Holyoke, Massachusetts

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Holyoke, Massachusetts
City
North High Street
North High Street
Official seal of Holyoke, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): The Paper City
Motto: "The Power To Grow"
Holyoke ma highlight.png
Coordinates: 42°12′15″N 72°37′00″W / 42.20417°N 72.61667°W / 42.20417; -72.61667Coordinates: 42°12′15″N 72°37′00″W / 42.20417°N 72.61667°W / 42.20417; -72.61667
CountryUnited States
StateMassachusetts
CountyHampden
Settled1745
Incorporated1850
Government
 • TypeMayor-council city
 • MayorAlex B. Morse
Area
 • Total22.8 sq mi (59.1 km2)
 • Land21.3 sq mi (55.1 km2)
 • Water1.5 sq mi (4.0 km2)
Elevation200 ft (61 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total40,135
 • Density1,872.3/sq mi (723.8/km2)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code01040
Area code(s)413
FIPS code25-30840
GNIS feature ID0617679
WebsiteCity of Holyoke, Massachusetts
 
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Holyoke, Massachusetts
City
North High Street
North High Street
Official seal of Holyoke, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): The Paper City
Motto: "The Power To Grow"
Holyoke ma highlight.png
Coordinates: 42°12′15″N 72°37′00″W / 42.20417°N 72.61667°W / 42.20417; -72.61667Coordinates: 42°12′15″N 72°37′00″W / 42.20417°N 72.61667°W / 42.20417; -72.61667
CountryUnited States
StateMassachusetts
CountyHampden
Settled1745
Incorporated1850
Government
 • TypeMayor-council city
 • MayorAlex B. Morse
Area
 • Total22.8 sq mi (59.1 km2)
 • Land21.3 sq mi (55.1 km2)
 • Water1.5 sq mi (4.0 km2)
Elevation200 ft (61 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total40,135
 • Density1,872.3/sq mi (723.8/km2)
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code01040
Area code(s)413
FIPS code25-30840
GNIS feature ID0617679
WebsiteCity of Holyoke, Massachusetts

Holyoke is a city in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States that lies between the western bank of the Connecticut River and the Mount Tom Range of mountains. As of 2012, the city had an estimated population of 40,135. Sitting eight miles north of the major city of Springfield, Holyoke is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Area, one of the two distinct metropolitan areas in Massachusetts.

History[edit]

The Connecticut River Valley was first inhabited by Englishmen in 1633 — a post was established at Windsor, Connecticut by traders from the Plymouth Plantation. In 1636, Massachusetts Bay Colony assistant treasurer and Puritan iconoclast William Pynchon led a group of settlers from Roxbury, Massachusetts to establish Springfield on land that scouts had vetted the previous year. They considered it the most advantageous land in the Connecticut River Valley for farming and trading. This settlement, on fertile farmland just north of the Connecticut River's first major falls (at Enfield Falls), the place where seagoing vessels necessarily had to transfer their cargo into smaller shallops to continue northward on the Connecticut River, quickly became a successful settlement — largely due to its advantageous position on the Bay Path to Boston, the Massachusetts Path to Albany, and beside the Connecticut River. Originally, Springfield spanned both sides of the Connecticut River; the region was eventually partitioned. The land on the western bank of the Connecticut River became West Springfield, Massachusetts. West Springfield's northernmost parish (alternately called Third Parish, North Parish, or Ireland Parish) became Holyoke, named after earlier Springfield settler William Pynchon's son-in-law, Elizur Holyoke, who had first explored the area in the 1650s.[1] The village of Holyoke was first settled in 1745 and was officially incorporated in 1850.

The first post office in the area was called Ireland. It was established June 3, 1822, with Martin Chapin as first postmaster. It was discontinued in 1883. Another post office called Ireland Depot was established February 26, 1847, with John M. Chapin as first postmaster and had its name changed to Holyoke (with George Whittle as first postmaster) March 14, 1850.[2]

A part of Northampton known as Smiths Ferry was separated from the rest of the town by the creation of Easthampton in 1809. The shortest path to downtown Northampton was on a road near the Connecticut River oxbow, which was subject to frequent flooding. The neighborhood became the northern part of Holyoke in 1909.[3]

Holyoke had few inhabitants until the construction of a dam and the Holyoke Canal System in 1849 and the subsequent construction of water-powered mills, particularly paper mills. At one point over 25 paper mills were in operation in the city; the population rose from just under 5,000 in 1860 to over 60,000 in 1920. In 1888, Holyoke's paper industry spurred the foundation of the American Pad & Paper Company, which as of 2007 is one of the largest suppliers of office products in the world. The availability of water power enabled Holyoke to support its own electric utility company and maintain it independently of America's major regional electric companies. The city was thus a rare unaffected area in the Northeast blackout of 1965, for example.

