Springfield Massachusetts - 300th Anniversary1936
by Joseph Kiselewski
Bronze with brown patina

The obverse bears bust of William Pynchon, founder of Springfield. Around, WILLIAM PYNCHON FOUNDED SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS / - MAY 14TH., 1636 -; signed over shoulder at lower left with (JK monogram)

The reverse bears image of Springfield town or city halls through history. Around, IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 300TH. ANNIVERSARY OF SPRINGFIELD, MASS. *; under contemporary city hall, 1636 / 1936

William Pynchon was an English colonist and fur trader in North America best known as the founder of Springfield, Massachusetts. He was also a colonial treasurer, original patentee of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the iconoclastic author of the New World's first banned book. An original settler of Roxbury, Massachusetts, Pynchon became dissatisfied with that town's notoriously rocky soil and in 1635, led the initial settlement expedition to Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts, where he found exceptionally fertile soil and a fine spot for conducting trade. In 1636, he returned to officially purchase its land, then known as "Agawam." In 1640, Springfield was officially renamed after Pynchon's home village, now a suburb of Chelmsford in Essex, England — due to Pynchon's grace following a dispute with Hartford, Connecticut's Captain John Mason over, essentially, whether to treat local natives as friends or enemies. (Pynchon was a man of peace and also very business-minded — thus he advocated for friendship with the region's natives.) Pynchon's stance led to Springfield aligning with the faraway government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony rather than the more geographically and ideologically compatible Connecticut Colony.

The medal measures 62mm in diameter and was struck by the Medallic Art Company of New York.