Friday, February 20, 2009

Crocheted afghan


My great-grandmother, Jenny Bower Childs, emigrated from Scotland and lived in Holyoke. I have a crocheted afghan that she made. My grandmother always told me that her mother won first prize at the fair with this afghan. It is in near-perfect condition, but the fibers have become sensitive so I am afraid to have it out. I have kept it in a cedar chest for about 25 years. I think it is a shame not to have it shown, but the only place that would be appropriate is a museum setting. I would like to donate it to your museum, as she lived in Holyoke. My father is a geneologist and I'm sure would be delighted to provide all the details about her birth, emigration, death, family, etc.

Please let me know if you are interested in this historical piece. I can also provide a digital photograph.

Elizabeth Skinner

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Smith farm

Thank you so much for your help. This is a great start! I went down to the library today and picked up a bunch of books that seem at first glance to be quite useful as well. I am planning on learning more about the town that I have been a lifelong resident of. I will seek out the next meeting of the Historical Society, and will make an effort to attend.
Thanks again,
Kim Mello

----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Judge
To: 'Kimberly I. Mello'
Cc: 'Robert Judge'
Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 5:20 PM
Subject: RE: Seeking history on South Hadley


In case you have not seen them, you might want to start by looking at sources of S. Hadley History: and Feel free to post a question on the blog and you may get an answer from someone else.

Your reference to the Smith farm reminded me that several years ago, Historical Society members including me provided some information upon request to George Smith, a descendant of the Smith farm family. I have included excerpts of that email below. You could also do a Google search of “Newton Smith” and you will see some information, including a reference in the S. Hadley 250th anniversary book.

I encourage you to attend the events of and to join the South Hadley Historical Society, where you will meet other people who may know more about that part of town. You could also visit the museum when it opens in April, where they may be more information.

I would be happy to speak to you by phone to give you some other suggestions. Please feel free to phone me at 413-532-5792.

Bob Judge
Member, S. Hadley Historical Society


From: Robert Judge []
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2006 5:57 PM
To: 'George Smith'
Subject: RE: South Hadley Info

Dear George:

OK. I am hoping for a third response to your question from another knowledgeable Society member, but here are the two I have now:

1. Bob,

Off the top of my head: The Newton Smith farm is where the High School now stands on Newton Street. As you know, the School opened in Sept. of 1956. The old barn from the farm is still in the rear of the property and used by the DPW as a shop/storage.

I do not have any knowledge of the dairy operation. Maybe something on file in the Firehouse Museum?? The brook and partially filled in pond are now under control of the Conservation Comm. as Black /Stevens Conservation area next to High School and up to the back of Plains School. We do have a picture on file of the pond when it was called Legrand Ice Pond and house…

Good Luck, Brian

2. HI BOB,








From: George Smith
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:45 PM
To: Robert Judge
Subject: RE: South Hadley Info

Mr. Judge, thank you so much for your reply and the fine work you do. I've been doing historical and genealogical work for 26 years now and if it was not for the work of volunteers like you, much important historical information would be lost forever.

I have identified the exact date for the second of the three names I am interested in. I am working on the third, and will hopefully have something for you before your trip to Holyoke. I'll try to get the librarian in Holyoke to look them up for me and if she does I will let you know. If she is unwilling, however, I would appreciate it if I can take you up on your offer to look them up for me when you go next. Thank you.

Philip Henry Smith dod 1902 (still working on exact month and day).

Newton Smith dod 4/2/1915

Robert Edward Smith 11/1/1931

------ Original Message ------
Received: Mon, 23 Jan 2006 11:51:15 AM EST
From: "Robert Judge"
To: "'George Smith'"
Subject: RE: South Hadley Info

Dear Mr. Smith:

There is only one historical society, and it is concerned with all parts of the town. I will ask the society member to whom you refer, and other society members, about the Smith diary and its milk bottles, and if any of us has information, we will respond to you.

The Holyoke Transcript, Daily Hampshire Gazette, and Springfield newspaper all printed obituaries of South Hadley residents in the time in question. Of the three, the Holyoke Transcript is the best choice. You can find those years on microfilm in the Holyoke history room of the Holyoke Public Library. However, the history room is open only on occasional Saturdays and occasionally during the week.

If it is convenient for you to get to Holyoke, I recommend that you phone the library to ask when the History room will be open. If you are not convenient to Holyoke, if you would like, I will be happy to try to find those obituaries for you the next time I am in the History Room, which I plan for February.

Unfortunately, there is no index to the Transcript microfilm. Therefore, if you would like my help, I will need a more precise date for Philip and Robert because it would take hours to scan through a single year. As you probably know, if you know the town where they died, the town clerk can probably give you their exact dates of death. If you have the date, the Holyoke librarian might be willing to get the obituaries for you, but if she won’t, I would be happy to try.

Bob Judge
South Hadley Historical Society

From: George Smith
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 10:11 PM
Subject: South Hadley Info

Mr. Judge,

My name is George Smith and I am a descendant of Philip Henry Smith (1845-1902) who with his brother Newton Smith (1837-1915), ran a large dairy farm in South Hadley Falls with a retail operation in Holyoke. Philip Henry Smith had two sons: Philip Henry Smith (Jr.), my grandfather, who became an Animal Feeds expert at MAC in Amherst (later UMass), and his brother, Robert Edward Smith, who ran the dairy after his uncle Newton died in 1915 until his own death in 1931. Newton Smith never married and had no children. The dairy is shown on an 1873 map of South Hadley and South Hadley Falls as belonging to Newton Smith. Today, Newton Street bisects what used to be the dairy farm. Newton Smith Brook apparently feeds a small "reservoir" that may have been a part of the dairy farm (see attached article).

Does the South Hadley Historical Society also cover South Hadley Falls or is there a separate historical society for South Hadley Falls?

Does the society member who responded to the milk operation question on your website know anything about the Newton Smith/Philip Smith/Robert Smith dairy? Are there milk bottles documented for the Smith dairy?

What newspapers are available on microfilm or otherwise that would have obituaries for South Hadley or South Hadley Falls for 1902, 1915, and 1931? I am looking for obituaries for:

Philip Henry Smith dod 1902

Newton Smith dod 4/2/1915

Robert Edward Smith dod 1931

Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

From: Kimberly I. Mello []
Sent: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 4:10 PM
Subject: Seeking history on South Hadley


I am looking to obtain some historical information regarding the area in town where I live. I live on Lincoln Ave, on what I believe is the former Smith Farm. I guess what I am seeking is a starting point on where to look for this information.

Thank you,

Kim Mello

Monday, February 9, 2009

South Hadley High School Character Medal 1958

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Simon H. Gregory
To: South Hadley Historical Soc.
Sent: Monday, February 9, 2009 9:45:35 AM
Subject: South Hadley High School Character Medal 1958


Please review the attachments relative to a medal I received at the South Hadley High School Graduation in 1958. I do not recall receiving any documentation at the time and if I did, it has been lost over the last 50 years or so. The presentation was near the end of the program, but I can not recall the details.

If you could provide any information about this, please let me know. I have been doing some searching and found some info on the net that may be a possibility. Since the award was given at the end of the program there could be a connection to The David E. Barney Memorial Award that was given by the class of 1950. David was a US Marine killed in Korea on 9 January 1952. If he is the origin of my medal, it is interesting as I went on to become an Infantry Officer in the USMC serving in Vietnam during 1966.

My years at SHHS were memorable and contributed greatly to my future development. Proud to be a graduate!

Kindest regards,

Simon H Gregory