Sunday, August 10, 2008

Soap Shop Hill

From Bob Judge to Bob Williford:

Bob, I have heard from most people to whom I sent the email asking about Soap Shop Hill. Here is a summary to add to what I already sent you from Bill Cary of Florida and Shirley Martin and John Zwisler of S. Hadley:

1. FROM DAVE DALY OF SOUTH HADLEY:
“Hi Bob:
I have no knowledge of the "naming" of Soap Shop Hill, but I knew of someone who lived on the street a long time ago. I called Lee Zochowski…He recalled hearing from a Mrs. Care, eighty years ago, and she was old at the time, that a soap shop existed on the top of the hill. If coming from the Falls, at the top of the hill there is a path at the left, and the shop was there. Interestingly Alex Bannerman grew up across from the site. There is nothing on the site now, or when Lee lived there…(later→) Bob, as only Leon can do when given a project, he has "thrown himself" into this...He has contacted the City of Chicopee and they are researching "Soap Shop Hill" and will get back to him and/or the SH Historical Society. See what happen when you challenge some of the guys, he is having fun doing this. –Dave”

2. FROM MARTIN JUDGE OF VIRGINIA:
..."Our daredevil sliding was done on Prospect Street. The major hazard was the "rips" that charged down the hill among the kids on sleds--the street was closed to traffic whenever the sliding was good. - Marty”

3. FROM IRENE CRONIN OF FLORIDA:
“Dear Bob:
Sorry not to respond sooner. I have never seen anything in print about soap hill. I heard it was a favorite spot for sledding in winter, and it was referred to as soap hill, not soap shop hill. Perhaps an older resident might be able to supply some information?

Best, Irene”

4. FROM BRIAN DUNCAN OF S. HADLEY:
“Bob, I don't recall having seen any documentation on "Soap Shop Hill" But yes, it was commonly called that. Brian”
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5. FROM SHIRLEY (GLACKNER) MARTIN OF S. HADLEY:

“Hi Bob, I do remember that Britton street was called "Soap Shop Hill.” I did not slide there a lot, but it was a great hill for sledding. We used to use Prospect St hill all the time. Anyhow, at Britton there was a building that made soap, at the top of the hill. In fact, when anyone talked about it, they used to say, “That is where the dead horses go.” I remember my grandfather, Charlie Glackner, saying that. Of course, that area was the "Fairview" section of Chicopee, and I stayed more in South Hadley, even though it was borderline.

When I used to visit Jeannie Beattie, in her house (and dairy business), we did slide there sometimes, but she was in South Hadley, but just down the street from Britton. Boy, that was a very long time ago…

Eunice Moos told me she thought Soap Shop hill, was Prospect St, but I do not think we had a name for sliding there. Joe Gaunt was a mailman in the Chicopee area way back then, and a gal at the COA, who knows him, is going to ask him what he remembers.

Don't know if this is any help. Take care - Shirley”
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6. From Atty. George Beauregard.

“There was a small soap shop but in Chicopee.”
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So, Bob, I hope this information is of interest to the person in Texas and that it prompts her to join the South Hadley Historical Society and the Friends of the South Hadley Library!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I grew up at 250 Britton St...to enjoy an old view visit
wwww.holyokemass.com scroll down >HISTORY >"Picturesque Hampden"
>Index > "S" > 'South Hadley Falls - Looking Down the Soap Hill Road'