Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

World War II museum in Natick - not South Hadley, but worth a visit

I recently visited the terrific musuem in Natick MA described at

The musuem is as good as the story suggests.  I encourage anyone with an interest in World War II to visit it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The state South Hadley census for 1905

Thanks to the Gaylord Library for this post!

The Census: Moving Forward After Mailing It Back

April 2, 2010

A tagline for the Census this year is “We Can’t Move Forward Until You Mail It Back.” To celebrate this, I have decided to provide a little perspective, by way of the Census of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 1905, of the ways we have already moved forward.

Thus, in 1905:
•A total of 940 people responded as “Heads of Family” in South Hadley—785 men (84%) and 155 women (16%). In relation to these “Heads of Family,” 722 women labeled themselves as “wives,” but a category for “husbands” did not exist. 6 women were “matrons,” and presumably due to the College, 572 women were “students.” Interestingly, 4 women responded as being in “other relationships,” not including grandmothers, in-laws, daughters, granddaughters, guests, aunts, nieces, inmates, servants, or assistants. Also of interest, only one person listed themselves as a stepfather to the head of the family, and only 7 people were stepchildren.

•Of the South Hadley citizens “Native Born” (3,806), 2,689 were from Massachusetts (71%), with the second largest category being from New York (8%). Of the citizens “Foreign Born,” (1,248), 352 were Canadian French (28%), 250 were Irish (20%), and 194 were from Germany (15%).

•4 South Hadley residents registered as “colored” and 3 as “Chinese.” The only other categories were white, Japanese, and Indian.

•Occupations in ‘Trade and Transportation’ included: 9) draymen, hackman, teamsters, etc., 10) hostlers, and 11) hucksters and peddlers. For those as unfamiliar with some of these terms as I am, draymen drove wagons without sides (and may still be used by brewery companies for parades), and husksters are “retailers of small articles, esp. a peddler of fruits and vegetables; hawker” (

•A section was provided for “Defective Social and Physical Condition” which included “paupers” and “feeble-minded.” Paupers were defined as “all persons from disease, accident, intemperance, misfortune, and any other cause have become dependant upon public charity” and “feeble-minded” was assumed to be obvious, since it was not defined.

•Massachusetts held the fifth place in the production of silk and silk goods, following after New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut.

•The average salary for South Hadley was $1,517.00, which was higher than Northampton ($1,051.64), Amherst ($968.06), and Springfield ($1,261.94).

•34.59% of the Agricultural Products & Property in South Hadley comprised of “Dairy products,” followed by “Hay, straw and fodder” (19.48%) and “Vegetables” (12.30%).

•Inland fisheries in South Hadley generated a $235 value—from bass, eels, perch, pickerel, pout (horned), and trout (the greatest at $150).

To find out more about statistics and data of Massachusetts in 1905, as always, please consult our archives. All the information above can be found in four volumes of the Census: I) Populations and Social Statistics, II) Occupations and Defective Conditions, III) Manufacture and Trade, and IV) Agriculture, the Fisheries, Commerce.