Holyoke, Massachusetts

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There are only three cities in the world, Holyoke, Paris, and New York ~ Belle Skinner

Holyoke, Massachusetts is a city on the Connecticut River in Hampden County, Massachusetts. One of the first planned industrial cities in the United States, Holyoke was founded in 1850 by the Boston Associates, a group of allied merchants and investors who built many of the largest mill projects in New England, most famously Lowell, Massachusetts.


  • Enterprise, Capital and Mechanical Skill; Enterprise to conceive the plan, Capital to furnish the means, and Engineering Skill to accomplish the work. It is these, and not the fabled powers of necromancy, that have planted themselves below the falls at Hadley; have taught the mighty river to flow backwards from before their gigantic masonry; and thus laid the foundations of a city which will yet with its suburbs spread for miles along the bank, and be felt in the enhanced value of every farm in the county.
  • Massachusetts Governor Edward Everett in an October 7, 1852 speech before the Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden Agricultural Society in Northampton, as published in "Process of Agriculture". Orations and Speeches on Various Occasions. III. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1859. p. 156. OCLC 12111918. 
  • Technology marches on and the wonders of yesterday become the curiosities of today. But in every great age some men succeed in rising above the transient and in creating works which outlast the times which produce them. The founders of Holyoke were such men. They built with such honesty and intelligence that the city has never been forced to abandon its original foundations. It remains a living monument to those pioneer engineers and industrialists of the mid-nineteenth century who had neither coal nor steel. When, after the Civil War, these two commodities became available, creative imaginations of the type which visioned Holyoke transformed America within a third of a century into the leading industrial nation of the world.
  • Holyoke, now over a century old, has never flowered. For a brief period, perhaps from about 1878 to 1893, she gave signs of sturdy growth. Then a slow paralysis set in, and the promise was not fulfilled. Today she has far more to recommend her than a dozen other New England manufacturing cities...Nevertheless, if Holyoke is not one of New England's dreary mill towns, she is still far from realizing the hopes her founders and later comers alike had for her.
  • I have some confidence in the great principle of local self-government. I believe that this great city of Holyoke, energetic, full of inspiration, the Chicago of Massachusetts, is able to run its own business without the admonition or control of the government in Boston.
  • Massachusetts Governor Frederic T. Greenhalge, in an October 11, 1895 speech in Holyoke City Hall, as published in "Gov. Wolcott's Feelings Uninjured". The Boston Globe: p. 4. October 12, 1895. 
  • When Belle Skinner lived, she often entertained in [Wistariahurst]'s music room, engaging famous artists to sing or play. When she entered the room, her guests would turn to look at her, forgetting the instruments, for she was a striking, charming personality. Like the chaplain of a chateau in a foreign town. And she was also a trained musician, in her girlhood elected class musician at Vassar College, playing the piano, violin, and harpsichord. When she died suddenly in Paris, on an Easter Sunday, of galloping influenza, a light went out of Holyoke.
  • Just as our nation's flag represents the ideals and goals of a free people, so does Holyoke High School represent the ideals and goals of the American system of education.
  • President Richard Nixon in "Letter from the White House- May 13, 1969". The Annual, Published by the Class of 1969. Holyoke, Mass.: Holyoke High School. 1969. p. 7. 
  • It is very unlikely that the people of Holyoke generally have any realization of the large value of the natural resources and opportunities virtually at their control, to utilize or to preserve for future utilization, or to waste and destroy by neglect. They have probably been in the situation of the American people as a whole, not unlike that of some spoiled children of wealthy parents; bewildered by more opportunities and resources than they have yet learned to utilize effectively, they are apt in the eagerness with which they pursue certain ends either to waste and neglect or recklessly to sell for a pittance other values that they have not yet had time to appreciate, but which they will sorely regret as time brings greater experience and greater managing ability.
  • This infant giant of Western Massachusetts, destined to eclipse Lowell and other manufacturing places in this country, is situated upon the right bank of the Connecticut River, about eight miles from Springfield, and about the same distance south from Northampton, in the midst of a beautiful and fertile region, noted far and wide for the industry of its inhabitants, its salubrious clime, and its enchanting scenery.
  • Holyoke was a success. It had achieved what thousands of towns had yearned for: it had become a major industrial center; it had grown rapidly, it was 'on the map.' It was also true that the sewers of the town emptied into the canal that flowed through it; that the community was unable to provide for its paupers; that its disease and death rate had tripled. But only the enemies of progress grumbled—cantankerous farmers and chronic malcontents... The town which failed in the race for industry dwindled into gentle impotence; to succeed as Holyoke did meant to explode into some terrible and tormented form whose sickness was acclaimed true health; to neither succeed nor to fail meant to live from one hope to the next, finding in each just enough nourishment to keep dreams alive.
  • You have harnessed this great river and increased the product of the manufacturers and have bettered your conditions in a quiet and effective way. Evidences are shown of the elevating influences of educational institutions, the public schools, the colleges which gather in this neighborhood—Mount Holyoke, Smith, Amherst, and the Springfield colleges—all these evidence the high tone which you cultivate and encourage.
  • William Howard Taft remarks on Holyoke in speech at Mount Nonotuck Hotel in "Taft 'Out in the Woods' on Presidential Situation; Speaks at Reception at Hotel Nonotuck—Not in Favor of Conscription". Springfield Republican (Springfield, Mass.): p. 12. March 30, 1916. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Holyoke, Massachusetts on Wikimedia Commons

Encyclopedic article on Holyoke, Massachusetts on Wikipedia
The dictionary definition of Holyoke on Wiktionary
Holyoke, Massachusetts travel guide from Wikivoyage