Holyoke Historical Society

by Laurel | January 15th, 2012

15 January 1899

Need of Such An Organization

The turning over of those old post office quarterly reports to Postmaster H. A. Chase the other day recalls to mind that there is need of some organization to have watch and guard over many documents that will grow precious with time. The time will come, is nearing every day, when men who have been identified with Holyoke’s early history will pass away. Much valuable knowledge concerning the early history will pass away with them unless steps are take to preserve it. With s historical society much could be accomplished. Properly conducted so as to win the confidence of the people, it would gradually become an objective point toward which every one would turn when matters of historical interest were discovered. Old places that were landmarks could be photographed before being destroyed. The old men of the city could be induced to give their reminiscences which in the form of papers could be presented at meetings of the society and filed away. Papers and documents relative to important epochs in the city’s history like the recent celebration could be filed away. In time, the records, papers and documents would be of inestimable value. To cite a case in point: There is extant an engraving that shows Holyoke by a sort of bird’s eye view as it was 20 odd years ago. Fifty years from now, carefully described in detail by one who is familiar with the history of the city and its growth, such a paper, crude as it is, might be of greatest interest. Dr. Long says that one of the canals was built up of stone part way and the earth filled in afterward; and that the first shovelful of earth in building the city of Holyoke was thrown up near where Mackintosh’s mill now stands. Is there any record of where the old fords used to be? And so a hundred historical inquiries could be set afloat by an active society of the kind which, answered and recorded , would prove a source of interest and value to the citizens of Holyoke in 1950 or 2000. Engineer Mann will have his maps done by that time, probably, and the city will have a police signal system, a public bath-house and a new public library.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


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.