The Settling of Ludlow

In 1684, legal issues with the English government led to fears that the land not owned by anyone in Springfield would become property of the King. This being unacceptable to the people of Springfield, they decided to split up the land among those in Springfield. They were so desperate to divide up and assign land, that underage males were given land and the ridiculous amount of 150 acres of land was set aside for schools and 300 acres for churches. At this time the land that included Ludlow was referred to as the "East Outward Commons." The East Outward Commons were then divided into three parts with 125 lots each. The lots were given away by literally pulling names out of a hat. Interestingly, all of the lots were not considered valuable and were mainly just used for their natural resources for several decades.

The Settling

The first person to settle the area is believed to be Aaron Colton, who settled near the Chicopee River where Chapin and Miller Street now meet sometime before 1751. Some of the others who first came to Ludlow at around the same time were; Shem Chapin, James Sheldon, and Benjamin Sikes. As the area was so remote and uninhabited it is believed that when Joseph Miller and his family left to settle in the area, a funeral service was held for them, considering them to be dead. At this time Ludlow was indeed very wild. There were no roads and no bridges over the Chicopee River (today 1 bridge being closed causes a lot of issues) and there were also numerous bears, wolves and deer in the area.

Ludlow is Born

Attempting to traverse the Chicopee River to attend church and reach the nearest town became an annoyance to the people living in Ludlow and they eventually made a petition to the governor to form a town. It is believed that 23 year old Aaron John Miller was the one who carried the petition all the way to Boston and that he may also have participated in the Boston Tea Party, which would have occurred around this time. On February 28th, 1774 the charter for the town of Ludlow was signed into law by the governor and the town was born. Although it is not known for certain what Ludlow was named after, it is believed to be either after the town of Ludlow, England or a man named Roger Ludlow. In 1833, a Reverend named Ebenezer B. Wright wrote that the town was named after a man going by the name Roger Ludlow. As Reverend Wright lived in Ludlow since 1819 and had access to people who were most likely alive when the town name was chosen, he is most likely right about the source of the name Ludlow. Furthermore, as the name of the town only appears once on the charter and not anywhere else (as it normally would) and is written in different handwriting then the rest of the charter it is also possible that it was chosen by the governor.