Holyoke, Massachusetts

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Holyoke is a city in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States, on the banks of the Connecticut River. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was named after Elizur Holyoke, who explored the area in 1660. One of the first planned industrial communities, Holyoke bears the nickname "Paper City".



The region of the Connecticut River Valley was first inhabited by Englishmen in 1633 by virtue of a post established at Windsor by traders from the Plymouth Plantation. Very shortly it became subject to rival claims on the part of New Netherland, the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony. The Massachusetts Bay men explored the overland route to the "Great River." In 1635-36, a warehouse and wharf, for purposes of trading with the Indians, was constructed in nearby Agawam. Out of this "trading post" grew Springfield, which later evolved into West Springfield, whose third Parish, called North Parish, or "Ireland Parish," became Holyoke. Holyoke was first settled in 1745 and was officially incorporated in 1850.

The first post office in the area was called Ireland and 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.[1]

A part of Northampton known as Smiths Ferry was separated from the rest of the town by the creation of Easthampton in 1809, and 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.[2]

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