtleboy bone ride tour bus had a big issue in Heath today. We literally spent three hours there because we got stuck in a ditch. Ya got that? A Goddamn Heath ditch. Because Heath is on the Vermont border so of course there’s snow and ice up there.

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Oh yea, and 99% of the town is dirt roads, because it’s pretty much not even civilization. This is downtown Heath:

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This is literally what the people of Heath deal with every day for infrastructure:

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Thus it’s pretty easy to get stuck in a ditch. Oh yea, and the best part is that there’s no cell phone service in the entire town of Heath so you can’t call Triple A, and there’s no police in Heath either. So in order to avoid spending the night in Heath we had to find one of the 706 Heath residents. But Heath is one hill after another.

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And those hills are icy as shit. So we walked from home to home to home, before we finally found a sweet old lady who had clearly never left Heath before. We called Triple A first, but they couldn’t get someone to Heath for at least two more hours. Obviously she had no internet, so in order to call for a tow she had to whip out the rolodex. Ya got that? A rolodex. This is the latest technology in Heath. She found the closest tow place….in Charlemont, which of course doesn’t take debit card. So we sat in the car, waited 45 minutes for the tow to show up, had him boost us out, then followed him back to Charlemont before finally reaching the civilization of Route 2.

It’s a pretty decent town all things considered though. It doesn’t really have any neighborhoods, but at least the houses don’t look like they’re about to collapse.

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Well, at least most of the homes.

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Heath isn’t nearly as dumpy as a lot of its neighbors, but after three hours in his place I can safely say I never wanna go there again.

 

 

 

7. Montague

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Montague is the second biggest town in Franklin County, and for the most part, “Montague” isn’t that bad.

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But the vast, vast majority of people from Montague live in a magical place known as Turner Falls. It’s basically an old mill town, so there’s plenty of fun places for kids to hang out.

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Look kids, smog!!!

Turner Falls is filled with jovial townsfolk

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Abandoned grocery carts as far as the eye can see

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Houses with wooden boards for curtains

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Breathtaking homes

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Rape vans that apparently have crashed into the children’s basketball hoop

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Don’t worry though, Bernie is gonna fix all this shit in no time

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Montague is also LOADED with white hippies who think they’re saving the world by putting up black lives matter signs. Oh yea, and hippies tend to open stores with names like “STUFF”:

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So yea, if you’re an unemployed, unskilled mill worker, looking to find a job at an abandoned factor, Turner Falls/Montague is the perfect place for you.

 

 

8. Charlemont

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If Steven Avery’s family moved to Charlemont they’d be begging to move back to Manitowoc County in a matter of days.

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Because the police won’t frame you for raping and murdering, but you very well could die of boredom.

In Buckland we saw several homes that had school buses parked in the driveways. In Charlemont they also have school buses, except more often than not they’re tipped over.

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I’m not even kidding you. Driving through Charlemont there is an old school bus lying on its side for no particular reason, and everyone’s just cool with it. This is why Charlemont can’t have nice things.

There’s also a town bylaw which states that if your house or shack burns down or crumbles because its 500 years old, you aren’t allowed to tear it down. It must sit there and rot for an eternity.

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It’s the Charlemont way.

 

Charlemont is the epicenter of Franklin County civilization. It’s shaped like a hot dog and the beautiful Deerfield River runs through it.

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It’s almost unfair. This is by far the most scenic and pleasant looking land in the entire state. And somehow it’s been given to the people of Charlemont.

But like we learned in Heath, everything in Franklin County goes through Charlemont. If you live in one of these bumfuck towns like Heath or Rowe or Hawley, you’re pretty much going to Charlemont for everything. This is what Walmart looks like C-Town:

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It’s also the only town for miles that serves Pepsi

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And the trailer scene is off the hook!!

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But at least they have their own pizza place there. And they serve booze too!!!

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Nevertheless, you couldn’t pay me enough money to live in Charlemont.

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9. Hawley

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On any other list Hawley would be ranked last. A grand total of 337 people have decided to live in this  town smack dab in the middle of East Bumfuck. There are no neighborhoods in Hawley. There is no traffic either.

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This is downtown.

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Because Hawley isn’t even worthy of being a cut through town. It brings you from nowhere to nowhere. Thus the people that tend to set up shop in Hawley LOVE to decorate their lawns with old tires.

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Or a dumpster and a bunch of random other crap.

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Or an old Trans Am that you drew racing stripes on yourself.

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They also like to build their own front porches

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Keep their doors open all day in February

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They refuse to get rid of the cars on their front lawn, of course, especially their great grandfather lost his virginity in it.

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Don’t worry though, if there’s a fire, the Hawley Fire Department will be there in a jiffy to put it out.

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It’s also a great place to live if you’re a Level 3 sex offender looking to start over by tossing together a makeshift shack in the woods.

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Other than that, I wouldn’t recommend ever moving to Hawley.

 

 

10. Colrain

 

What else? This is the third time we’ve been to Colrain, and somehow it manages to look dumpier every time we come through. The rain really brings out that extra suckbag in this town. I mean, we saw how these people acted when they declared war on Turtleboy:

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But guess what Colrain? Turtleboy now officially owns your whole town.

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Your move bitches. Those stickers will be on there longer the average set of Colrain front teeth.

That means that we control the mill where you, and your daddy, and your grand daddy, and his daddy before him all worked for the man:

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You know you’re in a bootleg town when the primary artery is called “Main Road”:

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Not Main Street… Main Road. Because the type of people who settled in Colrain were too inbred to know that you’re supposed to call it Main Street.

The sad part is that Colrain actually has beautiful land.

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But as you can see, this is why Colrain can’t have nice things:

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For sale by owner. Because even real estate agents understand that selling a home in Colrain is virtually impossible.

