Holyoke, Massachusetts facts for kids

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Holyoke, Massachusetts
City
North High Street
North High Street
Flag of Holyoke, Massachusetts
Flag
Official seal of Holyoke, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): The Paper City
Motto: Industria et Copia (Latin)
"Industry and Abundance"
Holyoke ma highlight.png
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Hampden
Settled 1745
Incorporated 1850
Area
 • Total 22.8 sq mi (59.1 km2)
 • Land 21.3 sq mi (55.1 km2)
 • Water 1.5 sq mi (4.0 km2)
Elevation 200 ft (61 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total 40,135
 • Density 1,872.3/sq mi (723.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01040
Area code(s) 413
FIPS code 25-30840
GNIS feature ID 0617679
Website City 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. As of 2012, the city had an estimated population of 40,135. Sitting eight miles north of Springfield, Holyoke is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Area, one of the two distinct metropolitan areas in Massachusetts.

History

See also: History of papermaking in Massachusetts

Englishmen first arrived in the Connecticut River Valley 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. 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.

High St. Showing Holyoke Range in distance, Holyoke, Mass
High Street around 1920

A part of Northampton known as Smith's 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.

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 Holyoke Machine Company, manufacturer of the Hercules water turbine, was among many industrial developments of the era.

Holyoke's 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

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. From the late 19th century until the mid-20th century, Holyoke was the world's biggest paper manufacturer. 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

Highland Park
Highlands
Jarvis
Avenue
Oakdale
The
Flats
Downtown
Churchill
South
Holyoke
Springdale
Rock Valley
Homestead
Avenue
Whiting
Farms
Ingleside


Mount Tom Massachusetts
View from Mount Tom

Holyoke is located at (42.203191, -72.623969).

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) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (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.

Neighborhoods

The City of Holyoke is divided into 15 distinct neighborhoods; in alphabetical order, they are:

  • Churchill
  • Downtown – features City Hall and the Volleyball Hall of Fame.
  • Elmwood
  • The Flats – features the Holyoke Canal System and many prominent structures built by the Hadley Falls Company in the mid-19th century.
  • Highlands
  • Highland Park
  • Homestead Avenue
  • Ingleside – features the Holyoke Mall and Nuestras Raices.
  • Jarvis Avenue
  • Oakdale
  • Rock Valley
  • Smith's Ferry – features the Dinosaur Footprints Reservation.
  • South Holyoke – features the Holyoke Turner Hall.
  • Springdale
  • Whiting Farms

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 3,245 —    
1860 4,997 +54.0%
1870 10,733 +114.8%
1880 21,915 +104.2%
1890 35,637 +62.6%
1900 45,712 +28.3%
1910 57,730 +26.3%
1920 60,203 +4.3%
1930 56,537 −6.1%
1940 53,750 −4.9%
1950 54,661 +1.7%
1960 52,689 −3.6%
1970 50,112 −4.9%
1980 44,678 −10.8%
1990 43,704 −2.2%
2000 39,838 −8.8%
2010 39,880 +0.1%
2015 40,684 +2.0%
Source:
U.S. Decennial Census

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.

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. Of all households, 30.9% 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%, and Elizabeth Warren over incumbent Senator Scott Brown 70%-30%. Holyoke elected an openly gay mayor, Alex Morse, in the 2011 municipal election.

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.

Arts and culture

Immigration and migration

Historically, a city of working-class immigrants (and the business owners who employed them), the first wave of mill workers was predominantly Irish. Irish immigrants had begun to settle in the region before the construction of the dam and the industrialization that followed, which is why the area's early name was "Ireland's Parish." The Irish roots of Holyoke is still seen in its annual St. Patrick's Day Parade (see below).

In the 1850s, the mill owners began to recruit French-Canadians, who were viewed as more docile and less likely to create labor unions. Later waves of immigration led to significant growth and cultural influence of communities of Germans, Poles, and Jews over first half of the 20th century. Starting in the 1950s, a large influx of Puerto Ricans and people from other Latino groups began to immigrate and migrate to Holyoke. Today Latinos form the largest minority group in the city, with the largest percentage Puerto Rican population of any city in the US outside Puerto Rico proper, at 44.7%. 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

Holyoke is home to the second-largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the United States, surpassed only by the New York City parade. 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 Eastern seaboard of United States. The Holyoke Saint Patrick's Day Parade typically attracts 350,000 to 450,000 people each year, although in certain years in the 1960s and 1970s when the March weather was "perfect", that number blossomed to what the police department estimated were 1,000,000 celebrants.

Puerto Rican Day Parade

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 Ricans from across the northeast.

Gay Pride Month observance

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.

Points of interest

Holyoke City Hall 5
Holyoke City Hall, Holyoke, M.A.
  • Dinosaur Footprints Reservation, preserved dinosaur footprints along the Connecticut River
  • East Mountain
  • Gateway City Arts, a co-working space for artists and creatives
  • Holyoke Canal System
  • Holyoke Heritage State Park
  • Holyoke Mall at Ingleside
  • Holyoke Merry-Go-Round
  • Mackenzie Stadium, home of the Valley Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League
  • Metacomet-Monadnock Trail
  • Mount Tom of the Mount Tom Range
  • Robert E. Barrett Fishway, lift system to allow fish to swim upstream of the Holyoke Dam
  • U.S. Post Office, Captain Alezue Holyoke's Exploring Party on the Connecticut River, an oil on canvas mural, painted by Ross Moffet and installed in 1936.
  • Victory Theater
  • Wistariahurst Museum

Transportation

Passenger rail service returned to Holyoke in August 2015, after being absent since 1967. Amtrak's Vermonter stops at the Holyoke station once a day in each direction. Several buses from the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority also operate in the city.

Sister cities


Holyoke, Massachusetts Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.