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Compiled by Cindy Brown & Laurel O'Donnell
South Hadley, like its neighbors, began as a rural farming community as people settled lands given in the original grant to parent town Hadley. In the 19th century South Hadley Falls, on the banks of the Connecticut River across from industrial center Holyok,e was the site of a bustling community, and some of the manufacturing concerns built in that era (particularly paper factories) still survive. South Hadley is perhaps best known today as the location of Mount Holyoke College. It is also a small college town and bedroom community for larger cities to the south.
Town Hall - 116 Main St.. South Hadley, MA. 01075
Records are in the Walter E. Corbin Collection, comp. by Walter E. and Lottie S. Corbin, available from the New England Historic and Genealogical Society: Reel 17: Norwich, Pelham, Prescott, South Hadley
Churches and Religious History
The Congregational church was gathered on Oct. 3, 1733 as the Second Church of Hadley. The church was renamed when the town was formed in 1753. In 1759 the Second Precinct was established (later Granby). The First Parish was incorporated in 1824. Church and parish were both incorporated in 1924.
Early ministers were Rev. Grindall Rawson (ordained 1737, left 1741, d. 1777); Rev. John Woodbridge (installed 1742, d. 1783); and Rev. Joel Hayes (ordained 1782, d. 1827). Deacons included John Smith )mentioned 1733), Joseph Whtie, Daniel Moody (mentioned 1782, d. 1803), David Nash (mentioned 1782, d. 1803), Josiah White (mentioned 1782. d. 1809), Enoch White (mentioned 1782, d. 1813), possibly Ebenezer Moody, possibly another John White, Silas Smith (d. 1813), Levi Judd (removed 1829), Aaron Graves (d. 1834), and Selah Smith (d. 1825).
"A Church Record. . . " 1782-1825
"Church Records Book No. 2" 1824-1835
"Records of the First Church in South Hadley" 1835-1848
"Church Records, 4th Book, 1848-1858"
"Book 5, Old Records. . . 1858-1881"
"Confessions of Faith and Covenant. . . " Admissions, 1782-1941
Minister's record of admissions, 1819-1836
"South Hadley First Parish Records" 1824-1869
Charitable Collections 1845-1860
Parish Collector's Record Book, 1890s
First Congregational Church of South Hadley. . . [includes membership to 1861] (Northampton, 1861).
The First Congregational Church of South Hadley Falls was gathered in 1824; the Second Congregational Church of South Hadley Falls, in 1860. The Congregational Church of South Hadley Falls was formed by the merger of the First and Second South Hadley Falls churches in 1878.
Sophia Eastman, In Old South Hadley (Chicago, 1912).
Sylvester Judd, History of Hadley, South Hadley, Amherst and Granby, Massachusetts (Picton Press, 1905, reissued 1993).
Alice M. Walker, Historic Hadley: A Story of the Making of a Famous Massachusetts Town (New York, 1906).
South Hadley Public Library
Bardwell St., South Hadley, MA 01075-2536
Internet e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Historic Sites, Societies & Other Interesting Places
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Route 116, South Hadley, MA 413-538-2245.
One of the oldest collegiate museums in the country, this museum contains many special exhibits in addition to its permanent collection. Open Tuesday-Friday, 11:00am-5:00pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1:00pm-5:00pm. Closed holidays.
Joseph Allen Skinner Museum, 35 Woodbridge Street, Route 116, South Hadley, MAm 413-538-7127.
Exhibits in three buildings display farm implements, decorative glass, medieval armor and stuffed birds. The Prescott Congregational Church c1846, which houses some of the museum exhibits, was relocated here prior to the flooding of the Quabbin Reservoir. Open May-October, Wednesday and Sunday 2p.m.-5p.m.
Other Pertinent Links
Mount Holyoke College
State of Massachusetts, South Hadley Commonwealth Community Information
Massachusetts State Community Profile of South Hadley
Mary Lyon, Founder of Mount Holyoke College
Nash Dino Land
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