Holyoke

Year Incorporated
As a town: 1850
As a city: 1873



Site Resources

New! Skinner Mills 100th anniversary brochure. This brochure was created to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Skinner Mills, an important manufactoring concern with a lenghty history in the city of Holyoke. Interesting photographs and description about how fabric was made. This was created and donated to the site by Tom Fournier — his grandmother worked for Skinner Mills for many, many years as a weaver, and had a position in the union there. Many thanks for this contribution!

Golden Jubilee of Immaculate Conception Parish, Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1955. This publication is a great resource for people with French heritage from Holyoke. In it is the current (1955) list of parishioners and street addresses as well as lists of founding families. It contains a numerous photos of the clergy — both male and female. Many thanks to Charlene Tessier O'Meara who translated this book into English from French & Tom Fournier who typed in the names and scanned photos.

Churches - Holyoke, Hampden Co, MA, 1901. Extracted from A History of Hampden County Massachusetts, edited by Alfred Minot Copeland, Vol I, II, & III;  The Century Memorial Publishing Company, 1902.

Early Members of the First Baptist Church, Holyoke, MA (1803-1828) Extracted from The History of the First Baptist Church of Holyoke, Mass., by Pastor Jesse A. Hungate, Holyoke, Massachusetts, 1904.

History of Holyoke Library This article was included in A History of Hampden County Massachusetts, edited by Alfred Minot Copeland, and published by The Century Memorial Publishing Company, 1902.

Selected Advertisments From The Holyoke 1885 City Directory. Extracted from A History of Hampden County Massachusetts, edited by Alfred Minot Copeland, Vol I, II, & III;  The Century Memorial Publishing Company, 1902.

Your Resource Needed Here!



Town Clerk
413-534-2166
413-532-5215 fax
City Hall - 536 Dwight St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
M-Fr: 8:30a-4:30p
Call ahead if you are stopping by --
they do not permit "family research" every day.


Cemeteries

CEMETERY NAME
ESTABLISHED
ADDRESS (if known)
OTHER
Calvary (Catholic) March 20, 1882 Contact Diocese of Springfield
34 Nye St,
Springfield, MA 01104-2312
Phone: (413)736-0020

Located: Northampton St. at Whiting Farms Rd.

Map
Calvary Cemetery / St. Joseph of Mont Marie unknown Near Tannery Brook Rd, just south of Ingleside
Holyoke

Located on the compound of St. Joseph of Mont Marie. Presumably reserved for the burial of nuns of the order.

Map Unavailable
Elmwood Cemetery unknown Northampton Street (right next to Calvary)

A small, nondenominational, or maybe Protestant, cemetery dating to about the late 1800's. Only one or two open plots left. As you are going S on Northampton Street, Elmwood is the last cemetery on the left. There are two or three in a row there. Submitted by Linda Gaetke

Map Unavailable
Mater Dolorosa (Catholic) unknown Contact Diocese of Springfield
34 Nye St,
Springfield, MA 01104-2312
Phone: (413)736-0020

Physical location: Off Route 33 (Lyman Street) near intersection of 116 (Newton Street)

Map Unavailable
Mater Dolorosa (Catholic) (may not be physically located in Holyoke)
Note: Part of what seems to be one cemetery is actually a French Catholic Cemetery with a separate entrance, see Notre Dame, below.
Notre Dame (Catholic) unknown Contact Diocese of Springfield
34 Nye St,
Springfield, MA 01104-2312
Phone: (413)736-0020

Located: On Route 33 (Lyman Street) near intersection of 116 (Newton Street) Note: Part of what seems to be one cemetery is actually a Polish Cemetery with a separate entrance, see Mater Dolorosa, above.

Map
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Notre Dame (Above): This cemetery is actually located in South Hadley, though at least at one time under the auspices of Holyoke. This listing also appears under the South Hadley cemetery listings.
Precious Blood (French Roman Catholic Cemetery) 1875 Contact Diocese of Springfield
34 Nye St,
Springfield, MA 01104-2312
Phone: (413)736-0020
Map
The above cemetery, Precious Blood, is located on what was once known as the Granby Plains (see map), though actually not in Holyoke, it was under the control of the French Catholic church in Holyoke (Precious Blood), and may be called a Holyoke institution. It was opened for use in 1875. It contains four acres. This cemetery marks the location of the mass grave resulting from the Precious Blood fire in 1875. It is possible the cemetery may have been established as a result of that tragedy. (This listing also appears under the South Hadley cemetery listings.)
Forestdale Organized 1880
Dedicated 1882
Forestdale Cemetery Assn
304 Cabot St, Holyoke,
MA 01040-3121
Phone: (413)534-7894

Note: There are two locations to compensate for expansion, hence the maps to the west.

Map
Map (Forestdale West)
Map of Cemetery
Rock Valley Cemetery old, but dates unknown Rock Valley Rd, S of Southampton Rd.
Holyoke

Note: Recently this cemetery has been brough back from severe neglect. I understand it may be under the care of the Foresdale Association.

