Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Worcester to Holyoke - Labor Day, September 2, 1889

The Boston & Albany Railroad offered the citizens of Worcester a trip to Holyoke on Labor Day in 1889. The round trip fare of $1.00 had to be worth it, for travelers could enjoy nearly 12 hours in the Paper City touring downtown or spending the day at Mountain Park and the Summit House.The 63 mile trip took around two hours and ten minutes to complete. Talk about "high speed" rail service!!! (Seminole Bailey Archive)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Holyoke Envelope Co.

The Holyoke Envelope Co. was organized in 1880 by George N. Tyner and  James T. Abbe. The company started business in the Holyoke Water Power's Cabot Street building of that year with 25 employees manufacturing 200,000 envelopes daily. 

The company grew steadily, but at the beginning of 1888, a fire  at the Cabot Street facility wiped the business out.  Tyner and Abbe then purchased land in the south end of the city and built a new factory on Main Street.  The new plant employed over two hundred people and produced an amazing 3,400,000 per day.

The company was later sold to the United States Envelope Company which operated the Holyoke plant for many years.

An 1889 photo of the Holyoke Envelope Company's. new plant which was located at the south end of Main Street (Seminole Bailey Archive)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Downtown Holyoke - Early 1900s

The Marble Building built in the late 1800s was originally a hotel, but by 1900 was converted to stores and office space. Child's Shoe store was located here in the early 1900s.   The building which was constructed from Vermont Marble, stood at the northeast corner of High & Dwight Streets until the 1950s when it was torn down to make way for the W.T. Grants department store. Also shown in the photo is the Hegy Cleaners building.  Between the two buildings was MurrayCourt, where The Bud was located for many years. 

Looking north up High Street near the corner of High & Dwight Streets.

A close-up view of the south side of the Marble Building, Murray Court and the eventual home of Hegy Cleaners. 

A view taken from the northeast corner of High & Dwight Streets looking south down High.

A trolley heads south down High Street at the intersection of High & Appleton Streets. The original Y.M.C.A. located at the northwest corner can be seen at the left.  (Photos courtesy of The Seminole Bailey Archive)

Monday, November 24, 2014

P. J. Cray Soda Co.

The P,J, Cray delivery wagon circa early 1900s. The company was a fixture in Holyoke for many years delivering soda and mineral water to customers in the area and had a bottling factory off of route 5 just south of Beacon Ave. The family also operated a liquor store further south on Cray Ave.  The company was eventually purchased by the Polar Beverage Inc. of Worcester.  (photo courtesy of The Seminole Bailey Archive)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hadley Thread Mill - 1870s

A picture of the Hadley Thread Mill looking northeast up the 2nd Level Canal. Started by the Hadley Falls Company as a machine shop complex, it would later reorganize as the Hadley Spool & Cotton Company under a Holyoke Water Power Co. divesture. (photo: E. & H.T. Anthony)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Mountain Park Zephy

A somewhat blurry photo of the  Mountain Park Zephyr taken at an outing in the summer of 1957. The train's route was much different in the 1950s. As you can see, the tracks ran around what would become the western end of the Mt Park golf course and continued south and looped around part of the midway near the Penny Arcade. The children's "Paddy Railroad" was also located in the center of the Zephyr's route near the Arcade. In the 1960s when the golf course was built, a train tunnel and elevated walk/water fountain over the railroad tracks were added near the Stardust Ballroom in the background to the right.  (ebay auction photo)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Holyoke Street Railway-Westfield Route

A photo taken around 1908 of the Holyoke Street Railway's trolley car Number 39 enroute to Hampton Ponds.  Remnants of the old trolley route can still be seen behind the HCC and off of Apremont Highway. (Seminole Bailey Archive)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Canonchet Park / West Street School 1905

A young lady only known by the initials "L.S."sitting on the steps to the entrance of Canonchet Park in the summer of 1905. In the background is the old West Street School.  (Seminole Bailey Archive)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

More Views Of Lower Dwight Street/Depot Hill Area

Lower Dwight Street circa early 1900s. Upper photo gives a good glimpse of the First Level canal and a horse cart that must have been the equivalent of today's tractor trailer hauling goods uptown. 

Both pictures show the William Skinner silk factory which is now the location of the Children's Museum and a billboard advertising Dexter's Mothers Bread. (Seminole Bailey Archive)

Boxcars being loaded or unloaded at the rail yard  behind Main street at Depot Hill. The train station and tenement buildings along Lyman street can be seen in the far background.  (Seminole Bailey Archive)

Another view of the "Gateway To The City" at Main & Dwight streets taken at the base of the footbridge at Depot Hill.  (Seminole Bailey Archive)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mountain Park - 1890s

Crowds gather for a performance on the outdoor stage at Mountain Park in the 1890s. You can say the park has come full circle for now it is once again a venue for outdoor concerts.

