Soot Drenches Holyoke

by Laurel | September 12th, 2014

20 September 1949

Photo taken by my father sometime between 1968 - 1971, from the Lawrence School (where he taught).

Photo taken by my father sometime between 1968 – 1971, from the Lawrence School (where he taught). Click through on image to see a larger version.

During the months of February through March, a total of 52 tons of soot drenched this city per month per square mile, Alderman Romeo W. Beaudry tonight reported to the Board of Aldermen. This figure was confirmed with 55 tons that poured over New York City for the entire year of 1936 prior to acceptance of smoke abatement regulations.

The Alderman’s figures were provided from a result of a state survey conducted in this city, and were cited in defense of his order that the board instruct the mayor to engage the services of a highly qualified technical engineer to study the soot menace in this city. The order was adopted.

Recommendations suggested in the report were also mentioned by Beaudry. They included advice that Holyoke design a workable smoke abatement program patterned under forms of Chapter 140, Section 132 – 136 of the General Laws, that a smoke abatement division be created and supervised by a qualified engineer, that the division be granted enforcement powers described by law, and that a regional abatement program be considered.

Adapted from The Springfield Union.

[Note: Romeo W. Beaudry served as Alderman in Holyoke for 22 years and died in December 1960.]

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.