Holyoke, Massachusetts, was the first planned industrial city in the country. A dam on the Connecticut River designed to harness the waterpower of the 60-foot drop of the Hadley Falls was constructed between 1848 and 1849. A series of canals directed that power to textile and paper mills. Power, drive, and smart planning would become the city’s hallmark and helped put Western Massachusetts on the map as a notable corner of industrial inventiveness and flourishing opportunities.
The ingenuity of Holyoke’s city plan and canal system, combined with the city’s excellent location on resource-rich land along the chief routes to New York and Boston, attracted America’s best and brightest in business and the arts. The city, planned to accommodate a population of 200,000, grew quickly and prospered. By 1900, Holyoke had more millionaires per capita than any other city in America and was richer yet in architectural gems and fine cultural institutions.
Through the early 1970s, Holyoke remained a center of commerce and culture and is now reinventing itself for the 21st century with the same spirit, imagination, and drive of its pioneering founders.
Holyoke is a diverse community with a rich and interesting history, a dynamic business sector, and many fun things to do. Visit Passport Holyoke, to learn more about the diverse cultural, educational and recreational assets of Holyoke. You can visit the Children’s Museum, hike the Mount Tom State Reservation, row the Connecticut River, shop the Holyoke Mall, view dinosaur footprints, enjoy our annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Bring Your Own Restaurant, or ride the historic Merry-go-round at Holyoke Heritage State Park.
Holyoke is the first planned industrial city in the country. A dam and canal system designed to harness the 60 foot drop in the Connecticut River was constructed between 1848 and 1849, and the water power was used in textile and paper mills. Holyoke’s Green Energy has once again put us back on the map. Two-thirds of the electricity produced by Holyoke Gas & Electric is derived from non-greenhouse gas producing, renewable hydroelectric generation – making Holyoke a very green place to live and work.
Getting where you want to go from Holyoke is easy. Passenger rail is coming to Holyoke in 2012. We also sit at the crossroads of New England. Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) and Interstate 91 (I-91) quickly connect Holyoke to metropolitan hubs like Boston (1.5 hours), New York City (3 hours), Montreal (5 hours) and to New England’s second largest airport, Bradley International (30 minutes).
Holyoke’s downtown mill buildings feather out to tree-lined streets with a mix of single family homes and multi family brick beauties. Just beyond center city, you’ll find early and mid-century planned neighborhoods, and beyond those? A beautiful mountain with reservoirs and trails to hike. No matter the kind of place you want to live – industrial loft, charming ranch, brick row house or intricate victorian – Holyoke’s got you covered.
If you don’t live in Holyoke yet, what are you waiting for?