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Chicopee City


Chicopee City Hall is located at 274 Front Street, Chicopee, MA 01013; phone: 413-594-1500.

Beginnings [1]

Originally the territory now comprising the City of Chicopee formed a part of the town of Springfield, and so continued under the names of Cabot, Cabotville, Chicopee Falls or Factory Village, and Chicopee Street, until created as a separate town by act of the Massachusetts legislature in 1848. Settlements began on the Chicopee River, however, within a very few years after the settlement of Springfield proper, probably not later than the year 1640. The first settlers were probably Henry Chapin and his brother Japhet, sons of Deacon Samuel Chapin, who came to Springfield in 1642, and whose statue by Saint Gaudens stands in one of the parks of that city. The first contract for a deed of land in this territory was executed March 9, 1659, by John Pynehon of Springfield, to John Chapin.

Cultivation of the land on the south side of the Chicopee River, near the junction of that stream with the Connecticut River, is said to have begun as early as 1645, 14 years previous to the sale of land to Henry Chapin, but no highway connecting the section with Springfield appears to have been established until 1665.

By 1845 the total population of Springfield had grown to 18,000, nearly 8,000 of who belonged to the Chicopee section. The Chicopeans were anxious for a separate town government — the southern portion desired a city charter with the territorial limits unbroken. Neither faction was able to secure its wishes through the medium of the town meeting, and much bitterness of feeling was the result. The question of a division was one of the important articles in the town meeting of 1848, and it was decided in the negative by a vote of about 3-to-2, representing closely the voting strength of the two sections. But the matter was taken up by the legislature, and an act incorporating the town was passed on the 25th of April of that year. The new town government was organized at a meeting held at Cabot Hall in Chicopee, May 17, 1848.

  1. Alfred Minot Copeland, editor, Our County and Its People: A History of Hampden County Massachusetts, Volume Two, The Century Memorial Publishing Company, 1902.

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