The original stage was located at the end of the old fireworks field.  The Ski Area road would be in the back of the stage and the present day stage area at the opposite end of the field.

Can you imagine how uncomfortable it must of been for those people who were dressed like that on a hot summer's day?

                  The show must be over, time to head back to the pavilion for a cold brew.

Monday, July 21, 2014

High & Appleton Streets 1899

     Looking north at the intersection of High and Appleton streets in the summer of 1899. (Seminole Bailey Collection)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Main & Race Streets Early 1900s

This section of Holyoke had some beautiful architecture. On the left heading south on Main Street some of the landmarks seen in this picture are the Hotel Monet at the corner of Main and Mosher, the Whiting Street Building at 32 Main Street and at the far end of the block the Hotel Jess. The Jess along with a few other buildings are still standing.  On the right is the famous Flat Iron Building  and behind it the Hotel Hamilton.  The Flat Iron Building had many shops on it's ground floor including Bardwell Drug Store. The American Writing Paper Company had it's offices there. By the early fifties the building was vacant and soon afterwards was demolished.

The Whiting Street Building at 32 Main Street (photo courtesy of John L. Dickey)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Holyoke Papermakers

The Holyoke Papermakers played in the Connecticut State League and were managed by Kid McKormick. In 1909 they were led by pitcher Eddie Files who won 20 games. Other stars included Jim Duggan and William McCabe. Here's a link to the stats of the 1909 team.  

Here's a link to the stats of the 1909 team: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/team.cgi?id=1dbc30a4

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gateway To The City

A photo taken in 1920 at the intersection of Main & Dwight streets looking west toward High street. This area not too far from Depot Hill was a very busy and prosperous section of the city. It was here that visitors traveling to the city by train would stay in one of the area's many hotels including the Hamilton (right) and travel by trolley car to the heart of the city. (Seminole Bailey Archive)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Trolley Accident


Holyoke Street Railway trolley derails causing structural damage to an apartment block at the southeast corner of Main and Cabot streets in the early 1900s. (Hector Paul)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Appleton Street Grammar School

The Appleton Street Grammar School from a photo taken in the summer of 1907. Located at the southeast corner of Appleton & Elm, the school housed the Holyoke Public Library in one of it's rooms in 1870 and in 1913 was renamed Lawrence School after H.B. Lawrence. In 1932 when a new city grammar school was built on Cabot street, it would also carry Lawrence's name.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pulaski Park 1950s

A resident of the old Polish Ward 4 poses for a picture in Pulaski Park in the early 1950s. Notice the park wall in the background and the beautiful view visitors to the park had back then. It's a shame the city and the railroad make excuses as to why we can't have a view like that today. (photos courtesy of the Seminole Bailey Archive)

Dwight Street - Summer 1898

Looking west up Dwight Street in 1898. The Holyoke skyline includes City Hall (left) and the Windsor Hotel (right) and the Marble Building in the background. The north side of Dwight street was bustling with many businesses at this time. (photo courtesy of Edwin L. Kirtland)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Welding On HSR Trolley Line 1910

A few photos depicting the process of thermit welding being applied to the rails of the Holyoke Street Railway in the summer of 1910, and taken from a December 1910 publication "Electric Railway Journal". The article was written by then head of the HSR George Pellissier. The following photos were taken near the Y.M.C.A at Appleton and High streets.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A.F. Gingras

Here's an old postcard of the A.F. Gingras Livery Stable created for advertising purposes. The photo taken around 1910 shows (i'm assuming) Mr. Gingras mounted on a Pinto in front of his business which was near the southwest corner of High and Fountain streets. The location was later the home of the Hampden A.A. which ran a pub there until the early 1970s, when it was torn down due to the urban renewal of Ward 4.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Early Years Of The Holyoke Street Railway

Employees of the Holyoke Street Railway pose for a group picture in front of the newly constructed car barn at Canal & Bridge Streets in 1908. (Photo courtesy of the Seminole Bailey Collection)

Holyoke Street Railway car barn circa 1915. A view of repair shop showing car hoists and overhead crane and concrete covered-trusses. (Seminole Bailey Archive)

The Holyoke Street Railway was founded in 1884 by a number of Holyoke businessmen including William Chase, C. Fayette Smith and H.M. Smith. The railway was granted a charter to operate in both Holyoke and South Hadley.

