Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I'm trying to track down a piece of historical information for a newspaper article: What business (or businesses) occupied the "Mill at Stoney Brook" on College Street, prior to the building's conversion to condos in 1981?
Thank you very much!
MassPublishing Co., LLC
88 Front Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
Friday, December 14, 2007
date Fri, Dec 14, 2007 at 10:13 PM
subject South Hadley class photos from 1935
I have about 20 individual class photos, mostly from 1935, although there may be one or two from 1934 or '37 or '38. They are framed in grey cardboard folders. The photographer was St. Germain from Holyoke. These were found in the bottom of a box together with some other items. If the South Hadley Historical Society is interested, I would be willing to mail them up to you.
Broad Brook, CT
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Thanks to Meghan Gelardi of the Skinner Museum, the document "South
History at Skinner Musuem.doc" is attached to this email. The
also available in the "FILES" section at HYPERLINK
See below for Meghan's kind invitation to Society members to visit and see the S. Hadley collection.
- Bob Judge
Hi Bob -
Attached is the Skinner Museum inventory of items related to South Hadley history. I'd welcome a visit from Society members, but they'd need to
a special appointment to view the items. They can email me at
mgela...@mtholyoke.edu to do so, and I am available M-W during regular work hours.
Skinner Museum Collections Management Assistant
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
Lower Lake Road
South Hadley, MA 01075-1499
(413)538-2245 fax (413)538-2144
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The new doors at the Old Firehouse Museum
Old Firehouse Museum, 4 North Main Street, S. Hadley -
Nov 9, 2007
With a state grant, new doors were installed at the Old Firehouse Museum in South Hadley in September 2007.
Thank you to the many people who worked hard to improve the Old Firehouse Museum.
If you are having problems viewing this email, copy and paste the following into your browser:
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2007
SELECTBOARD’S MEETING ROOM – 7:00 P.M.
Present: SB Members Marilyn G. Ishler; Carlene C. Hamlin; John R. Hine; Richard A. Constant; Gregory R.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.
4. HISTORICAL DISTRICT STUDY COMMITTEE DISCUSSION WITH ROBERT JUDGE
Chair of the Historical Commission Robert Judge met with the Board to give an overview of the local historic district(s) they are working on in connection with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission through a grant received. They are requesting that a Local Historic District Study Committee be appointed by the Selectboard to begin work on conducting a survey of the area and prepare a report for local and state review.
Mr. Judge reviewed the guidelines involved and answered various questions from the Board. He explained that they are looking to create a Historic District in the Woodbridge Street area as well as throughout an area in the Falls section of Town. The solicitation for the study committee is to get a wide variety of expertise.
SB Member Constant questioned whether all homes within the district created would fall under the guidelines or only those homes historic in nature. Mr. Judge replied that newer homes would not fall within the guidelines. He indicated that the people within the district would be the deciding body as to how the district is governed. He stated that Town Meeting must first vote the establishment of the district.
SB Member Hamlin stated that this had been proposed previously but did not come into fruition. Mr. Judge replied that at that time it was decided that it was not the right time to pursue the proposal. Now the South Hadley Historical Commission believes they should establish one or two districts. SB Member Hamlin questioned why now and Mr. Judge replied that he believes there were many questions of restrictions that were unclear. He feels if someone within the district feels strongly about their concern, they should join the committee to give their input. He further stated that everyone within the district would have an equal vote on the guidelines set and he believes when this was proposed previously, this was not made clear.
SB Member Constant commented on the importance of historic preservation, but expressed concern that the criteria can become extremely onerous, therefore, leading to an opposite effect on what they plan, having residents not doing the work mandated by the guidelines. He feels they need to have folks serve on the committee that understand the consequences of what costs are involved in replication where needed and such.
Mr. Judge commented that he believes it did not go through the last time as there was question as to who received the mailing and who did not. They want to assure that this time the process is followed correctly.
SB Member Sheehan expressed concern that someone within the district could be outvoted and mandated to do something they do not agree with. Mr. Judge replied that it is possible that this could occur.
Following discussion, SB Member Hine moved to establish under the provisions of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40C, a Local Historic District Study Committee consisting of seven members, which shall make an investigation and report on the historic significance of the buildings, structures, features, sites or surroundings included in such proposed local historic district or districts as the committee may recommend, and shall submit a final report with its recommendations after a public hearing, together with a map of the proposed district or districts and a draft of the proposed bylaw, to Town Meeting. The motion was seconded. In further discussion SB Member Hamlin questioned what would occur if seven volunteers did not come forward and Mr. Judge replied that the Board can designate the number of members. However,he does not feel there will be a problem with getting seven people to apply. As SB Member Hamlin felt hesitant, she asked for Mr. Del Castilho’s input and Mr. Del Castilho replied that his understanding is that the Massachusetts Historical Society makes such districts palatable to the residents. However, there is a
chance that someone within the district could be outvoted. Chair Ishler felt there is no problem with having a committee formed to study the matter and provide the Selectboard with more input. Following its discussion the Board voted four in favor of the motion and one opposed (SB Member Sheehan opposed.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
“ Not too many people realize that our family house has some history and historic ties to old businesses in South Hadley and I think it was fun for Andrea to start with the facts that she knew about our house and research what she could to add to those facts.
