Chicopee Historical Society

Chicopee Historical Society Our mission to rediscover and preserve Chicopee's history.
Board members 2018-2019: Chet Kobierski, president Jacqueline Lynch, vice president Melissa Harms - secretary Cynthia Conklin - treasurer Brenda Maggi Nancy Kobierski Dan Meader Lori Jerusik Darryl Therrien

The postcard image here is of the town Common, back in the 19th century.  You know it as Wisniowski Park.The Chicopee Hi...
06/18/2019

The postcard image here is of the town Common, back in the 19th century. You know it as Wisniowski Park.

The Chicopee Historical Society invites members and the general public to attend its annual meeting and election of board of officers TOMORROW on Wednesday, June 19th at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room.
A review of this past year’s events and ongoing operational activities will be discussed, as well as events planned for this fall. The board welcomes suggestions for future programs.
Join us at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 19th in the Community Room at the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee, Mass. For questions, see our page or email [email protected].

PLANNING DEPT. NEEDS YOUR CITY HALL AUDITORIUM PHOTOS -- As you know, the Chicopee City Hall is currently under renovati...
06/17/2019

PLANNING DEPT. NEEDS YOUR CITY HALL AUDITORIUM PHOTOS -- As you know, the Chicopee City Hall is currently under renovation. The city Planning Department wants to gather as many historic photos of the auditorium as possible in preparation for a potential display outside the future renovated auditorium. If you have any photos of the Auditorium interior, please contact us here at this page messaging, and we'll forward them to the Planning Department. Thanks!

The Chicopee Historical Society invites members and the general public to attend its annual meeting and election of boar...
06/11/2019

The Chicopee Historical Society invites members and the general public to attend its annual meeting and election of board of officers on Wednesday, June 19th at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room.
A review of this past year’s events and ongoing operational activities will be discussed, as well as events planned for this fall. The board welcomes suggestions for future programs.
Join us at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 19th in the Community Room at the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee, Mass. For questions, see our page or email [email protected].

On this day of commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we pass along this news article on Wilfred Delude, a Chic...
06/06/2019
WWII veteran Wilfred Delude, Chicopee native, honored by France for service in battle

On this day of commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we pass along this news article on Wilfred Delude, a Chicopee man who, as a young Navy coxswain, landed with his crew on Juno Beach that fateful day. https://www.masslive.com/news/2016/05/wwii_veteran_chicopee_native_h.html

Wilfred Delude, a Chicopee native and decorated WWII veteran, was honored with an award from the French government on Friday.

Two Chicopee soldiers who died in the service of the Union during the Civil War - buried in the East Street Cemetery.  W...
05/27/2019

Two Chicopee soldiers who died in the service of the Union during the Civil War - buried in the East Street Cemetery. We salute our fallen heroes.

Thanks to a great crowd who attended our event saluting Chicopee's industries, here looking over some photos. WE HAVE A ...
05/23/2019

Thanks to a great crowd who attended our event saluting Chicopee's industries, here looking over some photos. WE HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH LEFT BEHIND BY A LADY WHO SHARED PHOTOS FROM HER FAMILY COLLECTION - PLEASE CONTACT US HERE OR AT OUR EMAIL SO WE MAY RETURN IT TO YOU... [email protected].

Thanks to a great crowd who attended our event saluting Chicopee's industries.  WE HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH LEFT BEHIND BY A LA...
05/23/2019

Thanks to a great crowd who attended our event saluting Chicopee's industries. WE HAVE A PHOTOGRAPH LEFT BEHIND BY A LADY WHO SHARED PHOTOS FROM HER FAMILY COLLECTION - PLEASE CONTACT US HERE OR AT OUR EMAIL SO WE MAY RETURN IT TO YOU... [email protected].

The postcard image below is of the Fisk complex.  SEE YOU TONIGHT,  Wednesday, May 22nd at the Chicopee Public Library C...
05/22/2019

The postcard image below is of the Fisk complex. SEE YOU TONIGHT, Wednesday, May 22nd at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room at 6:30 p.m., when we will host a "show-and-tell" gathering of Chicopee's industrial past. We will be presenting photos and artifacts from our city’s industrial history. Do you have memorabilia or photos of factory work here in Chicopee? If you have only memories to share, please bring them here, and your stuff, and share with us your family's participation in our city's factories!

