Friday, July 26, 2013

John B. Sutcliffe

Holyoke & Vicinity

These photos are from a stereo view series taken by Holyoke photographer John B. Sutcliffe in the late 1890s. 

In addition to his stereo view photography, Sutcliffe also photographed  many historic events in and around the city including President McKinley's visit to the area in 1899, and the December 1906 fire at the southwest corner of Dwight and High streets.

The locations of the above photos are unknown, but the top photo was most likely taken somewhere in the Highlands. The gentleman in the Civil War era uniform brought to mind William Stiles Loomis, but i'm sure it's not him. (???)

The middle photo might have been taken in the area known as "High Rock Springs" along the old B&M Railroad line near the Connecticut River.  Again, this is only a guess..

The bottom photo appears to have been taken at the Holyoke Ice Company which was located just west of Pulaski Park near the banks of the Connecticut River,  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

B&M Railroad - Holyoke Railroad Station

The Boston & Maine 3814 passenger train on the southbound rail making a stop at the railroad station in the "flats" section of the city. The passenger route through Holyoke was part of the old "Montrealer" run from Montreal to Washington D.C. 

Also seen in this photo from 1949 is the rear section of the Hotel Monat which was located across from the station on the west side of the tracks at Main & Mosher streets. (Photo courtesy of Seminole Bailey)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Valley Arena

Located on South Bridge Street in Holyoke, MA, USA, the Valley Arena opened in 1926, when Homer Raineault converted the "Gas House" into a boxing arena. He ran it until he died in 1944, when his nephew, Oreal Raineault, took over. Shows were on Monday nights. (In 1936, ticket prices were 40 cents.)

It was known as having a great atmosphere, with foot-stomping and hand-clapping. Big bands appeared there on weekends (including the Dorseys, Glenn Miller, and acts by boxers Max Baer and Maxie Rosenbloom). The venue also presented wrestling.

Many well-known fighters appeared here, including Rocky Marciano (who made his pro debut here), Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler, Beau Jack, Sixto Escobar, Lou Salica, Fritzie Zivic, Paddy DeMarco, Tony DeMarco, and Lou Ambers.

Joe Louis refereed a wrestling match here, and Jersey Joe Walcott fought an exhibition. Visiting boxers usually came by train or bus from New York and slept above Kelly's Lobster House.

The arena twice burned to the ground (on June 13, 1943, and 1952) and was restored (re-opening the second time in May 1953). It closed for good on May 12, 1960, when it was destroyed by a third fire. (Wikipedia)


Monday, July 15, 2013

Craft's Tavern

Craft's Tavern was built in 1785 by Archibald Morgan and at one time was one of the two oldest buildings in Holyoke. It was located on Northampton Street on the present site of the John J. Lynch School. 

Morgan, who was owner of the property, leased the building to Abner Miller, who ran the Abner Miller Inn there until 1832. Just north of the tavern was the First Congregational Church, which was built in 1834.

It was in the year 1832 that Chester Craft purchased the property and ran it as a tavern, post office and general store until 1872, during this time it was a twice a day stop on the Old Post Road mail route from Springfield to Hanover.

In 1926, the Daughters Of The American Revolution marked the property as an historic spot, and in 1928 the land was leased by the city of Holyoke, (who had taken ownership of the land in 1882), to the Eunice Day Chapter of the Daughters Of The American Revolution who opened it as a regular tavern.

Years later, the city which had taken 47 acres of land behind the tavern in the early 1880s for a park which later became Anniversary Field, and who also intended on making Craft's Tavern a museum, demolished the building to make way for the future John J. Lynch Junior High School which was built in 1952.  (Photos courtesy of The Seminole Bailey Archives)