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What’s With All the Names?

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Two villages, Florence and Leeds, are also part of Northampton. It can be confusing. Each community has its own identity, and even its own zip code (Northampton is 01060; Florence is 01062, and Leeds is 01053). Here’s what you need to know.

Florence is just northwest of Northampton’s downtown– follow Route 9 past the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School and you’ll find yourself in the center of Florence.

Leeds is northwest of Florence. If you were to keep going up Route 9, once you hit the Veterans Administration Medical Center (just past Look Park), you’d be in Leeds. To explore Leeds further, take a left onto Florence Street and follow any of the winding roads.

The Baystate area of town is not its own village but is a very distinct neighborhood. It’s bounded by the Mill River, Nonotuck Street, Riverside Drive, and Federal Street, which you’ll find just below the high school.

As far as the terms “Hamp” and “Noho” go, we make no judgments. A common explanation is that Northampton natives call the city “Hamp,” while newer residents (and tourists) call it “Noho.” However, we’ve heard plenty of non-natives call it “Hamp, and a number of longtime residents call it “Noho.” To play it safe, just say “Northampton.” And no matter what, the high school is  always “Hamp High.”


Northampton resident Rachel Simpson is a creative communications professional with more than 20 years of broad experience in corporate, municipal, academic, non-profit, and commercial settings.

Her work has included web copy, marketing/publicity materials, fundraising letters, nationally distributed newsletters and mailings, curriculum and activity guides, product reviews, feature stories, annual reports, speeches, presentations, newspapers, testimonials, business profiles, biographies, and high-end property descriptions.

If it has to do with words, Rachel is the person for you.

She blogs regularly for AOL’s Kitchen Daily website, and has also written for Better Homes & Gardens, Family Fun, Parents Magazine, the Smith College School for Social Work, Hampshire Community United Way, Venus & the Cellar Bar, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Goggins Real Estate, and many more happy clients.

Need help? Call her at 413-386-8234, or email Rachel at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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