Famous Americans

Jenny Lind

The famous 19th century singer and actress Jenny Lind gave Northampton its current nickname, Paradise City, when she was in Northampton to perform at the Academy of Music, calling the city "The Paradise of America." 

President Calvin Coolidge

Former president of the United States Calvin Coolidge was a lawyer here and served as Northampton's Mayor before he traveled to the White House. You can visit his bust in front of Memorial Hall on Main Street.

Sylvia Plath

American poet Sylvia Plath lived here while at Smith College. Some of her papers are collected in their library.

Reverend Jonathon Edwards

Reverend Jonathon Edwards, widely credited with sparking the Great Awakening, preached from Northampton for a number of years. Mr. And Mrs. Andrew Carnegie visited often in the 1800's.

Sylvester Graham

Sylvester Graham, a Minister, lecturer, and a creator of the graham cracker, died in his home in Northampton. Now, a local restaurant - Sylvester's - operates in his former home.

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was a nationally known advocate for justice and equality between races and sexes during the 19th century. Sojourner Truth arrived in Florence (a village of Northampton) in 1843, joining the Northampton Association of Education and Industry, a utopian community dedicated to equality and justice. Truth and many of the country’s important abolitionists helped establish Florence as a center of antislavery resistance. Several Florence homes were stops on the Underground Railroad.

Alexander Graham Bell

Bell was here as a teacher at the Clarke School for the Deaf in the 1870’s. To this day, the school serves deaf and hearing impaired children from around the world from its base in Northampton.

Amelia Earhart

Earhart spent some time in Northampton, too, learning engine mechanics while her sister studied at Smith College. 

Leonard Baskin

One of the sculptors who created the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial in Washington D.C. also lived in Northampton.

Bob Dylan

Singer Dylan gave a rare interview to 60 Minutes from his room at the Hotel Northampton


Oprah stayed at the Hotel Northampton during Smith College's graduation weekend in 2017. Oprah was their Keynote Speaker.