Sheep-ish: Short Yarns on the Long History of Sheep in Hampshire County
Small wooly figures have dotted the landscape of Hampshire County for over three hundred years. First traveling across the Atlantic alongside European immigrants to the Massachusetts Bay colony, sheep eventually spread to western Massachusetts, and their highly-prized presence have influenced legislation, agricultural education, textile production, and local identity for centuries. Over time the agricultural landscape has changed, the price of wool has risen and fallen, and global networks have intersected with local life in Hampshire County, yet sheep remain vital.
These online essays were prepared as companions to the pop-up micro-exhibit "Sheepish: Short Yarns on the Long History of Sheep in Hampshire County," which first appeared in September 2022 on the UMass Amherst campus. They are intended to complement, extend, and deepen the content of the micro-exhibit, and invite you to learn more about the dynamic history of sheep in our area. Enjoy!