Charlemont was first settled by Moses Rice (1694-1755). The town was along the distant frontier at the time, and was the subject of several raids by Native Americans. The town was incorporated as Charlemont in 1765 and was mostly rural, with farming being the main industry until the advent of the railroad, which traveled through town towards the Hoosac Tunnel. Today the town industry is tourism and is known as the recreational capital of New England with tourist areas along the Mohawk Trail.
Charlemont is located in the western part of Franklin County, along the Mohawk Trail (MA Route 2), 18 miles west of Greenfield.