Historic Holyoke House

by Laurel | February 5th, 2014

27 January 1929

Historic Holyoke House

Historic Holyoke House

The photo above is poor (it was published in the  Republican on the above date) with the accompanying article. I know it is difficult, at best, to see much in the image, but with the clues in the article below, I am wondering if anyone knows anything about this building. Assuming the article is accurate it would date the building somewhere in the late 1700’s.

Doesn’t Look Its Age of Somewhere Near 150 Years

Holyoke, January 26 — This house does not look to be its age — something like 140 or 150 years — nor does it look particularly historical. Yet what stories it could tell if it could speak! For this is the old parsonage that once stood whee the former parsonage of the First Baptist Church at Elmwood now stands — it in turn being given up recently for a new parsonage.

In the house pictured families living nearby used to stay over night with the pastor to ward off Indian attacks . In that day the Indians had a pleasant custom of sneaking around the sparsely settled section and removing sections of the scalps of the settlers. Once in a while the settlers removed the Indian just to even things up. This was the parsonage when the “Lord’s barn” was standing next to what is now the Calvary Cemetery, according to legend.

At any rate Thomas J. Slaving [sic — have not found anyone with this name] who lives in the building and owns it now, told your representative that it was built strongly and well and with many beams and pillars of black oak so tough as to turn an ordinary nail. “You’d spoil as many nails as you’d drive in this black oak stuff,” he said. The house is evidently able to give comfortable shelter for many years to com.

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.