Map & Tombstone Inventory
St. Jerome (Catholic) 1864 Contact Diocese of Springfield
34 Nye St,
Springfield, MA 01104-2312
Phone: (413)736-0020
Map
Smith's Ferry Cemetery Burials ranging from the early 1800s to the present. Located on Route 5 nearly in the center between Northampton and Holyoke. Cemetery was once considered part of Northampton. Grounds care is provided by the City of Holyoke. The City does not maintain specific records for this cemetery. Map & Tombstone Inventory


Other Pertinent Resources


Yearbook -- Joseph Metcalf School Class of 1951 Included are individual photos of graduates, class photos of grades seven and eight, sports, activities, class will and prophecy. Another interesting feature is the "Metcalf Family Tree" listing relatives of the 1951 grads who also attended and graduated from the Metcalf School. Students in this book would represent 1954 high school graduates.

The Crossroads -- 1953 John J. Lynch Yearbook This would represent part of Holyoke High School Class graduating class of 1956. Photos, teachers, sports & activities with a name index for graduates and grades six though eight.

Precious Blood Cemetery, South Hadley, MA. Tombstone inventory complete with photographs and incriptions. Founded in 1873, this Catholic cemetery, though located in South Hadley, was the parish cemetery for Precious Blood church of Holyoke. The church was originally mostly French Canadian. This inventory contains about 2500 names and accompanying images.

Smith's Ferry Cemetery, Holyoke, MA, Tombstone inventory complete with photographs and incriptions. This is an old burying ground, located in Holyoke close to the Northampton town line. Predominant family names include Lyman, Smith, Parsons, and Underwood, though there are many others (approximately 230).

Rock Valley Cemetery, Holyoke, MA., Tombstone inventory complete with photographs and incriptions of each. This is an old burying ground, located close to the Southampton (Hampshire County) line.

"Precious Blood Church Fire," May 27, 1875. During a Corpus Christi service, the church, a wooden structure, suddenly and quickly burned to the ground. Death estimates range from seventy to more than one hundred people. This resource is a compilation of newspaper articles of the times, images, research articles, and a comparative list of the reported dead. Additionally, there is also a list of the dead transcribed from the Holyoke City Clerk's Office. A must-read if you have French Canadian ancestors.

Amateur Photographer C. Robert Wilhelm collection of images from glass plate negatives, 1880-1930's. Fascinating view of Holyoke people and places.

Crossroads, the 1956 school annual of John J. Lynch Jr. High School, Holyoke. Slightly more contemporary, but an interesting look at the "Junior High School" era. Around six hundred students named in grades 7-9, individual photos of the 9th grade graduates and faculty.

Crossroads, the 1954 school annual of John J. Lynch Jr. High School, Holyoke. Slightly more contemporary, but an interesting look at the "Junior High School" era. Around six hundred students named in grades 7-9, individual photos of the 9th grade graduates and faculty.

"The City of Holyoke" by Edwin L. Kirtland. This twenty-two page article is reproduced from the February 1898 issue of New England Magazine and gives a fascinating historical account of the development of Holyoke. Excellent images and very informative. Since Holyoke was not incorporated until 1850, it could shed some light for those seeking early Holyoke vital records.

Holyoke High School Yearbook, Class of 1945, Annual, Volume 31. This yearbook includes individual photos of the senior class, text descriptions of activities, faculty, sports and some other school activities. DOB range for these students is about 1926-27.

City of Holyoke Official Web Site History, municipal information and more.
Holyoke Public Library Site

Mount Tom Lodge -- Historic of the Holyoke Masonic Group, which began the same day as the (then) Town of Holyoke receeived its charter. Membership lists and more.

Unofficial Holyoke Police site (has some history)

The City of Holyoke: Its Water Power and Its Industries 1876 publication includes over 70 lithographs of various mills and a map of the city.

The 1924 Holyoke High School Yearbook. Photos of the graduating class, sports team and the faculty.

History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts

With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers Complete in Two Volumes. Vol. II., Philadephia: Louis H. Everts. 1879.  History of Holyoke from this publication, includes some biographies, military history, ecclesiastical history, surname index and more.

Picturesque Hampden Part II - West. 1500 Illustrations. Picturesque Publishing Co., Northampton, Mass., 1892. Charles F. Warner, Ed. Clifford Johnson, Art Manager. Hundreds of photographs, manufacturing interests, descriptions of Holyoke. Indexed.

Holyoke Daily Transcript. Thirtieth Anniversary. 1882-1912. People, church histories, advertising, illustrated and indexed.

Views On and About Mt. Tom and Mt. Tom Railroad Beautifully done promotional/souvenir pamphlet published by Holyoke Street Railway Company. Holyoke, Mass. Copyright, 1912, by L.D. Pellissier. Holyoke, Mass. Images of Mt. Tom, Mountain Park and vicinity.

Postcard Collection Eclectic variety of postcards (nearly a hundred) of scenes from Holyoke, most in the early 1900s.

Remember Mountain Park? Take a look back through this excellent photo gallery.

Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development: List of Communities with Profiles.

Holyoke Community Profile (DHCD) Department of Housing and Community Development statistics including government, population, education and other statistical distributions

Commonwealth Communities listed by county All communities in Massachusetts profiled here and organized by county.

Commonwealth Community Profile & Links related to the town including addresses of libraries.