The photo below shows activity at Spalding's during World War II. PLEASE JOIN US for a special event TOMORROW NIGHT on W...
05/21/2019

The photo below shows activity at Spalding's during World War II. PLEASE JOIN US for a special event TOMORROW NIGHT on Wednesday, May 22nd at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room at 6:30 p.m., when we will host a "show-and-tell" gathering of Chicopee's industrial past. We will be presenting photos and artifacts from our city’s industrial history. Do you have memorabilia or photos of factory work here in Chicopee? If you have only memories to share, please bring them here, and your stuff, and share with us your family's participation in our city's factories!

PLEASE JOIN US for a special event on Wednesday, May 22nd at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room at 6:30 p.m., wh...
05/16/2019

PLEASE JOIN US for a special event on Wednesday, May 22nd at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room at 6:30 p.m., when we will host a "show-and-tell" gathering of Chicopee's industrial past. We will be presenting photos and artifacts from our city’s industrial history. Do you have memorabilia or photos of factory work here in Chicopee? If you have only memories to share, please bring them here, and your stuff, and share with us your family's participation in our city's factories!

05/01/2019

Watch WGBY-Channel 57 tonight for a program about the area's old mill buildings - "Connecting Point" at 7 p.m. Chicopee Historical Society's vice president Jacqueline Lynch was interviewed for this project.

Join the Chicopee Historical Society for an evening of sharing memories and mementoes of Chicopee’s factories.  Did yo...
05/01/2019

Join the Chicopee Historical Society for an evening of sharing memories and mementoes of Chicopee’s factories. Did you, or your parents, or your grandparents work in one of Chicopee’s many factories in the 19th or 20th centuries? Bring along your photos and artifacts and share your family’s experience.
Chicopee’s city motto is Industriae Variae, or “varied industries” and there was a time when the wide variety of goods manufactured here was astonishing – everything from bicycles and cars, to firearms, cannon, swords, sporting goods, cloth, boots and shoes, tires, and more. Ames, Spalding, Dwight, Belcher, Fisk are only some of the company names that were nationally famous. For generations, the immigrant experience in a new land began in the factory.
What do you personally recall, or what are your family stories about the cotton mills, about the assembly line, about Sickles, Facemate, Uniroyal? This event is free and open to the public at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at the Community Room at the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee, Mass. For questions, please email us at [email protected].

PLEASE JOIN US for a special event on Wednesday, May 22nd at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room when we will hos...
04/25/2019

PLEASE JOIN US for a special event on Wednesday, May 22nd at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room when we will host a "show-and-tell" gathering of Chicopee's industrial past. Do you have artifacts, photos, or memories of factory work here in Chicopee? Bring your stuff and share with us your memories of your family's participation in our city's industrial history!

(The lady below is shown working at Spalding's during World War II when most American industries shifted to military production for the war effort. Spalding was located at that time in what is the location of Ames Privilege on lower Springfield Street today.)

On this April 19th, we remember the battles at Lexington and Concord, and "the shot heard round the world."  We also rem...
04/19/2019

On this April 19th, we remember the battles at Lexington and Concord, and "the shot heard round the world." We also remember this 1875 Minute Man statue to commemorate the centennial of the event - sculpted by Daniel Chester French - and made here in Chicopee, Mass. Silas Mosman, Jr. and Melzar Mosman headed the team of craftsmen at the Ames Manufacturing Company (now the site of Ames Privilege apartments).

President Chet Kobierski introduces the first of two short documentaries we presented last Sunday on The Candy Bomber an...
04/17/2019

President Chet Kobierski introduces the first of two short documentaries we presented last Sunday on The Candy Bomber and the Berlin Airlift, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of Operation Vittles and Operation Little Vittles and Chicopee's unique participation in both! Thank you to the great crowd who attended!

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association...
04/14/2019

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association...

If you find yourself in the Boston area for Monday's marathon, here are some Edward Bellamy-related sites to check out.

Mount Auburn Cemetery: The beginning of Looking Backward is set in this cemetery, located across the Charles River in Cambridge and Watertown.

