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Large Crowd Sees Aquatic Show By Kids

September 2nd, 2014 | No Comments

02 September 1950

Ward I Pool Demonstrations Display Good Work by Pupils

Some Kids in the Aquatic Show, 1950

They’re All Champs — Above are the 18 prize winners, best in their classes, at the annual aquatic meet held Friday afternoon at the Ward 1swimming pool. The champions are: Front row, left to right. Claire Devine, Georgette Bousquet, Bunny Burke, Patricia Bourquet, Joan Vienneau, Ann Barnett, Ann McAndrews and Christine Blanchette; rear, Constance Burke, Irene Gosselin, Carol Claire, Shirley Savard, Dorothy Krajewski, Agnes Corley, Julia Garbacik, Barbara Krajewski, Judy Dietz, and Lou Ann Zwirblia.

Holyoke – The technique and grace in ploughing rhythmically through water was demonstrated this afternoon in a three hour exhibit at the indoor Ward 1  pool by youngsters before a gallery that thronged the structure

Tonight at Pool

The annual aquatic carnival featured girls who received their training from instructors at the pool. The skill they showed in executing difficult maneuvers was a reflection of the diligence and competency shown by Mrs. Berry Dooley and Miss Patricia O’Donnell who taught the classes.

Judges were Robert Gaughan, Michael Redding, Theresa Gordon, Jeanne Lecour, Maureen Clark, Patricia Delisle and Janet Mungall.

Songs and Fancy Diving

Songs by Bunny Burke, Beverly Walsh and Claire Devine opened the exhibition. Fancy diving followed and winners were Julie Garbacik, Anne Burnett and Dorothy Krajewski.

Then came the races. Winners of the six-year-olds’ dash were Patsy Bourque and Joyce Goulet. Prizes in the seven to nine age group went to Bunny Burke and Claire Devine; winners of the 10-year-olds’ races were Midge Burke and Kathleen Devine; 11-year-olds, a tie between Carol Clare and Judy Dietz; 14-year olds, Barbara Krajewski and Joanne Zwirbia.

During intermission, Joanne Vienneau sang. The events then went of with breast stroke racing. Winners in the midget race were Bunny Burke and Claire Devine; junior race, Julie Garbacik and Judy Walker; senior race, Joanne Zwirbia and Agnes Corley. Continue Reading →

Rosary Lawn Fete — 29 June 1946

August 29th, 2014 | No Comments

29 June 1946

60th Anniversary Rosary Lawn Fete, July 1 to July 6
Rosary 60th Anniversary Lawn Fete
July 1 – July 6, 1946
Lyman & Canal Sts, Holyoke, Mass.

Under Auspices of the Rosary Improvement Fund
Lyman & Canal Sts. Holyoke, Mass.

Click through on image to view a larger size.

The Holyoke Dancing Clubs

August 28th, 2014 | No Comments

15 October 1905

dancing 1

For Profit and Amusement

Much speculation is heard from time to time as to the large number of clubs that are being run in Holyoke, as revealed by the dances heralded here or there for this or that club’s benefit. There are clubs and clubs’ clubs that have a large membership ad own or rent commodious quarters; smaller clubs that rent a room or two; clubs that meet at regular periods for literary, musical or social ends; and last but not least, in number, the club which is organized for the apparent sole purpose pf holding a dance about once a year. It is only within two or three years that the clubs of the latter kind have flourished. Their success is said to have arisen from the success of a “club”  that shall be nameless, but which consisted of six young men, just about enough to appear upon the cards as “floor manager,” “aids” and “program committee.” these six wise Holyoke young men viewed the situation carefully and decided that the Holyoke public was yearning for a big dance at the city hall.

According to the story, they laid their plans with great care. First a humble notice appeared in the Holyoke papers that there would be a meeting of young men at a certain place to form a club “for social and literary purposes/” Then, the day after, the press committee dragged into the publishing rooms of the papers aforesaid an item setting forth the list of officers selected, their headquarters and membership. One or two ore items were evolved with nice care, and then came the announcement that the newly-formed “club” would hold a ball in city hall. The six young men got busy with tickets. They got several hundred nicely printed, headed the “First annual ball of the _________ club.” They were well acquainted about the city and interested others to sell them as well as themselves. As a result, the city hall was crowded — with 460 or 500 dancers –  and after paying expenses the “club” of six had the little “wad” to divide among themselves, which the proceeded to spend in riotous living and much lightheartedness.

Since that time numerous clubs have been formed of a like nature, but the matter has become so thoroughly understood among the Holyoke dancing sets that no one concerns himself or herself much with the “club.” All that the club does is to give a pleasant evening’s dancing to from 100 to 250 couples. The club then pays the expenses of the hall, music and decorations and then divides the net results per capita and waits as patiently as may be for another year. Clubs of young women, as well as young men, are interested in and carry out successfully these dances, the larger part of which are being held at Windsor Hall. Most of them are held Friday or Saturday evenings, and the attendance runs from 150 to 500 people. The dances are well conducted and seem to be enjoyed to the full, every one seemingly getting their money’s worth. Many of them have an entrance fee of 25 cents, but some are 50 cents. The only objection that prevails against them seems to be the general objection against promiscuous dances.

Here are a list of the clubs that have held, or are to hold, dances at this hall. Young women’s clubs — Bluebell, Violet, Carnation and “H.A.F.” Men’s Clubs — Arizona, Liberty, Monitors, Oriole, Oxford, Carlton, Crystal, Elite, Rhymers, Gaiety, Olympian, Jolly Five, Cynthia, Century, Pansy, Beloin, Biscuit Shooters, Nyasset and Columbia, besides several athletic associations.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Strengthening Gate House At Dam

August 27th, 2014 | No Comments

05 July 1936

Strengthening Gate House At Dam

Strengthening Gate House At Dam
05 Jul 1936

Holyoke, July 4 – The picture shows extremely well how the piers at the headgate of the Holyoke Water Power Company are being buttressed so that there will be no danger from high floods in future years. The view is from the downstream side and when completed each pier will have buttress similar to the four nearly completed, shown in the picture. The head gatehouse stood the flood well but it was deemed wise to be sure that a still higher flood would not wreck it. With the overflow wall just below also buttressed and other safeguards it is felt that the dam, abutments and gatehouse will stand a much higher flood than that of this year if it ever comes.

Adapted from the Springfield Republican.

Tombstone Tuesday — John Lowe

August 26th, 2014 | 2 Comments

From Forestdale Cemetery

Lowe Tombstone, Forestdale Cemetery

Lowe Tombstone, Forestdale Cemetery. Click for a larger version.

John Lowe
Born Nov. 28, 1841
Died July 30, 1912
Emma, Wife of
John Lowe 1847 – 1903
At Rest.

Continue Reading →


Suggested Holyoke Books

Mountain Park -- The Holyoke destination we all loved.

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College, Postcard History by Donna Albino. Many Holyoke women have attended Mount Holyoke. Author also maintains an amazing MHC website based upon her personal collection.

Holyoke - Chicopee, A Perspective

Holyoke-Chicopee: A Perspective, by Ella Merkel DiCarlo. DiCarlo, a former Transcript columnist offers a fascinating compilation of her essays. Published in 1982, this out-of-print book is worth looking for in the aftermarket.


Holyoke, by Craig Della Penna. The first Holyoke book in the Arcadia series, published in 1997.

Belle Skinner Collection

Belle Skinner Collection, by Ruth Isabel Skinner. Published in 1933, this book is long out of print but copies are still available in the aftermarket.

Mitch Epstein: Family Business

Mitch Epstein: Family Business Published in 2003, available in the aftermarket. Epstein's furniture.