This Day in Holyoke History: May 29

by Laurel | May 29th, 2009

Published by the Springfield Republican.

May 29, 1902

James J. O’Donnell, superintendent of the Holyoke public Schools, has gone to Boston to spend part of the summer in the office of the Boston superintendent of schools learning the work. Mr. O’Donnell’s office in the Ball building are to be occupied by Lawyer Franklin Morris.

Progress on New Switchboard.

Work is progressing as rapidly as possible on the new telephone switchboard at the Maple-street building. A gang of 14 experts from Boston are working on the complicated collection of wires, cables, “jacks” and switches and a hundred other things with odd names. The switchboard is entirely ahead of any in a city of the size of Holyoke elsewhere, and contains several new features. It is more like the Boston switchboard than any other constructed lately, and that board is highly successful. Only by a visit to the building can anyone realize the enormous amount of detail and testing necessary to install a system. The switchboard is located on the third floor, and has progressed far enough to allow a visitor to obtain an idea of the size of it. On the Maple-street end of the building the first operator will have charge of lines in trouble. Next to her will be the toll line operator, and the next four operators, for measured-service subscribers, the remaining nine at this board being for the flat rate lines. On the opposite side of the room is an entirely separate switchboard, though, of course, connected as desired with the other board. This if for the long-distance operators, and four operators will be placed here, and space will be left for four more. There is at present one trunk line to Boston, and another will be put in. When the new boards are placed in operation there will be five additional telephone girls put on. Extra long-distance trunk lines will be put in between Holyoke, Northampton and Springfield. The gas engine has arrived and will be set up this week. The company uses electricity furnished by the water-power company, but will have the gas engine in case of emergency, so it will not be necessary for the manager to flee the city, as happened recently, when the power was cut off a day or so ago, and the complaints began to come in about 1300 a minute.

Death from Spotted Fever

Edward Lachappell, 18, son of Gottfroy Lachappell of 683 South East street, died Saturday night after four days’ illness of spotted fever. The funeral will be held this morning at the Precious Blood church at 10, and the burial will be at South Hadley Center.

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.