Winter Street: The office of Bellamy's paper, The New Nation, was on this street near the Boston Common at number 13.

Tremont Temple: Also near Boston Common on Tremont Street, Bellamy spoke in the old Tremont Temple in 1889. (The current building was constructed in 1896.)

Also, for those who enjoy local history in general, check out the statues of George Washington in the Boston Public Garden and Leif Erikson on Commonwealth Avenue--both were cast in Chicopee.

Don't forget to join us at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room Sunday, April 14th at 1 p.m. for our salute to the...
04/13/2019

Don't forget to join us at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room Sunday, April 14th at 1 p.m. for our salute to the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift, and Chicopee's special part in the support of the Candy Bomber! We'll be showing two short films, the first about 40 minutes long on the Candy Bomber, and the second on the Berlin Airlift about an hour long. We'll also be giving out -- as a special treat and nod to the Candy Bomber - snack-size chocolate bars (but we're not dropping them from parachutes). See you Sunday!

UPCOMING EVENT: A commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift and Chicopee's participation in...
04/02/2019

UPCOMING EVENT: A commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift and Chicopee's participation in Operation Little Vittles in support of the Candy Bomber - Lt. Gail Halvorsen - with the showing of two short documentaries at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room Sunday, April 14th at 1 p.m. (MEMBERS - Check your newsletters for more on the interesting background story and photos of Operation Little Vittles in Chicopee)

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association....
03/26/2019

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association....

Happy Birthday to Edward Bellamy! He would have been 169 years old today.

UPCOMING EVENTS:  A commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift and Chicopee's participation ...
03/21/2019

UPCOMING EVENTS: A commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift and Chicopee's participation in Operation Little Vittles with the showing of two short documentaries at the Chicopee Public Library Community Room Sunday, April 14th at 1 p.m. (MEMBERS - Check your newsletters just sent out for the interesting background story and photos of Operation Little Vittles in Chicopee)

In May - Chicopee's Industries - a community participation event in which we encourage you to share your photos, memorabilia and memories (Postponed from February when it had to be canceled due to the water pipe burst in the library.)

In June - our annual general meeting to discuss our events planned for the fall and ideas for next year - also election of officers.

03/08/2019
Edward Bellamy Memorial Association

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association...

Did you know that Emma Bellamy was one of the founders of the Chicopee Falls Women's Club, even hosting meetings at her house? According to her daughter Marion's memoir, "When the time came for the clubs to meet at our house and the back parlor, my father’s study, must be opened for the occasion, my father pitched in cheerfully and helped to reduce the room from the chaos it usually presented to some semblance of order. He laboriously picked up from the floor the numberless loose pages of manuscript he dropped there and collected his writing material and books and dictionaries and removed them until the affair was over. But in no time at all it went back to the usual scene of disorder.”

02/20/2019

Just a reminder to all our friends - the event originally planned this evening at the Chicopee Public Library has been cancelled, as the room is still not available due to the water pipe burst. We hope to reschedule this event later this spring. However, we will be manning a table at the Cabotville Mills arts and culture event this Friday evening, the 22nd with some information and a PowerPoint presentation.

02/19/2019

FROM THE DORCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY - Dorchester Historical Society, 195 Boston Street, Dorchester, MA 02125
Job Description

Researcher/Writer Veterans Project Phase 1

This is a grant-funded, temporary position. A minimum of 10-15 hours of work per week is required. Payment will be based upon number of deliverables produced. Work must be completed by Nov. 15, 2019.
DUTIES:
Under the guidance of the Collections Committee of the Dorchester Historical Society, the Coordinator will be the main genealogical researcher and biographical writer for the Veterans Project.
● Research and compile genealogical data for a predetermined list of Dorchester residents who have served in the armed forces
● Use genealogical data (online resources, onsite resources)and documentary evidence, to write a high-quality, short biographical narrative of each Dorchester service member
● Use proper citation methods to document the source of information used in producing biographies
● Submit biography drafts to Collections Committee for review and online publication
● Report periodically on progress of the project, including metric data

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
● Minimum education required: Bachelor’s degree in history or related field. Graduate students currently pursuing degrees in public history are strongly preferred.
● Keen interest and experience in performing historical/genealogical research
● Strong research and writing skills
● Strong organizational skills, including the ability to independently manage project timelines and tasks
● Familiarity with genealogical research tools such as Family Search and Ancestry.com
● Familiarity with newspaper research
● Proficiency in MS Office, including Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel

Please send cover letter and resume to: Earl Taylor, [email protected]. Please also include a writing sample of no more than 2 pages on a topic in history or genealogy.