Planned industrial community[edit]

Holyoke was one of the first planned industrial communities in the United States. Holyoke features rectilinear street grids — a novelty in New England. This street hierarchy is seen as a potential economic development tool as it lends well to high-rise buildings, and the surrounding canals could be landscaped into a source of recreation and relaxation. Its grid pattern is notable in Western Massachusetts, where few roads are straight. The city's advantageous location on the Connecticut River — the largest river in New England — beside Hadley Falls, the river's steepest drop (60 feet), attracted the Boston Associates, who had successfully developed Lowell, Massachusetts' textile industry.[4] From the late 19th century until the mid-20th century, Holyoke was the world's biggest paper manufacturer.[4] The elaborate Holyoke Canal System, built to power paper and textile mills, distinguishes it from other Connecticut River cities. Holyoke is nicknamed 'The Paper City' due to its fame as the world's greatest paper producer.

Geography[edit]

View from Mount Tom

Holyoke is located at 42°12′11″N 72°37′26″W / 42.20306°N 72.62389°W / 42.20306; -72.62389 (42.203191, -72.623969).[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.8 square miles (59 km2), of which, 21.3 square miles (55 km2) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) of it (6.70%) is water. The city is bordered by Southampton and Westfield to the west, Easthampton to the north, Hadley, South Hadley and Chicopee as river borders to the east, and West Springfield to the south.

Holyoke is the location of East Mountain, the Mount Tom Range, and Mount Tom, 1202 feet (363 m), the highest traprock peak on the Metacomet Ridge, a linear mountain range that extends from Long Island Sound to the Vermont border. Mount Tom is characterized by its high cliffs, sweeping vistas, and microclimate ecosystems. The 110-mile (180 km) Metacomet-Monadnock Trail traverses the Mount Tom Range and East Mountain.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.  ±%  
18503,245—    
18604,997+54.0%
187010,733+114.8%
188021,915+104.2%
189035,637+62.6%
190045,712+28.3%
191057,730+26.3%
192060,203+4.3%
193056,537−6.1%
194053,750−4.9%
195054,661+1.7%
196052,689−3.6%
197050,112−4.9%
198044,678−10.8%
199043,704−2.2%
200039,838−8.8%
201039,880+0.1%

As of the census of 2010, there were 39,878 people, 14,977 households, and 9,478 families residing in Holyoke. The population density was 1,871.8 people per square mile (722.5/km²). There were 16,229 housing units at an average density of 762.5 per square mile (294.0/km²). The racial makeup was 61.76% White(Non-Hispanic White 47.1%), 5.8% African American (Non Hispanic 3.4), 0.38% Native American, 1.81% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, and 6.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 47.4% of the population.[6]

There were 14,977 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.5% were married couples living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.5% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 88.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $ $33,242, and the median income for a family was $39,130. Males had a median income of $35,849 versus $26,652 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,913. About 22.6% of families and 26.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.7% of those under age 18 and 13.2% of those age 65 or over.

Politically, the city of Holyoke has recently supported candidates from the Democratic Party by a wide margin. In the 2012 elections, voters supported President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by a margin of 76%-22%,[7] and Elizabeth Warren over incumbent Senator Scott Brown 70%-30%.[8] Holyoke elected an openly gay mayor, Alex Morse, in the 2011 municipal election.[9]

According to the 2003 FBI Report of Offenses Known to Law Enforcement Holyoke's crime rate in most categories was above the national average, in some categories, significantly. Most of these crimes are placed in the category of property theft, with a property crime count of 2,822.[10]

Economy[edit]

In recent years there have been successful efforts to attract high-tech jobs to Holyoke and diversify its economic base. For example, a coalition of universities and tech companies are building the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, an energy-efficient, high-performance computing center, in Holyoke, expected to open in 2012. These companies and institutions include Cisco Systems, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT,) the University of Massachusetts, Boston University, EMC Corporation, and Accenture PLC. The data center has been built in Holyoke in part due to hydropower accessibility.[11]

The retail sector has been a major employer since the construction of the Holyoke Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in New England, in 1979. Retail has provided the city with a large and steady tax base, contributing over $7 million in taxes annually.[12]

Holyoke is a sister city of Northampton, Massachusetts.

Arts and culture[edit]

Immigration and migration[edit]

Historically, a city of working-class immigrants (and the rich business owners who employed them), the first wave of mill workers was predominantly Irish. Holyoke is home to the second-largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the United States, surpassed only by the New York City parade.[13] Held annually since 1952 on the Sunday following St. Patrick's Day, the parade draws hundreds of thousands of people from across New England and the United States.

In the 1850s, mills began to recruit French-Canadians, who were viewed as more docile and less likely to form labor unions.[14] Later waves of immigration and migration led to significant communities of Germans, Poles, Jews, and then, starting in the 1950s, Puerto Ricans, and other Latino groups. Today Latinos form the largest minority group in the city, with the largest percentage-wise Puerto Rican population of any city in the US outside Puerto Rico proper, at 44.7%.[15] The entire Latino population of Holyoke, as of the 2010 census, was 19,313, or 48.4% of the city's population of 39,880.

