Holyoke Snippets — 28 February 1902

by Laurel | February 28th, 2014

28 February 1902

John L. Sullivan

John L. Sullivan
As Simon Legree
Boston Globe, 1930
“The Uncle Toms who played opposite John L. Sullivan as Simon Legree donned Padded Vests.”

Tonight — At The Empire Theater, John L. Sullivan in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” John L. Sullivan will be seen at the Empire Theater this evening in a vaudeville company with 20 stars. he will take the part of Simon Legree in a condensed version of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

Note: John L. Sullivan (1858-1918) was a boxer of note, known as “The Boston Strongboy” and the first American athlete to earn over a million dollars. When his boxing career ended, Sullivan, among other things, took to the stage and earned more notoriety portraying the character of Simon Legree in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. An anecdote from John L. Sullivan taken from an unsigned article in the Chicago Tribune, February 1918 (offering an explanation to the cartoon depicted above):

“In one of his theatrical ventures the Big Fellow played Simon Legree in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” He was an earnest villain, as was proved when in his first night appearance at Boston he laid the whip on the person of Uncle Tom so honestly poor Uncle Tom had to be sent to a hospital for repairs.”

When John L Sullivan died in February 1918, his funeral was a national event, it is assumed his appearance in Holyoke must have been notable. More about John L. Sullivan here.

Hoboken Students Visit Holyoke — a party of 35 students from the Stevens Institute of Technology of Hoboken, NJ, under charge of Prof. Denton of that institution, came to Holyoke yesterday, putting up at the Hotel Hamilton. They were the guests of the Holyoke Water Power Company during the day and visited the testing flume, the dam and canals, and the Lyman Mills. they will inspect the gas and electric lighting plants before leaving. The boys make an annual trip to Holyoke each year from this institution, and will undoubtedly take in a paper mill or two and probably the Deane Steam Pump Company today, before returning to Hoboken. Last year they attended the Opera House in a body and added several interesting features to the entertainment. This year the smashup of the “My Antoinette” company deprives the citizens of that treat.

The Holyoke High School basketball team defeated the South Hadley Falls team at South Hadley Falls last evening by a score of 40 to 21. The game was hotly contested as the Falls boys had won a number of victories and expected to win this.

The largest circulation at the city library for a number of years was Monday, when over 520 books were taken. The attendance in the reading and reference room is very satisfactory. They boys are getting tamed in the junior room, also.

Edward P. Bagg entertained a party of 25 of his friends Wednesday night with a sheet and pillow-case masquerade. [Note: dancers wrapped their bodies in a bedsheet and covered their head with a pillowcase with two holes cut for the eyes. “The amusing feature is that often it is hard to tell whether your partner is a gentleman or a lady, and times have been when men have had men for their partners, much to the amusement of all.”]

Peter J. Manning and Patrick J. Kennedy qualified as patrolmen for the police force yesterday.

A. Steiger & Co. will close their store today to prepare for their annual mill-end sale, which will open tomorrow.

The English-speaking carpenters’ union will hold a joint meeting with the French-speaking carpenters on Thursday evening.

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.