Andrea was a 2005 graduate of South Hadley High School. Andrea is currently in her Junior year of Mechanical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is specializing in Thermal and Fluid dynamics within the field of mechanical engineering. She is also minoring in Science, Technology, and Society which deals with analyzing, researching, and stressing the effects of advances in science and technology on the world, both good and bad. Rensselaer wants their students to carefully consider the impact that any of their technological or scientific advances, research or discoveries may have on the world.”
The Legacy of the Glasgow Company
With the integration of the canal system, South Hadley had the opportunity to grow as a center for business and industry. The South Hadley Falls area became the hustling, bustling section of town and the home of many mills and factories that hired workers to produce paper, fabrics, and buttons, among other things. One of these such mills, the Glasgow Company, whose former office building is my current home at 65 High Street, produced textiles and helped shape the history of South Hadley in the nineteenth century.
With the numerous fires that frequently destroyed wooden mills, there was always a venue for new companies to work their way into the falls. As severe scorching was the fate of both the Ames and Howard and Lathrop Mills, George M. Atwater, Charles Peck, and William Bowdoin had the opportunity to form a corporation to manufacture Scotch ginghams. The Glasgow Co. was incorporated on February 16, 1848 and found its niche in the South Hadley Falls on the previous site of the Howard and Lathrop Mills, between Bardwell and North Main Streets.
The mill slightly strayed from its original goal and branched out to manufacture cotton, woolen, and silk goods. With its expansion it required more funding, so its capital was increased over time from $200,000 to $350,000, a rather hefty sum and mark of success in the 1800s. In its prime, the company employed over 400 men and women to work the 389 looms on a payroll of $10,000 per month, paid in leather coins only redeemable at the company store. The mill was acclaimed as one of only two reputable, distinguished gingham mills in the nation, producing 70,000 yards of quality fabric each week. Its six-story main building was built mainly by Irishmen and was made of brick, unlike the more flammable wooden mills of the past. In addition, there were six other buildings that served as dye houses, offices, and cloth storage facilities.
Though a less incendiary material was used to make the Glasgow Co. mills, the main building suffered a fire that destroyed the upper floors of the mill building on July 3, 1855. This setback, however, did not halt the success of the Glasgow Co. as the mill was rebuilt and outfitted with new, advanced machinery. This near-tragedy also shows the extent to which the fire fighting capacities had grown as firefighters of Holyoke and Canal Village used the Glasgow and Carew Mills’ force pumps to fight the blaze. After so many other mill buildings had met their fiery ends, companies began to recognize their own potential for disaster. They started outfitting their buildings with firefighting apparatuses and greatly diminished the number of buildings accidentally burned to the ground.
The Glasgow Co. expanded again when it followed the example of other area mills and used some of its earnings to purchase more land on which to build a paper mill. Its workers produced high quality paper to be sold by Springfield’s Lewis Powers, the area’s expert paper dealer. This paper mill was sold by Glasgow Co. in April of 1866 to former Glasgow Co. stockholders Edward, Wells, and John Southworth and became the Hampshire Paper Co., which continued to produce paper under the direction of the Southworth family until the machines were retired in 1935.
Though the Glasgow Co. was very successful in the mid-nineteenth century, it struggled to survive the depression in the late 1800s. It was leased to the Farr Alpaca Co. for a couple of years, but after it failed to be recuperated by the new leadership, the Glasgow mill was finally shut down in April of 1896. The building remained abandoned until its purchase by the Hadley Mills in 1903. Though achieving moderate success, the Hadley Mills only continued to produce textiles until 1930. Its lack of funds forced the company to declare bankruptcy. The property was bought by the Holyoke Water Power Company and the mill was demolished. The remaining Hadley Mills office building was preserved to be used as an office for the Holyoke Water Power Company until it was bought in 1932 for $500 by William Quinlin, a former Hadley Mills employee, moved to 65 High Street by the use of numerous horse-drawn rolling logs, and converted to a residential dwelling for the Quinlin family. It was later purchased by my parents and now serves as my home.
The Glasgow Company had a significant impact on life in South Hadley. It not only offered many residents, men and women alike, the opportunity to work, but also shaped the culture of the South Hadley Falls. Its buildings were a staple in the riverside skyline and its reputation as one of the few gingham producers helped put South Hadley on the national map. With the great success of the South Hadley Canal system and the seemingly constant business transformations of the mills, the successes of the individual companies may be overlooked. The added factor that many of the records kept documenting the particulars of these companies were destroyed in the 1936 flood. The bottom line is that they brought diversity to western Massachusetts almost as efficiently as they produced goods. The Glasgow Company was an incredibly successful corporation that should not be forgotten for its considerable effect in the shaping of the South Hadley Falls and the general society of South Hadley.
Brown, Cindy and Laurel O’Donnell. South Hadley. 12 July 1999. Accessed 23 April 2005.
Cronin, Irene, Dale Johnston, and the South Hadley 250th Anniversary Committee. Town of South Hadley: 250th Anniversary Book. Northampton: TigerPress, 2003.
Cronin, Irene and the South Hadley Historical Society. Images of America: South Hadley. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 1998.