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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….
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
Subway and Cumby’s
Nice little neighborhoods
Big homes with well manicured lawns
Granted you will run into hippies
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
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.
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!!!
The downtown is nifty
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.
But there is one part of town that looks like a shithole which will make sense later on – the part near Turner Falls.
I’m not even shitting you, this is a legit car dealership in Greenfield called “Alan’s Auto Sales”:
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.
Located right on the Deerfield River, Shelburne is a pleasant looking town
Except for that one part that borders Colrain…..
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.
Leyden is a nice town, but the downtown is a little too dangerous for Turtleboy’s liking:
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.
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.
Buckland’s got some nice parts
And some dumpy parts
Apparently the thing to do in Buckland is to get your won school bus and park it in your driveway
There’s a booming pump service industry
Downsides include a high concentration of hippies
Neighbors who like to throw their 1800’s era bathtubs in their yards
And covered bridges, covered in hippie propaganda
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.
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.
Oh yea, and 99% of the town is dirt roads, because it’s pretty much not even civilization. This is downtown Heath:
This is literally what the people of Heath deal with every day for infrastructure:
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.
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.
Well, at least most of the homes.
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.
Montague is the second biggest town in Franklin County, and for the most part, “Montague” isn’t that bad.
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.
Look kids, smog!!!
Turner Falls is filled with jovial townsfolk
Abandoned grocery carts as far as the eye can see
Houses with wooden boards for curtains
Rape vans that apparently have crashed into the children’s basketball hoop
Don’t worry though, Bernie is gonna fix all this shit in no time
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”:
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.
If Steven Avery’s family moved to Charlemont they’d be begging to move back to Manitowoc County in a matter of days.
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.
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.
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.
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:
It’s also the only town for miles that serves Pepsi
And the trailer scene is off the hook!!
But at least they have their own pizza place there. And they serve booze too!!!
Nevertheless, you couldn’t pay me enough money to live in Charlemont.
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.
This is downtown.
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.
Or a dumpster and a bunch of random other crap.
Or an old Trans Am that you drew racing stripes on yourself.
They also like to build their own front porches
Keep their doors open all day in February
They refuse to get rid of the cars on their front lawn, of course, especially their great grandfather lost his virginity in it.
Don’t worry though, if there’s a fire, the Hawley Fire Department will be there in a jiffy to put it out.
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.
Other than that, I wouldn’t recommend ever moving to Hawley.
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:
But guess what Colrain? Turtleboy now officially owns your whole town.
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:
You know you’re in a bootleg town when the primary artery is called “Main Road”:
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.
But as you can see, this is why Colrain can’t have nice things:
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:
Oh yea, and guess what the official religion of Colrain is? Church. Ya got that?
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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