The Hampshire & Hampden Canal, which, with the Farmington Canal, linked Westfield to Long Island Sound in New Haven. The canal system was planned as early as 1822, completed in 1835, and operated for a period of 17 years.
Extending as far north as Northampton, passing through Westfield, the water link was a canal four feet deep and some 34 feet wide, extending 87 miles to the sea. The canal was used for both freight and passenger service, and the boats made their way leisurely along the route, for they were pulled by horses, and had to negotiate some 90 locks.
The canal system was abandoned in 1847 because of railroad competition and financial woes. Eight years later, the canal route became a railroad right of way, and a railroad was built along the same route, using the drained canal bed in some places. The Columbia Greenway had its beginnings.