Latest Ramblings

Wed By The Same Minister

September 17th, 2014 | No Comments

29 September 1949

Standing, from left: Mr. & Mrs. Alexander H. Dollar, Rev. and Mrs. E. B. Robinson; Seated, from Left; Mrs, James R. Smith, Sr.; Mr. James R. Smith, Jr., Mrs. James R. Smith, Jr., Mr. James R. Smith.

Standing, from left: Mr. & Mrs. Alexander H. Dollar, Rev. and Mrs. E. B. Robinson;
Seated, from Left; Mrs, James R. Smith, Sr.; Mr. James R. Smith, Jr., Mrs. James R. Smith, Jr., Mr. James R. Smith.

Friends attending the recent marriage in Holyoke of Mr. and Mrs. James R. Smith, Jr., performed by Rev. E. B. Robinson were pleasantly surprised to find themselves in a reunion party of couples wed by the minister. Standing, left to right: Mr. and Mrs. Alexander H. Dollar of Bronsfield, Pa., Married March 15, 29 years ago; and Rev. and Mrs. Robinson, married 50 years ago last May 18. Seated are the newlyweds with Mr. and Mrs. James R. Smith of Holyoke, married 25 years ago, September 19. Mrs. J. R. Smith, Jr. is the former Audrey S. Miles of Calumet Road.

Adapted from The Springfield Union.

Holyoke Woman Rings in Fire Box on O’Connor Avenue

September 17th, 2014 | No Comments

06 September 1931

Holyoke, September 6 – A woman living on O’Connor Avenue went to mail a letter about 4:30 this afternoon. She looked around, walked up to a fire alarm box, opened the door and tried to mail a letter in it, pulling down the “hook” as she did so.

The letter dropped on the sidewalk and a passerby picked it up for her and suggested that she put it in a mail box. While they were discussing this the fire department called by the box which is 437 on O’Connor Avenue came dashing up. The woman was scared as she realized what she had done but the fire laddies took it as a joke. This is about the only time it ever happened here.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Eastern States Exposition Ad, 1937

September 16th, 2014 | No Comments

05 September 1937

Eastern States Exposition Ad, 1937

(Click through on image to see a larger version).

Eastern States Exposition Ad, 1937

Eastern States Exposition
September 19 – 25
7 Days, 7 Nights
Springfield, Mass.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican

Tombstone Tuesday — Elmwood Cemetery

September 16th, 2014 | No Comments

A random tombstone from Elmwood Cemetery. Click through to see a larger version of the images.

Nellie Dickinson Hartnett

Nellie Dickinson McClellan Hartnett,
Side 1

Nellie Dickinson Hartnett

Nellie Dickinson McClellan Hartnett
Side 2

Miss Nellie Josephine
Born Sept 13, 1861
Died March 27, 1952
Married to
Mr. George G. McClellan
Nov 9, 1892
Married to
Mr. Dennis Edward Hartnett
October 24, 1914

Easthampton, March 27, 1952 — Mrs. Nellie (Dickinson) McClellan Hartnett, 90, of Mineral Road, Loudville, died at her home this morning after a short illness. Born in Monroe, New Hampshire, she was the daughter of the late John and Lucy (Torrey) Dickinson and had lived in Loudville 57 years. She was married in 1892 to George McClellan, who died in 1913. In 1914 she married Dennis Hartnett, who died in 1946,. She was a member of the Springfield chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Plymouth Church of Pilgrims, Brooklyn, New York.

Obituary adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Atlas Indicates Where Old Homes Stood in Holyoke

September 15th, 2014 | No Comments

30 October 1927

Early House in Ward I

Former Home of James M. Smith
Father of Fayette Smith
Ely Court

Sites of Factories Were Farm Lands of 1870, Ward I Houses Gone

Holyoke, October 29 – The other day Charles W. Embury, assistant cashier at the City National Bank, made a find of an atlas of Hampden County in 1870 and on showing it to the president, C. Fayette Smith, the latter was delighted to note that the house of his father, James M. Smith, in Ward I, was indicated on it. One afternoon this week Mr. Smith drive down to Ward I and was able to locate his father’s house on Ely Court, next to the Rosary Clubhouse, a modest story and a half house but well built, now a dull brown color. Mr. Smith believes that it has been turned around in a different position from  what it occupied when, as a boy, he lived in it. He took another street and driving into the alley in the rear of Bowers Street on a hunt for the Rufus Mosher house that once stood on Bowers Street near the top of the hill. No trace of it was found, but there was found in the rear of one of the Bowers Street blocks the house formerly owned by Richard Pattee. Evidently when the blocks were built this house, now in rather need of repair, was moved to the rear of the block as was done in several other cases as back of the Willard house on Suffolk Street.

Only Two Houses Located

Mr. Smith was reminiscent as he passed through the ward. All around the West Street School and where the Deane Works and many other factories stand was then farm land, a part of it wooded.  “I used to snare rabbits here,” he said as he passed the West Street playground. “They didn’t think I was old enough to tote a gun so I used to snare them instead.”

Early House in Ward I

Former Home of Richard Pattee
Bowers Street

These two houses are the only ones to be located that were standing in 1870. Possibly there are others but their location is not known. The Rufus Mosher house was a square house, solid and well built, one of the first to be erected in that section. It may have been moved elsewhere. Mr. Pattee was a member of the machine shop of Pattee & Perkins, Duane T. Perkins being the other member. Their shop was on Crescent Street.

Interesting Facts Recorded

The Holyoke Public Library ought to take that atlas from Charlie Embury by main force if need be. It is too valuable to be lost, strayed or burnt up in some fire. the city hall dies not appear on these maps of Holyoke. It took three plates to print Holyoke. The Ward I section occupies most of one plate. There was no bridge to South Hadley Falls marked on the plate, but a road is marked as leading to the ferry. The cut of the dam is after the apron was put on. There was no city hall, but the Second Congregational Church is marked as standing where the Mosher building now stands and the Episcopal Church at Maple and Suffolk Streets where the Hadley Falls Trust Company building now nearing completion, stands. Above Suffolk Street was an expanse of market streets but with no buildings on them. “Tiger Town” was a few houses. The map of Northampton Street is very instructive. Elmwood is marked as Baptist Village, Ireland Depot was an early name and this appears on the map. Turning to Chicopee, Springfield and even Westfield these places were developed and thickly settled. Mr. Smith was amazed at the size of Westfield as compared with Holyoke at that time. Maps of other towns equally valuable though not of as much interest to Holyokers.

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.