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Association...Happy Valentine's Day!
02/14/2019

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Association...Happy Valentine's Day!

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing this undated letter from our collection.

The Chicopee Historical Society is rescheduling its upcoming event celebrating Chicopee’s industrial past to Friday, F...
02/07/2019

The Chicopee Historical Society is rescheduling its upcoming event celebrating Chicopee’s industrial past to Friday, February 22nd from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cabotville Industrial complex and also Saturday morning, February 23rd as part of the Lights on Arts and Culture and Doors Open event at the Cabotville Mills sponsored by the Chicopee Cultural Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Planning Department and Mass Development
The Historical Society’s original event, planned for Wednesday, February 20th at the Chicopee Public Library had to be cancelled due to the recent damage suffered on the library’s lower level from a burst pipe.
Stop by at our table for a presentation of historical photos, information, and chat with our members. The PVTA will be providing free shuttle rides from Munich Haus to the Cabotville Mills. We thank the Chicopee Cultural Council for reaching out to us and inviting us to take part when the library space was no longer available.

Answer to last week's photo question from our friends at the Bellamy Association....
01/27/2019

Answer to last week's photo question from our friends at the Bellamy Association....

The guess of Church St. was not too far off! The snowy photo was taken in front of the Whittemore house in Chicopee Falls. No longer in existence, it was located at the intersection of Belcher Street and Broadway, across from the former site of the Methodist church. Here are a few more pictures of the Whittemore house from our Richard Haslam Collection.

We take this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to remember T. H. Ringgold, an escaped slaved who was a barber in Cabotville be...
01/21/2019

We take this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to remember
T. H. Ringgold, an escaped slaved who was a barber in Cabotville before the Civil War. On the right side of the banner photo above is a block called Merchant's Row. That's where he had his shop, along with several other prominent merchants including Jerome Wells, who ran a dry goods store. In the mid 1850s, Wells would start the Chicopee Savings Bank in his home, which is that brick building on the far left. From "Chicopee Illustrated" published in 1896, we have this account of Mr. Ringgold:

"Some of the citizens here by subscription raised the sum of $500, his owner's price, and bought his freedom. I have heard that his son George (a few decades later in 1883)
was in line to shake hands with Gov. Robinson when he took the office of governor of the state,
and in passing with the hand shake said : "Here's for Chicopee." The Governor was surprised, but immediately
recognized him."

Join the Chicopee Historical Society. It's your history. Send us an email, or come to our next event on Wednesday, February 20th at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee.

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association...
01/20/2019

From our friends at the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association...

Do you know where in Chicopee this snowy photo was taken? Check back next Sunday for the answer.

Can you identify the textile mill where these ladies worked here in Chicopee? What about the ladies, can you identify th...
01/16/2019

Can you identify the textile mill where these ladies worked here in Chicopee? What about the ladies, can you identify them?
Join the Chicopee Historical Society for an evening of sharing memories and mementoes of Chicopee’s factories. Did you, or your parents, or your grandparents work in one of Chicopee’s many factories in the 19th or 20th centuries? Bring along your photos and artifacts and share your family’s experience.
Chicopee’s city motto is Industriae Variae, or “varied industries” and there was a time when the wide variety of goods manufactured here was astonishing – everything from bicycles and cars, to firearms, cannon, swords, sporting goods, cloth, boots and shoes, tires, and more. Ames, Spalding, Dwight, Belcher, Fisk are only some of the company names that were nationally famous. For generations, the immigrant experience in a new land began in the factory.
What do you personally recall, or what are your family stories about the cotton mills, about the assembly line, about Sickles, Facemate, Uniroyal? This event is free and open to the public at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at the Community Room at the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee, Mass.

Address

91-93 Church St
Chicopee, MA
01020

General information

Contact information: [email protected] PO Box 115, Chicopee, MA 01014

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