Colrain is situated on 43.37 square miles with a population of approximately 1600. The eastern border follows the Green River, bordering Leyden with Greenfield to the southeast. To the west lies Heath, with Charlemont to the southwest; to the north are the towns of Halifax and Guilford Vermont; and to the south is Shelburne Falls. Colrain is home to two state forests, Catamount State Forest to the Southwest, and half of the H.O. Cook State Forest to the northeast.
Colrain Historical Society, consolidated with the G. William Pitt House and Collection on Main Street. The collection illustrates a variety of lifestyles from the many villages making up the town of Colrain. It includes decorative objects, household items, farming equipment, textiles and clothing. Also featured are books and papers on Colrain history. Open by appointment (413) 624-0106.
Arthur A. Smith Covered Bridge, on Lyonsville Road, is a restored 112-year, 100- foot bridge, that can be used for foot traffic. The bridge incorporates the Burr truss, which was first used by Theodore Burr, from Torringford, CT, in 1804. It's a design which uses a web of king-post trusses reinforced by an arch.
Catamount State Forest, located on 1,125 acres in southwestern Colrain and eastern Charlemont, accessible from Four Mile Square Road. A 27-acre lake and nearby streams are stocked with trout. The area offers hiking and bridle trails as well as the opportunity for various winter activities. 413-339-5504
H.O. Cook State Forest is located one mile east of Route 8A on State Farm Road in northwestern Colrain and northeastern Heath, one-half south of the Vermont state line. Its 1,620 acres offer hunting, fishing, hiking and horseback riding trails and winter activities. The more than five miles of streams boast native brook trout. (413) 339-5504
Glowing Glory is a neon American flag that was erected on Kenneth Shearer's dairy farm following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The 16-foot-by-28-foot flag, which was designed by Tony "Pacifico" Palumbo, is clearly visible to those who drive into Colrain on Colrain-Shelburne Road.
Crafts of Colrain Studio Tour, features about 20 artisans at work. The event happens the second weekend of November.
Before 1761, when it was incorporated as a town, "Coleraine" was called Boston Township. Many of the original settlers were immigrants from Ireland and Scotland, and it is said that the town was named in honor of Lord Coleraine, an Irish peer. According to local tradition, Lord Coleraine was so well pleased by this that he sent a fine bell to the townspeople. Unfortunately, the bell never arrived. Apparently, so the story goes, It was sold by the unscrupulous agent to whom it was entrusted, and was installed in a church in Boston.
An article published in 1839 states: "Coleraine has a larger population than any other town in Franklin County. It is finely watered by two branches of North River, a tributary of Deerfield River, affording water power for a number of factories in various parts of the town, which are now in successful operation. ... the road in some places passes at a great elevation from the bed of the (North) river, and to a lover of natural scenery in its varied forms this place possesses uncommon attractions.
In 1837, there were three cotton mills operating in whcih "40 males and 120 females were employed." These factories produced 930,000 yards of cotton goods, valued at $59,000. The local iron foundry made 150 tons of iron castings. Doors, sash and blinds, and various other articles were manufactured in the town as well. Raising sheep was also an important occupation, and during the same year there were 4,340 merino and 1,414 other kinds of sheep in the town.
Colrain is the site of the first public school to fly the United States flag.