Agawam Historical Assocation

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Origin of the name "Agawam"

Posted by [email protected] on June 23, 2017 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (53)

As we all know, our town's name is Agawam. A good solid Indian/Native American name! And if we were to take a poll on where the name came from, 75% of the town would probably answer, it's Mawaga, the name of the Indians who lived in this area, spelled backwards! And although it's true that Agawam backwards is Mawaga, the other half of that statement is not true. So where does the name Agawam come from?

The most detailed history book on Agawam is by Edith LaFrancis. And this is what the paragraph about the name says:

"Indians obviously did not name towns, they named areas and contours of land. Thus the above described land was Agawam. The word comes from two Algonquin words, "Aggu," low land: and "wame," meaning wholly low or all surrounded by higher ground.

The descendants of people who had been living here for a thousand years, these Agawam Indians were Algonquins and a branch of the Pocumtucks at Deerfield. Their tribal territory extended into Enfield, Suffield, Granby, Hartland (Connecticut), and Southwick, with the two chief villages in Agawam and at Congamond Lakes in Southwick. On the east it extended to the Nipmuck country and on the west to the disputed land."

There's a whole chapter on the Indians in the book, and this website I found interesting and it confirms what the book says.…/massachusetts-indian-tribe…;

Letter from our new president.

Posted by [email protected] on June 11, 2016 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Dear Members:


I am very pleased to be the next president of the Agawam Historical Association and to follow in the footsteps of Marilyn Curry. She has been a dedicated and faithful leader and I am sure I will seek her counsel often.


I grew up in Granville and went to high school in Southwick. I received my BA from Saint Michael’s College and my MBA from UMass Boston. I am currently a Commercial Credit Analyst at Freedom Credit Union and have been a resident of Agawam for sixteen years. I am married to my husband Mike and we have two beautiful cats, Casey & Nicky.


I started my relationship with the AHA as a member after attending the annual banquet as a guest of Grace Tilden about six years ago. I worked on the Native American exhibit for the Firehouse Museum and volunteered at the Thomas Smith House. I plan to continue working at both locations. With the help of the board members, I hope I can bring the Association forward to provide fundraising programs such as the 5K race in 2017, spearheaded by Grace Tilden, to reduce the loan on the Thomas Smith House.


With the assistance of the membership, I plan to continue to organize activities for both the Firehouse Museum and Thomas Smith House. Also I look forward to finding ways to increase our membership to ensure the growth and sustainability of the Association. I hope we can work together as a group toward these



Thank you,


Sue Scantlen


AHA President