Ashfield was incorporated in 1765 with four Proprietors serving as Selectmen and is still today a Proprietor Town. By 1840, Ashfield was the leading wool producing town in Franklin County and by 1855 it was the leading producer of butter and had 14 sawmills or woodworking shops.
Today Ashfield continues to have an agricultural industry. Many local farmers produce fiber from sheep, grow fresh vegetables, produce meat and dairy products, honey and maple syrup and grow Christmas trees. The Ashfield Farmer's Market is located on the Town Common from May to October.
The Town of Ashfield has 2 golf courses, Ashfield Lake, Bear Swamp Reservation, Ashfield Trails, Chapel Falls, and abuts the DAR State Forest. Other activities around Ashfield include cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, and hiking.
Ashfield is part of the hill-towns of western Franklin County. It is conveniently located 30 minutes from Northampton and Greenfield and only 15 minutes from Shelburne Falls.