Originally the Railway operated as a horse drawn trolley system between the two towns, with two cars and a rotating team of five horses operating a two mile route between Main Street in Holyoke to South Hadley Falls.

           Horse drawn trolley heading south on Canal Street toward Lyman Street circa 1885. (Photo courtesy of the Holyoke History Room)

By 1886 the Railway had quadrupled to fifty-six horses and fifteen cars with a line that extended from Dwight, High and Appleton Streets to Beech, Pleasant and Lincoln Streets. The railway's expansion caught the eye of William Stiles Loomis, who at the time owned interest in the Holyoke Transcript. Loomis sold his interests in the Transcript and in 1888 purchased the Holyoke Street Railway and further expanded the line throughout the city.

As the railway entered the 1890s, further expansion continued in the city and also included lines into neighboring Chicopee. It was also at this time the Railway converted from horse drawn to electrification, which caused many investors to be skeptical about this new technology that it would result in many setbacks, but as with change, many were also reluctant to it, and this was probably the biggest reason many were against it.
Furthermore, it eliminated many jobs especially for those involved with the care of the horses being replaced.

The railway's biggest success came when Loomis purchased land on Mt. Tom from Westfield lumber businessman Roswell Fairfield. This parcel of land included the summit of the mountain and land down near to banks of the Connecticut River.

                               Cedar Knob. William Stiles Loomis summer home on the left. (Photo courtesy of the Seminole Bailey Collection)

In 1895 Loomis sold 395 acres of this property to the Holyoke Street Railway for $50,000 who created a trolley park that became Mountain Park. Loomis set aside a few acres of land on the east side of Cedar Knob for his private summer residence, "The Crag". Two years later, in 1897, a subsidiary company, Mt. Tom Railroad was formed and construction of a mile long rail that ran up to the Mt. Tom summit from the base of Mountain Park was built.

   Construction of the rail bed to the summit of Mt. Tom late 1890s. (Photo courtesy of the Seminole Bailey Collection)

               The crew of the Mt. Tom Railroad on the boardwalk of Lower Station in 1927. (Photo courtesy of the Seminole Bailey Collection)

The above photos show a trolley passing through the rock cut section of the rail bed between Mountain Park and Lower Station. 

Once this rail line was in operation, work began on the first Summit House on the peak of Mt. Tom. the house lasted only four years when it was destroyed by fire and a new, more lavish structure was built. This Summit House would meet the same fate and burn down in 1929. This was the same year that ownership of Mountain Park changed hands to Loomis' assistant Louis Pellissier. 

      Trolley heading south on Northampton Street from Mountain Park to South Holyoke 1930s.

The trolley service to Mountain Park would prosper up until the mid 1930s when changing times forced the Railway to phase out it's trolley service which also led to the decision to close the Mt. Tom Railroad line to the Summit House. 

The Holyoke Street Railway would operate Mountain Park under Pellissier until the end of 1952 when the park was sold to John Collins, who did an extensive renovation of the park that flourished until 1987 when again, changing times marked the end of Mt. Park as an amusement center.  The park is now functions as a music venue operated by area businessman Eric Suher.

A Holyoke Street Railway trolley waits for passengers at Mountain Park to take them back downtown. This photo was taken in 1935, near the end of the trolley era in Holyoke.

By 1936 the trolley service was nearing it's end. Here is a photo of trolley 114 heading north on Newton Street in South Hadley in late summer of that year. (Seminole Bailey Archive)

             Holyoke Street Railway Elmwood/West Dwight bus.  City Hall early 1940s.

As for the Holyoke Street Railway, after the trolley years, it's fleet was converted to diesel buses and operated by the Pellissier family until 1987 when it shut down. A major factor being the loss of the lucrative contract with the Holyoke School Department and labor disputes with it's workforce.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Prospect (Pulaski) Park 

A view of the park in the late 1800s.  The original bandstand building where band concerts were held on it's roof can be seen, there's also a cannon on display. To the right the ornamental pump house used to bring water up from a spring in the river embankment can be seen.

Another photo from the late 1800s shows the playground area at the western end of the park. Notice the picket fence that was eventually replaced in the early 1900s by the concrete wall that still stands. 

A view from Pulaski Park in the early 1900s showing the newly constructed Gatehouse and beginning of the first level canal.

A nice view looking west from the Chestnut Street balcony of the park mid 1920s. The second Summit House can be seen atop Mt. Tom. Notice how beautiful the views were from the park, today it's views are obstructed by overgrowth. The lamp posts must have made for a beautiful scene at night. This picture shows the early evening sun shining through the trees.