Saturday, February 27, 2010

Historical Perspectives: The Irish in Early Holyoke - Click HERE for more information.

South Hadley's 19th century Irish-Americans were intimately involved with Holyoke in one way or another.  The talk below will be of interest to their descendants:

Wednesday, March 3 at 6:00 p.m. – Historical Perspectives: The Irish in Early Holyoke

STCC adjunct professor Don D’Amato returns with a talk about the New City of Holyoke and how it was established. Professor D’Amato will discuss the city’s canals, the dams and living conditions of early Holyoke in the 19th Century. $3 admission

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Does anyone know the source of the (Village) names Woodlawn, and Plains?

From: Gary Moorman
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 10:32 AM
Subject: Does anyone know the source of the (Village) names Woodlawn, and Plains?


My wife Karen grew up in South Hadley, and we came for a visit last week. The question came up, "What were the source of the names Woodlawn and Plains parts of South Hadley?"  The "Falls" and "Center" are pretty obvious.  If I had to guess about "Plains," I picture the flat open fields and farms along 202, east of the Plains School, with the Hadley Range on the horizon. It is reminiscent of the western plains of the US.  It could just as well been named after someone named Jeremiah Plains for all I know. 

Anybody know the answer?

Gary Moorman

NOTE: Please post your response here or send it to and it will be forwarded to Mr. Moorman.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Howard and Lathrop Paper Company - Click on story below for a larger image

Old photo - 6 North Main Sreet - James Bertam

Dear Jack,

Conflicting  Information:

We find no military record for James Bertram in South Hadley. There were Richard Rutherford Bertram  who lived at 11 Maple Street and Robert Bertram who lived at 43 Bardwell Street. Our Veterans Agent did a computer check and found no James Bertram in WWI  in the State  of Mass.

Our Town directories show no Bertram people living at 6 North Main Street S.H.  from 1892 until 1940 when the house was taken down.

If you provide your mailing address I will send you the military records of Richard and Robert Bertram as they possibly might be relatives of yours.

South Hadley Historical Society
John J. Zwisler

From: Jack Bertram
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 7:48 AM
Subject: Re: RE: Old photo

Thanks Bob.  I am in the process of translating it from his rough handwriting.  It is not easy though.  It detailed his life on a troop ship that made several trips between Hoboken NJ and France during WW1.  He was buried in Chicago listed as a Pharmacists Mate being from Illinois when I know he lived in South Hadley during the war.  You can post the photo. 


Feb 9, 2010 09:50:51 PM, wrote:

Dear Mr. Bertram:
I will ask another member of the S. Hadley Historical Society to see if we have any record of him.

May I post the information and the photo at  If your grandfather's diary has interesting notes about South Hadley, would you be able to photocopy the pages and send them to me.  With your permission, I would also post the excerpts from his diary...

I will be back to you after we check here. Thanks for contacting us!

- Bob Judge
South Hadley Historical Society

From: Jack []
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 10:27 PM
Subject: Old photo

Hello.  Attached is an old photo I found.  My grandfather James Bertram, far right lived in South Hadley at 6 North Main St adjacent to your location.  This photo was taken in front of the house which no longer stands.  In looking at old photos of the fire station, I see that the house was there before.  My great grandmother was waked at the residence according to her obiyuary in 1907. 

He served in the US navy in WW I as a Pharmacists Mate aboard the USS Mercury.  I cannot locate his military career etc from the area.  Can you tell me if you have him listed on any rolls etc?  I have his diary from the war and he mentions how he travelled quite a bit via streetcar from the "Falls."  Thank you.

Jack Bertram Milton, MA   

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mary Frances Buckhout McVay 1910 - 2010

Mary Frances Buckhout McVay 1910 - 2010 GRANBY - Mary Frances Buckhout McVay passed into eternal life on Saturday, January 30, 2010. A native of South Hadley, she was born to Harriet Atherton and Albert Buckhout on March 1, 1910. After graduating from Mt. Holyoke College in 1938, she went to China for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to teach English and music at the Wenshan Girls School in Ingtai. She arrived in China during the Sino-Japanese War, on the eve of World War II. As the Japanese invasion of China continued it became apparent that the students may be in danger, so they moved the school 350 miles inland, a treacherous journey, most of which was on foot over the mountains. In January of 1941 she married H. Vilroy "Bill" McVay, a U.S. Navy radio operator stationed at the American consulate in Foochow. She and Bill moved to Chung King after the attack on Pearl Harbor, not returning to the States until 1943. In 1955, after several Navy tours of duty in the U.S. and Europe, Mary and family returned to the Buckhout family home in South Hadley. They moved to Granby in 1964. Throughout her life, Mary Frances was active in her church and community... 

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Cool Machines for Cooler Planet" Radio Show & Podcast

*Connecticut Valley:**

*Wednesday, February 17, 2010
**Cool Machines for Cooler Planet
*In this episode, Back to the Future will examine non-electric machinery that used to power manufacturing, drive steamships and grist mills and accomplish all kinds of tasks as well as, if not better than, today's motor-driven technology. Penni Martorell, curator of the Holyoke History Room and Archive at the Holyoke Public Library will talk about the history of water power in Holyoke and how the current use of water power is part of the emerging "green" profile of the city. We will talk to an historian about the historical use of windmills on Cape Cod and a wind expert from the University of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Research Laboratory about the contemporary use of wind power. And historian Robert Forrant will talk about the pre-electric power machine tool industry in New England.

*location: *WMUA 91.1 FM Amherst, WXOJ-LP 103.3 FM Valley Free Radio Northampton, and WMCB-LP 107.9 FM Greenfield. Podcast is also available online at <>
*phone:* (413) 545-3691
*web:* <>
*cost:* free

/*funded by Mass Humanities grant program <>*/