Saint Patrick's Day Parade[edit]

Holyoke holds the second largest annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade in the nation, attracting 350,000 to 450,000 people every year.[16]

Puerto Rican Day Parade[edit]

The Puerto Rican community of Holyoke holds an annual Puerto Rican Day parade on the third weekend of July as part of an Annual Hispanic Family Festival held by La Familia Hispana, inc. Every year the parade grows in popularity, attracting Puerto Rican from across the northeast.

Gay Pride Month observance[edit]

Mayor Alex B. Morse, who first became an activist for LGBT rights as a high school student in Holyoke only six years earlier, presided at the city's first rainbow flag-raising ceremony in recognition of Gay Pride Month in June 2012.[17]

Points of interest[edit]

Sports[edit]

Birthplace of Volleyball[edit]

On February 9, 1895, William G. Morgan invented volleyball at the former Holyoke YMCA. That YMCA building was on High Street at the intersection with Appleton Street but has since been demolished. The Volleyball Hall of Fame resides in Holyoke at Heritage State Park and inducts a new class of athletes, coaches, and contributors every October. The sport was originally known as mintonette.

Education[edit]

Holyoke School Department serves the city. Holyoke High School, William J. Dean Technical-Vocational High School, and the Paulo Friere Social Justice High School are the city's high schools. Holyoke Community College serves Holyoke and the western Massachusetts area. Holyoke Catholic High School was in Holyoke for five decades but is now in Chicopee.[19]

"The People's College"[edit]

Holyoke Public Library, found at 335 Maple Street, is one of the very few examples of neoclassical architecture in the city of Holyoke. It sits on Library Park, which was donated by the Holyoke Water Power Company in 1887. In 1870 the library was originally in a room in the old Appleton Street School. In 1876 it moved to a large central room on the main floor of City Hall. It remained there until it was determined that it had outgrown the space and a modern facility was required.[20] Holyoke's citizens were charged to raise money to construct the library building and provide additional books. Under the leadership of Henry Chase, $95,000 was raised. William Whiting and William Skinner, each gave $10,000. Joseph Clough, the architect in charge of designing the building, gave his services gratis because his daughter was a faithful patron of the library. It opened officially in 1902.[21]

At the dedication ceremony William Whiting, who was library president at the time, referred to the library as the "people's college" and added that: “A library is as much a part of the intellectual life of a community as its schools, and should be supported generously as part of our educational system. Within these walls you will find authors devoted to literature, arts and science, and they are free to any who will ask. We can say to the citizens of Holyoke you have only to ask her and you will find knowledge to make your life useful and happy.”[20]

Notable people[edit]

(B) denotes that the person was born there.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile for Holyoke, Massachusetts, MA". ePodunk. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ Merolla, Lawrence M. and Crowther, Frank M. (1981) The Post Offices of Massachusetts, p. 43, North Abington, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Postal Research Society, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 81-84332
  3. ^ Strycharz, Robb (1996–2006). "US-5: A Highway To History". Retrieved 04/11/2009. 
  4. ^ a b "The Public Humanist". The Valley Advocate. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ http://www.boston.com/news/special/politics/2012/general/mass-us-president-election-results-2012.html
  8. ^ http://www.boston.com/news/special/politics/2012/general/mass-us-senate-election-results-2012.html
  9. ^ http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/11/old_holyoke_makes_way_for_new_holyoke_alex_morse_defeats_elaine_pluta_for_mayor.htmlhttp://www.boston.com/news/special/politics/2012/general/mass-us-senate-election-results-2012.html
  10. ^ "Holyoke Crime Statistics". CityRating.com. Retrieved 04/11/2009. 
  11. ^ "Why EMC Wants to Build a High Performance Data Center in Holyoke". Xconomy. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  12. ^ "Holyoke French Company Announces Plans to buy Holyoke Power Plant". The Springfield Republican. The Republican Company. 09-02-2008. Retrieved 04/11/2009. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ "2010 Census American FactFinder". Retrieved 2013-08-30. 
  16. ^ Massachusetts. "Holyoke St. Patrick's Parade 2011: 60th annual parade draws 400,000, attracts first-timers". masslive.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  17. ^ "City Shows Its 'Pride' During Rainbow Flag Raising". The Sun. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  18. ^ "An Historic House Museum in Holyoke, Massachusetts". Wistariahurst. 2012-10-27. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  19. ^ "Holyoke Public Schools, Holyoke, Massachusetts". Hps.holyoke.ma.us. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  20. ^ a b "Holyoke Public Library History Room & Archives". Holyokehistory.blogspot.com. 2004-02-26. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  21. ^ "Paper City Scribblings: August 2006". Papercityscribblings.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  22. ^ Cooke, Jon B. (November 15, 2001). ""The Art of Arthur Adams", Reprinted from Comic Book Artist #17". Twomorrows.com. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  23. ^ George Khoury and Eric Nolen-Weathington. Modern Masters Volume Six: Arthur Adams, 2006, TwoMorrows Publishing.

External links[edit]