Latest Ramblings

Valley Arena Pine Room

October 23rd, 2014 | No Comments

04 October 1951

04 Oct 1951 Valley Arena Pine Room

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Carrie Pratt

October 23rd, 2014 | No Comments


Carrie Pratt's House of Pleasure

Carrie Pratt’s House of Pleasure

In August 2014, I posted an article about a police raid at the “pond houses” — Carrie Pratt and Prudie Williams “houses of ill fame.” It made me wonder about the exact location of these houses, cited in the article as being “near Ashley Pond.”

Looking through L. J. Richard’s of Springfield, MA, 1894 maps of Holyoke in their Topographical Atlas, I was surprised to find the location of Carrie Pratt’s house clearly marked on the map below. It is pretty much dead center of the map at the intersection of what is labeled Rock Valley Road and West St. If you follow Rock Valley Road toward the bottom of the map there is also a house labeled “J. Williams” and this may (or may not, have yet to  verify) be the Prudie Williams location. You may wish to click through on the map to see a larger version.

Location of Carrie Pratt's House

Location of Carrie Pratt’s House

According to her tombstone, Carrie Pratt was born in 1861, so at this time she was only about 33 years old. On her marriage record to Joseph Lapointe in 1900,  Pratt reports her age as 35 — which would make her birth year about 1865 — perhaps making a difference in this situation as Joseph Lapointe’s age is recorded as 25. The marriage record has her as Caroline Pratt,  born in Boston to unknown parents, so to think of that era and the difficulties of an orphan carving out a life — despite the “career” it is a bit amazing to see she owned a house. Carrie’s marriage was a short one, Joseph died in 1904.

More research when the off-season arrives here.

Hadassah Ushers In Season With Tea

October 22nd, 2014 | No Comments

10 October 1956

10 oct 1956 Hadassah tea

Ushering in a new season for the Holyoke Chapter of Hadassah, a traditional membership tea was held Tuesday night at the Jewish Community Center. During the program, new members were received into the chapter, and recent brides were honored. An entertainment climaxed the social. Pictured, left to right, are Mrs. Kenneth Stein, general chairman, Mrs. Edward Hano, chapter president, Mrs. Robert Schaeffer, Mrs. Daniel Wax and Mrs. Mischa Barowsky, all active committee members.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Alderman Golden Wedding

October 22nd, 2014 | No Comments

22 January 1910

Mr. Eugene G. Alderman

Mr. Eugene G. Alderman

Well-Known Couple Will Celebrate Their Anniversary Today

Mr. and Mrs. Eugene G. Alderman will celebrate their golden wedding at their home at 50 Pearl Street this afternoon and evening. The affair will be informal and no invitations will be issued aside from the invitation extended a week ago by Mr. and Mrs. Alderman for their friends and neighbors to call during the afternoon and evening.

Mrs. Eugene Aldermannee Ellen E. Holmes

Mrs. Eugene Alderman
nee Ellen E. Holmes

Mr. and Mrs. Alderman were married in Simsbury, Ct., January 22, 1860, by Rev. Joseph Vinton, pastor of the Congregational Church. Mr. Alderman was born in East Granby, Ct., on March 18, 1840, and attended the public schools of that town. When a boy he learned the trade of carpenter. Mrs. Alderman, who before her marriage was Miss Ellen C. Holmes, was born in Thompsonville, Ct., Jan 15, 1843, and when a few years of age went with her parents to East Granby, Ct. Following their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Alderman lived in the village until 1879, when they went to Holyoke, where they have since made their home. Five years after his arrival in Holyoke, Mr. Alderman entered the employ of the Holyoke Water Power Company, and was employed steadily for 25 years. He retired from active work about two months ago. Two years after his marriage he enlisted with the 25th regiment, Connecticut volunteers, for the Civil War, his regiment being assigned to the army of the West engaged in opening the Mississippi from Cairo to the Gulf. The regiment saw active service beginning with the Battle of Irish Bend, and was engaged almost continually until the fall of Port Hudson and Vicksburg, the regiment being under fire for 44 days during the siege. Mr. Alderman was wounded in the forehead during his service. He was mustered out after a year and a half of service. he is a member of Kilpatrick Grand Army post and attends the reunion of his old regiment every year in Connecticut.

The couple had born to them eight children, all of whom are living, and they have 13 grandchildren. The children are  as follows: George P. B. Alderman of the firm of George P. B. Alderman & Co., architects; Charles E.. Superintendent of the Hampden Glazed Vard and Paper Company, Oliver C., in the hardware business in Springfield; Henry H., an architect in company with his brother; Eugene R., assistant superintendent at the Farr Alpaca Company; Miss Ellen L., teacher in the Highlands Grammar School; Miss Carrie L., teacher in the Elm Street School; Miss May E., teacher in the Kirtland School. Mr. and Mrs. Alderman will receive at their home from 2:30 until 5 o’clock this afternoon and from 7 until 10 o’clock this evening. The Rockland Trio will furnish music and the daughters will be assisted in entertaining by Mrs. Harold Carruthers, Miss Emily Collingwood, Miss Ethel Partridge, Miss Christina Dickey, Miss Belle Stokes and Miss Christine Alderman. Many friends from out of town are expected and the local Grand Army post will be guests of honor.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Junior Achievement Group

October 21st, 2014 | No Comments

11 April 1937

Junior Achievement Group

Junior Achievement Group of Younger Girls at Holyoke
April 1937

Of Younger Girls at Holyoke

Holyoke, April 10 – While many of the sewing classes at the Junior Achievement foundation are for older girls, the smaller girls are not forgotten, as witness this group of Busy Sewers and Singers taught by Miss Lorraine St. Onge (extreme right). The pupils, left to right are: Janie Sienowski, Vincie Cartabona, Wanda Sienowski and Shirley Ayotte.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.


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.