This Day in Holyoke History: June 3

by Laurel | June 3rd, 2009

June 3, 1899

A crowd collected on Hamilton street yesterday forenoon, under the impression that a child was being hurt. It was even so; but it turned out that the hurting was a good dose of the oil of birch being administered by John Crowley to his stubborn eight-years-old son. It is estimated that there are about 700 boys in the city who need hurting after the manner of the Crowley boy about six times a day until they have imbibed a little respect for home and municipal law.

June 3, 1910
Saw the Comet in 1835.

Dr. Elijah Lyon, Sole Surviving “Veteran” of Dorr’s Rebellion, Thinks it Has Not Improved with Age.

Dr. Elijah Lyon of 114 Pleasant street does not think that Halley’s comet has improved with age. When he first saw the comet 75 years ago he says that he was a boy of 12 and with other boys was out sliding down hill when the comet appeared right in the daytime and looked, as he remembers it, like a ball of fire. The boys were frightened and ran home and the doctor says that at that time were was considerable of a suspicion that the end of the world had about arrived and preparations were made for remove to another sphere of action. When the comet was scheduled for the early morning this year the doctor got out early for a view, but so many houses were around that he finally wandered as far away as the river bank, and when he got there he could not locate the comet anywhere and went back home disgusted.

Since that time he has seen the comet but its appearance does not tally with his memory of it 75 years ago and the comet is evidently the worse for wear. Although the doctor is 87 years of age he is in good health and is busy at work in his garden. As far as known the doctor is the only living survivor of Dorr’s rebellion and can still narrate interesting anecdotes of the time when he was chased through three states by soldiers after that rather abrupt engagement. He also traveled though the Northwest and West in the ’50s, when the West was practically an unknown country. When he can be prevailed upon to relate some of the stores of his life and travels, his statements are most interesting, for his life has been an active one. He is an inveterate fox hunter and if his present health continues will be out after foxes again this coming winter.

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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.