Home | Whats New | Site Index | Search

Holyoke City

Hampden County, Massachusetts

Holyoke City Hall is located at 536 Dwight Street, Holyoke, MA 01040.
Phone: 413‑322‑5510.


"Holyoke is America's first master-planned, industrial community. Taking advantage of a natural 57 foot drop in the Connecticut River, a group of Boston entrepreneurs harnessed water power to support economies, constructing an elaborate canal system, and diverting river water throughout the city as a source of energy for the mills." [1]

Beginnings [2]

On account of the troublesome conditions which existed throughout the first hundred years of Springfield's history, it is safe to assume that there were no permanent white settlers within the limits of Holyoke prior to 1725. Tradition says that the region most frequently called "Ireland Parish" (now Holyoke) was first settled soon after 1730, and the in 1745 only six families were living on its territory. One of these was Benjamin Ball, a descendant of Francis Ball, the latter a settler in Springfield in 1643. Another settler of about the same time was one Riley, a son of Ireland, who located in the southern part of the parish on a stream named for him, Riley brook. Captain John Miller, a patriot of the early wars, is recalled as among the first settlers.

By 1825 the parish had grown beyond its agricultural roots and boasted a saw mill, a grist mill, a tannery, a cement works, a cloth mill, a tavern (Chester Crafts, proprietor), and a distillery. At the same time two ferries were maintained across the Connecticut River, one in the southern part, and one further up the river, just below the lower falls.

  1. www.hged.com, Green Business Grows Here, promotional video, accessed November, 2010.
  2. Alfred Minot Copeland, editor, Our County and Its People: A History of Hampden County Massachusetts, Volume Three, The Century Memorial Publishing Company, 1902.