Civil War Events Planned for Holyoke?

by Laurel | April 21st, 2010

Where I currently live, in the Finger Lakes region of central NY, our village is pulling together plans for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (2011 – 2015). Most of the events will be on a much smaller scale than what you might expect to see in larger cities, because after all the town I live in, which is in fact the county seat, is called a village. I was wondering if there are any plans in the works in Holyoke for Civil War Anniversary events.

At a recent meeting here, I was listening to some ideas people had about possible events. Some people thought events depicting what life was like during the civil war era might be interesting. One such even could perhaps be a food-based event, where old recipes could be recreated.

Thinking of food reminded me of Holyoke. As a kid, my family moved around a lot, Dad being in the military and all. During our times away from Holyoke there were always the occasional yearning for Holyoke-based foods. A few of these that I can nowthink of are (in no particular order):

  • Riley’s Beef Sausage: I think they were made and distribute by Holyoke Provision. We know a lot more about the health related factors in sausage now, but they were definitely tasty.
  • Schermerhorn Fish & Chips on Fridays. Years later when I lived in NYC I thought of Fish and Chips whenever I was in Schermerhorn Street despite the fact it was pronounced differently.
  • Duncan McLean’s meat pies. Most of my grandparents were of Scottish ancestry, what can I say. When we lived in Holyoke they were one of the Saturday staples.
  • Langelier’s Bakery. I guess it is still open, but last time I was in the Holyoke store it was a far different place than the one in my childhood memory.

But I digress. In terms of Holyoke recipes that would have been appropriate in the Civil War era, I wanted to point out the book I have online entitled “625 Choice Recipes from the Ladies of the Second Congregational Church of Holyoke.” Though the book was published in 1886, most of the recipes would be very appropriate to the Civil War, not so many years earlier. I love this book because it has the names of the ladies who contributed the recipes and have found some recipes submitted from people in my genealogical database.

One Response to “Civil War Events Planned for Holyoke?”

  1. I am looking for photos of Cabot Street in Holyoke from the Willimansett Bridge to Main Street from the 1940s and 1950s. Please email me at Thank you.

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