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Herald Staff — Holyoke High School, 1953-1954

November 12th, 2014 | Comments Off on Herald Staff — Holyoke High School, 1953-1954


Herald Staff — Holyoke High School, 1953-1954

Herald Staff
Holyoke High School

Herald Staff

First row, left to right: T. Heffron, E. Czapran, N. Valenti, A. Modena, J. Carlinsky, Mr. W. Halpin, H. Donoghue, K. Kirley, J. Dobrowolski, K. Neumann, E. Ouellette, C. Fogarty.

Second row: J. Healey, E. Shwartzwald, A. Woods, C. Ryan, E. Griffin, J. Ditomassi, N. Grandchamp, N. Lamay, M. Menard, P. Cousineau, J. Gelinas, J. Lenarcen.

Third row: R. Stebbins, J. Gorman, M. Coffey, C. Platts, A. Rychlik, N. Swinski, M. Lucey, B. Prentiss, S. Renjullian, K. Fenton, W. Creane.

Fourth row: S. Dizek, C. Messier, J. Kane, G. Bastianse, T. Wheeler.

(Click through on image to see a larger version)

Jean Barry McCormick

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22 September 1949

Associate Editor of Fortnightly Paris Magazine “Grapevine”

Jean Barry McCormick, 1949

Jean Barry McCormick, 1949

Holyoke Lass in the Big Time, Writes Story on Anniversary of Paris Liberation;
Publication Nunbers Many Top-Flight Contributions

 Miss Jean Barry McCormick, daughter of Municipal G & E Commissioner, John J. D. McCormick, of 37 Lexington Ave., has been named an associate editor of “The Grapevine,” a fortnightly Paris magazine, word was received her today.

Local Schools Graduate

Miss McCormick, graduate of the local schools, and who attended St. Joseph’s College in Hartford, is joined in publishing the edition by Miss Viola Ilma, a foreign representative of the Evening Journal. The magazine numbers such contributors as the three Rockefeller brothers; actor-producer Jose Ferrer; Bruce Gould, editor of the Ladies Home Journal and Drew Peterson.

Liberation Story

The first edition of the publication carried an article by Miss McCormick on the anniversary of the liberation of Paris. She wrote:

“Perhaps the scene that has left the most indelible impression on my mind has been the view of the Arc de Triomphe from the Champs-Élysées. From the Bois du Boulogne side three large spotlights shot up to the stars providing a profusion of red, white and blue colors that filled the sky, and that could be seen from miles around. Around the top of the great monument were lights hidden in the tiers of the structure emphasizing the chiseled intricacy of its design.

Napoleon’s tomb, like the numerous other monuments and fountains about the town were all ablaze with the light that reflected all the exuberance, happiness and prayers of a free people.  Sometimes it takes something like the darkened depressions of a long, grim war to create a feeling of true thanksgiving for the taken-for-granted blessings of everyday existence. There was dancing in the streets on the Place du Vingt-Cinq-Août, which used to be the old Place d’Orleans, renamed with the Liberation date. In the big and small bistros all over the town the violins seemed to pick up the pulse of the people and the strains of the stringed instruments brought tears to the eyes of some, while others reflected jubilant looks, and some merely seemed to be gazing in silent retrospect.

“Flowers were banked in tribute to the loved ones they lost, similar to our Memorial Day, Fireworks exploded in different directions all over Paris.

“Mixed Feelings”

“Observing the mixed feelings of the people in their various holiday activities one realizes more acutely on nights like this that human emotion knows no boundaries, that there is an international language, that knows no race, creed, or color.”

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.


Veterans Day 2014

November 11th, 2014 | Comments Off on Veterans Day 2014


Thank a Veteran Today.

Last Days of Old Germania Block

November 10th, 2014 | Comments Off on Last Days of Old Germania Block

31 August 1956

Last Days of the Germania Block1956

Last Days of the Germania Block

Demolition of empty tenement buildings on Park Street, Holyoke, known as the old Germania Block, was begun Thursday by the Bay State Wrecking Co., of Springfield, and the area will be converted into a parking lot with space for over 300 vehicles. The property, extending from Jackson St. to South Canal Street was acquired by the Charles Belsky & Co., of Main St., Holyoke. When finished, the parking facility will be used on a o-cost basis by employees of a New York discount house which has leased space in the Belsky plant for local operations. The Germania units, which have stood for upwards of five decades, were tabbed in “poor structural condition.” Employees of the wrecking firm attached cables through windows and other ports and used a bulldozer for razing purposes. The sprawled out building quickly crumbled. Above shows a portion of the rear section tumbling to the ground after a bulldozer went into action.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Pair Rescued in Block Fire Face Charges

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20 August 1956

Location of Germania Park and Germania Tenements Pink Colored Buildings Below  Germania Mills Lettering 1911

Location of Germania Park and Germania Tenements
Pink Colored Buildings Below Germania Mills Lettering

Taken From Second Floor

Walter Yelle, 34, who gave Park St. as his address, known by police to be a resident of of Easthampton, and Dorothy Kennedy, 38, of 97 High St., were arrested before noon by patrolmen Gustave Kuezel and John E. Sullivan and brought to police headquarters where the adultrry complaints were brought against them.

Germ,ania Park, Holyoke

Germania Park, Holyoke

The pair was taken from the second floor of the burning building over ladders by Lt. Walter Wesolaski and the members of the Ladder 2 crew of the South Holyoke Fire Station. After reaching the street the man and woman eluded the police and made a hasty exit from the scene of the fire but the woman was recognized during the rescue and her identity was known.

The fire, of incendiary origin, according to fire officials, started in the kitchen of the first floor of the building. Timely discovery by Cruising Officer Harve Moreau averted a more serious fire as he quickly sent an alarm over the police radio system. When the fire apparatus arrived in response to the first alarm, the man and woman were standing by the windows of the second floor their escape from the building being completely cut off by the flames which worked from the first floor tenement into the hallway. Ladders were raised from the street and the pair was brought to safety.

Fire Ruins in Germania Block August 1956

Fire Ruins in Germania Block
August 1956

Second Alarm Sounded

Deputy Chief Conway ordered a second alarm sounded which brought additional apparatus and more firemen. Water lines were run into both the front and read parts of the building, and the upward surge of the flames was stopped at the baseboards of the second floor. There is a cock loft which runs the length of the building which has 20 units, each of three tenements and fire officials took no chances on the flames entering into the top section and quickly called for additional help.

The first floor tenement was completely wrecked and firemen had to do considerable chopping to get at the fire which had worked into the partitions. Some of the fire companies remained at the scene for several hours.

Former Location of Germania Park and Germania Block (Tenements) Map from Bing

Former Location of Germania Park and
Germania Block (Tenements)
Map from Bing

Definitely Incendiary

Fire Chief John H. Rohan, who is currently on vacation, responded o the second alarm and after an inspection of the building said that the fire was definitely of incendiary origin. There have been other fires in the unoccupied units of the building, but these were started in the early evening hours and it is believed that children who have been playing there were responsible for the fires.

There are comparatively few of the tenements now occupied and hundreds of windows and many of the doors have been broken by children who are continuously playing on the premises.

The Germania Block was at one time one of the best known tenement buildings in the South Holyoke section. Located across from the Germania Park between Jackson and South Canal Sts., there were lawns and small gardens in front of each of the units, and the occupants numbering many of the best known German families were employed at the Germania Mills, now the Livingston Worsted Mills, Inc.

In recent years the buildings have gone into a state of disrepair, and several times the suggestion has been made that they be razed in a slum clearance project. Recently the property was purchased and may be demolished to provide a parking site for employees of a nearby mill.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.


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.