Monday, August 11, 2008

From Bill Cary of Florida RE Beauty Scott

Hi Bob,

Me again. Just read the Soap Shop Hill (not Soap Hill as Irene believes) contributions and suddenly had an idea for you:

It was real fun reading remarks from old friends, and from other Townies I know only by name. Perhaps we can use this venue to keep memories flowing. Let's suppose that some topic the "soap shop," and folks just drop in on it with short contributions. How about this one off the top of my ancient brain? What was 'Beauty' Scott's dog's name? I don't know but others might. Chasing it down would bring 'Beauty' back for us as a marvelous 'character'.

Hugs to all,

Bill Cary

P.S. Oh my gosh! Talking about Beauty's dog just flashed me back to Mr. Gilligan. He walked around the Falls with a wonderful collie that would do tricks. I wonder how many remember him.

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:

“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”

..."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”

“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”

“Bob, I don't recall having seen any documentation on "Soap Shop Hill" But yes, it was commonly called that. Brian”


“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”
6. From Atty. George Beauregard.

“There was a small soap shop but in Chicopee.”

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!

Friday, August 8, 2008


I'm glad my sister, June, and Mary Bowler are taking an interest.

When we lived in Naples, FL about fifteen years back some tycoons grabbed hold of beautification and made a showplace. They focused on the maidans on theboulevards. The problem, of course, is upkeep.

Not many left who remember the pre-'38 destruction of our old trees.

Here in this village the unique feature is the number of big old trees that the developer left compared to most of the other villages. So I am very conscious of the magic effects of trees.

If I were on the Board, I would be a hounder for trees. They can take curses off faster and with least cost of anything I can think of.

Hi to all!

Bill Cary