October 31st, 2014 | No Comments
31 October 2014
Have a safe and jolly Halloween!
31 October 1953
Springdale PTA, West St. PTA and West Holyoke Groups Hold Events
Oct. 30 – Boys and girls from three sections of the city were entertained at Holyoke parties tonight by two PTA organizations and an improvement group. The parties were largely attended and prizes were awarded to the costume wearers at the close of the programs which included games, entertainment and refreshments.
The Springdale PTA was host to a large group of Springdale youngsters in the party staged at the Springdale Turn Hall. There was a parade of the masqueraders and prizes were awarded for the best costumes.
At the West St. School, the West St. PTA entertained a large gathering of boys and girls and during the evening motion pictures were whoen, games were played and refreshments were enjoyed.
The West Holyoke Mother’s Club and the West Holyoke Improvement League joined tonight to entertain the West Holyoke chldren in a party held at the West Holyoke Community House.
Tomorrow night an estimated 3000 youngsters will take part in the city-sponsored Halloween party which will include a street parade and a get together at Avery Field. FOur musical units will furnish the music for the marchers who will assemble at the H. B. Lawrence School yard at 6:30. The parade will move from the school yard to High St., then north on High St. to Hampden St., and west in the later street to Avery Field. Members of the Golden Age Club will serve refreshments to the youngsters at the field.
Adapted from The Springfield Republican.
15 June 1902
“Spook” Was A Would-Be Thief
White Figure in Hampden Mills
There are haunted mills reputed to be located in diverse cities and towns of New England, but it may have passed out of the recollection of all but the older inhabitants of Holyoke that it once had its haunted mill and ghost that created quite a little excitement before he was exorcised by the combined force of the laity and the law. The mill that was haunted now bears the sign of D. Mackintosh & Sons, but in the time referred to it was known as the Hampden mills. The house of the paymaster, which contained the safe in which the money was kept for the paying of the men was located on the left as one goes down Lyman Street between the canal and the house. this was a wooden building, strongly resembling the Riverside station on the Boston and Main railroad in appearance. Holyoke was then but partly built up, and the Hampden mills was, it will be remembered, one of the earliest of the mills to be constructed in Holyoke. It was near these mills, according to Dr. Long, that the first shovelful of earth for the canal system was thrown out.
All of which is aside from the ghost. This ghost was no ordinary ghost that simply contented itself with waving its arms and groaning. It suddenly became known throughout the young city’s limits that there was a very active ghost that haunted the mill. Not only did wild yells emanate from the structure in the dead of night, but those who approached too closely were target for missiles that were hurled with no uncertain aim. One minute a form clad in white would “squeak and gibber” in the top floor, and almost in a breath it would be seen in the basement. The observer by this time would generally take to his heels, and the chances were 10 to 1 the sheeted form would follow, uttering curses and hurling brickbats, railroad iron or anything else that was portable in the vicinity. It became very unpopular in a short time to be found in that locality. Wise men shrugged their shoulders and told of maniacs, counterfeiters and inverted diverse other schemes and theories to account for the developments. Meantime the ghost became bolder and received fresh invigoration from the apparent desire of Holyoke people to avoid the place. It actually went out upon the streets in the immediate neighborhood and pursued the passerby with calumny and paving stones. But alas for the ghost, he miscalculated the strength of human endurance. He started in to curvet and prance about a Holyoke citizen with one aim. Now one-armed men have a name for strength, and after the first shock of an encounter with a real ghost the said Holyoke citizen realized that whatever locality the ghost hailed from it was of real flesh and blood, and after a vigorous and not wholly bloodless battle the Holyoke man got the better of the ghost and promptly turned him over to the police.
The police judge next morning refused to accept any theory of a “special nature,” and the prisoner was treated just like an ordinary mortal. Investigation and subsequent confession on the part of the “ghost” developed the fact that he had been at work for weeks trying to break open the safe in the paymaster’s office, but through lack of the proper material or the ability was unable to do so. To distract attention, he conceived of the plan of the ghost. By an ingenious arrangement he slid down the elevator well from the top story to the bottom and was thus enabled to appear almost simultaneously at two points. Some white sheets and other simple apparatus enabled him to secure his other effects. If you don’t believe the story, ex-City Engineer T. W. Mann will show you the picture of the old mill and paymaster’s house; but there is not picture extant of the ghost so far as can be found.
Adapted from The Springfield Republican.
31 October 2014
Little Orphant Annie
by James Whitcomb Riley
Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other children, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–
An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
An’ wunst, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks wuz there,
She mocked ‘em an’ shocked ‘em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
An’ little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
You better mind yer parunts, an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
29 October 1922
Boston & Maine Railroad and Waterpower Company Rival Claimants
It Really Isn’t An Island at All
Question is Whether it Will Become a Park Site or Furnish Location For More Mills
Who owns Holyoke’s “island,” that long level wooded piece of and that stretches from in front of the Holyoke ice house, curving with the blue waters of the Connecticut to the mainland above Jones Point? One claim is that the Boston & Main Railroad owns it. The Holyoke Water Power Company says flatly that it owns all the land that the season’s recurring floods have deposited, and that the Boston & Maine, which was the Connecticut River in those days, bought a right of way only.
The island is not an island at all now, although it was in the beginning. It is connected with the mainland by a broad meadow over which, as over the island itself, sweeps the flooded Connecticut nearly every spring, leaving a thin film of sediment like that of the famous Nile — sediment that has built up the island.
Assistant Marshal Haley as a boy, with other boys, gazed with eager curiosity in some early year not known at the first treelet that started to grow, which many people went out to see in boats. If it had been today, with today’s Hooliganism rampant, the small tree that had been caught on the shallowing flats and started to grow would have been pulled up; but it was allowed to grow and others followed. Presently a little island appeared. It grew broader and broader; trees sprang up more plentifully; greensward began to appear along with mud, turtles, muskrats, minks and small boys. Its growth was helped, no doubt, by the piers and boom built by the lumber company of whose plant nothing remains but a gaping mudhole and a bank of refuse.
Growth of Isthmus
Originally the thousands of logs floated down the river to the lumber company, were caught by the outlying boom and poled down what is now solid land, for there was then no connection between island and mainland. Later the lumber company had to string a boom across the river and bring the logs up into the “cove” from beneath the tip of the island.
If you take the main railroad tracks, keeping a wary eye out for the railroad cops, from near the icehouse and following the long “deadman’s curve” Northamptonwards, you will presently come to the narrowing canal to which the wide cove shrinks as it extends north. The gully that comes down from “Sam” Hoyt’s paradise of happy houses and Christian Science debouches upon the railroad tracks just where what appears to be a dike ends. Take this dike and follow the path that is worn smooth and hard by the tramp of many feet, and in a few moments you ae between what appear to be two canals. Across the canal to the right is the “island,” across that to the left are the mainland and the railroad embankment. The smooth and level dike upon which you are walking, with grass as high as your waist on wither side of the path is the original embankment of the Connecticut River railroad used when only one track ran north of Holyoke, over which each spring swept floods which made the line impassable for days. The single track layout also appears a mile or so further up, by the rock cut opposite to the “Dutchman’s” near which also once ran the dam across the river, first built not for power but for navigation purposed. It was this dam that, settling back the waters of the river, overflowed the Northampton meadows and caused a bill to be brought into the Legislature that it be abolished because of the disease and trouble that it made. This caused quite a fight between the river gods of those days and the Meadow City dwellers not wholly unlike that which is raging today over the power question at Holyoke. Continue Reading →