Seriously though. you’ve outdone yourself Colrain. I remember it being a dump when we last came through there, but I don’t remember anything this craptacular:

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Oh yea, and guess what the official religion of Colrain is? Church. Ya got that?

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Not Catholic. Not Presbyterian. Not even Unitarian. Just “Colrain Community Church.” Because clearly you people have done something to upset God and your ass better go find Jesus. That’s the only hope you’ve got Colrain.

So there you have it. We’ve got another Western MA bone ride scheduled for Monday’s Tour de Turtle. Where should we go after that one? Make your case for the Turtleboy crew to profile your town’s dumpiness in the comments.

 

 

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Discussion

  1. A_Guy


    I’m not sure where your next one is but you should hit up the northwestern part of the state. Florida, Cheshire, Adams, Williamstown, Hancock, North Adams, Clarksburg

    1. GraftonHill


      Absolutely this, I went to college in North Adams – the whole area is nice but dumpy.

  2. wabbitt


    Greenfield also has two McDonald’s, an IHOP, and the county jail. So there’s that.

    1. Me


      There’s no ihop in greenfield… Hahah

      1. wabbitt


        Must have closed. Last time I was up that way, there was one.

        1. Tracy


          There has NEVER been an I Hop in Greenfield!

  3. BobnMic


    Colrain? Wow really?

  4. Buster


    Greenfield is the hippiest town in Franklin county. The weirdos are to the left of Bernie. I don’t know many of the others, but you didn’t grock Greenfield. They have a dharma house, a stone soup cafe, extreme body odor – the list goes on and on.

    Definitely the crappiest place I know.

    1. Nanny


      Penn Jillett is from Greenfield. That is all I know about Greenfield.

  5. Joy


    Was this suppose to be entertaining

    1. Real Talk


      Point = missed

    2. wabbitt


      Guess you don’t live up to your name.

      For the was no joy in Colrain…

      Mighty Cletus, has struck out!

      …with his sister.

  6. Devils Mouthpiece


    Yeah, these zip trips just aren’t doing it for me. But hey, if others enjoy, by all means keep at it. I do find the cartoon with wonderful Wanda sitting in the back of the jalopy with a blunt quite amusing. Nice touch.

  7. EnragedChihuahua


    Trans Am? That’s a 3rd gen (82-92 era) Chevrolet Camaro son!

  8. Zach


    Central Mass! Paxton, Holden, Rutland, Auburn, Leicester, Spencer, Oxford

    1. Skadi


      I was going to say around the Wachusett Resevoir. Or maybe the reservoir and school district. Holden, Clinton and and Sterling- Quite a diverse group of towns in a nice little package there…

  9. Fran Stevens


    So whats the point of all those stupid pictures?
    You’re wasting peoples time.

  10. JR


    I love the blogs about these bone rides.
    When I need a break at work, I read these!

  11. BIG BOB


    I have honestly never heard of any of these places. I can now plan my honeymoon.

  12. lol


    PLEASE do the 495 corridor! — Westborough, Northborough, Marlborough, Hudson, Berlin, Bolton, Stow, Harvard, Boxborough, Littleton & Westford. Good range in town size and character — and you barely ever cover northeast Worcester County. Give it some love. 🙁

    1. Bob and Mike


      Most of those are actually in Middlesex County… And all have a median household income of at least 70k. The shittiest part of those places is a few blocks in downtown Marlboro. Boring!

      PS how could you mention Boxboro, Stow, and Westford but skip over Acton?

  13. Nanny


    Imagine being insanely rich living out in Franklin County. Know what the first thing I’d do is? Move.

  14. Turtle Educator


    definitely need to get to lee and that area, deep in the berkshires.

  15. jon


    This website is ugly as fuck

  16. Evan


    I think the Springfield area is due a visit

  17. Carlyn


    Sadly I wasted my time reading this…I think everyone knows by now that there are good parts and dumpy parts of every town, so can we move on from the town bashing now? Maybe something interesting and actually amusing next time?

  18. Tracy


    You forgot to mention that Bill Cosby lives in Shelburne…..

  19. Tracy


    You forgot to mention that Bill Cosby lives in Shelburne…..

  20. J


    A few snippets about your pictures in Hawley. You conveniently avoided the for sale sign on the “trans am” and don’t show the guy’s awesome solar array. The one with the old Scout out front is the home of an elderly veteran, that car was his father’s, and while he doesn’t have the means to restore it, it still holds value to him. Doors Open in February is actually someone’s storage for their logging business, you can see logs on the truck to the side of the picture, if you noticed the beautiful log cabin way down the road from their, that’s the guy’s home. Dumpster and random crap is a guy who scraps for a living. There is dumpy places, like there is anywhere. But you don’t care to find out any story behind any of them which is kind of sad. Being a bully and publicly humiliating people is a lot easier, huh?

    1. J


      *there. My bad, internet.

  21. L


    Mattapan, Randolph, and Brockton are rather scenic. Maybe take route 28 all the way down to a special place called South Middleboro. Check out a place called “Pink Eye Village” on a quick detour to Lakeville. It’s memorable.

  22. anonymous


    Im glad you didn’t say anything about all the awesome stuff people actually come to charlemont for , every town has its dumps but it was pretty sweet to grow up in a place where in the winter we ski and snowboard , ice fish , snow tube , and hunt . In the summer we tube down the river with our friends and walk back to our houses to play beerpong like regular 20 something year Olds , we have awesome bonfires , we go four wheeling in our back yards .we can fish or raft or zipline any time we want . You can walk down the street and I promise you your not going to feel unsafe. You might think that’s awful but we wouldn’t have it any other way .

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