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Western Massachusetts; a history, 1636-1925 (Volume 2) online

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the locating surveys. Mill street is the permanent reminder of one
of the valley's earliest industries. It runs from the edge of Mill
River, where was originally located the 17-acre saw-mill described
in the 1654 deed of Anna Smith, William Pynchon's daughter, given
in a page illustration in this volume. Walnut street dates back to
about 1812, when Captain Ethan Allen Clary, a United States




SPRINGFIELD'S IMPOSING MUNICIPAL GROUP

(With 4,000 Seat Auditorium in One Building, Offices of City Officials and Legislative Chambers in Another,

and 300 Foot High Chime-Campanile in Centre)



SPRINGFIELD 845

armorer, lived there. The street acquired its name from the very
large walnut trees flourishing on the old Clary place, not far from
its State street end. Warriner avenue, from Locust street eastward
Ward 6, is named for the family of Col. Solomon Warriner, eighth
postmaster of Springfield, a composer, a lieutenant-colonel in the
army, and first conductor of the first musical society ever formed in
Western Massachusetts. Ashmun street, leading southward from
Central Street, is the very small twentieth-century reminder of the
distinguished local orator and statesman, Hon. George Ashmun.
He was born in Blandford in 1804, graduated at Yale in 1823, prac-
ticed law in Springfield for many years, was the law partner of Chief
Justice Chapman, was thrice a Massachusetts member of Congress,
and was chairman of the Chicago convention in 1860 which nomin-
ated Lincoln for the presidency. The old Blake house, long one of
the city's most picturesque landmarks, was at the foot of "Blakes'
hill"; and this family gave the name to Ward 7's "Blake street."
This was the locality of mysterious happenings, which, years ago,
furnished the basis of a readable story by Frederick A. Packard, a
Springfield novelist. "Blakes' W^oods" and "Long Hill" together,
were jointly known as "Fort Hill" after the great fire. The latter
point is, strictly speaking, "Indian Fort," where the St. Vincent
mission house on Long Hill Street is now located; the actual "fort"
of history being erroneously located on certain maps. White street
was named after a well-known physician who lived near its south-
erly end. Allen street was named for Joel Allen whose ancient resi-
dence was long the conspicuous dwelling in that locality; and Ben-
ton street was called after the family through whose farm that street
was laid out in 1789. State street was the name chosen by the
selectmen for all of Boston Road, or "Old Bay Path" between Main
and "Factory street" just beyond the Armory, (St. James avenue)
because it was more dignified than the other, and it led toward the
State House. Bliss street derived the name from the land being
given for it by that family ; and Howard street from the family of
Rev. Bezaleel Howard. Union street received its name from the
fact that it was opened by Charles Stearns and others, unitedly,
across their respective lands. Wilcox street was opened by Philip
and Philo F. Wilcox through their own land, and named by them.
Margaret street was opened, through the homstead allotted to
Widow Margaret Bliss, who came from Hartford with so many chil-
dren that the town, a hundred and fifty years ago, granted her a lot
with extra width, reaching from the town street to the river. Her



846 WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

heirs, in 1850, opened a street throug-h the middle of it; and the
surveyor gave to it her name . Loring street was opened through
land once owned by Joshua Loring. Lombard street was opened
across land purchased by the heirs of Justin Lombard. Stockbridge
street was laid out in part through land of Elam Stockbridge,
famous as one of the earliest tailors and as a woolen manufacturer.
Cross street was opened by Abraham G. Tannatt through his home-
stead ; and being narrow and uncared-for, earned its long used title,
now vanished, of "Pig Alley." He finally got the selectmen to
accept "Cross Street" as a substitute "Alley." "Atwater Road" and
terrace were named for their crossing of the land owned by the first
president of the city's street railroad, George M. Atwater. Rimmon
avenue, running from Atwater Road, North Springfield, takes its
name from that adopted by Mr. Atwater for his handsome home-
stead on the hill, "Rockrimmon ;" the name of a huge sandstone
ledge often seen in early times at low water in the bed of the Con-
necticut river opposite his place.

Emery street was laid out in 1844, by the heirs of Capt. Robert
Emery, who had been the owner of the land. School street was
opened by the town in 1827, from State to Union, for the purpose
of access to the high-school house that the town had built on the
corner of Union and the new street. Alexander street, north end,
is a reminder of the successful administration as eighth mayor of
Springfield of Henry Alexander, Jr., a man of large affairs ; and
Phillips avenue, south end, is a slight monument to the worthy
work, as mayor and otherwise, of Mayor Alexander's son-in-law,
Henry M. Phillips.

Spring street was laid out at the foot of the first slope from the
high plain, in vicinity of the numerous springs which ooze out of
the ground on that plateau. Byers street was laid out across the
homestead of the Hon. James Byers, the fifth postmaster (1800-
1806). Worthington street was opened by Charles Stearns across
his own land, from Connecticut River to Spring street, and was
named after its former owner. Col. John Worthington. Butler street
was an old road without name, and in 1860 was re-surveyed and
straightened, and named for James H. Butler, who contributed to
the straightening. Stebbins street was named for Ithamar Stebbins,
who lived near by. Armory street, laid out in 1822, leading to
Chicopee from the United States Armory, was dubbed "Toddy
Road," because the workmen in the Armory used to go over this
road to Japhet Chapin's tavern in Chicopee. Andrew street was




COURT SQUARE. SPRINGFIELD — 1880



SPRINGFIELD 847

laid out in 1868, and named in honor of Hon. John A. Andrew, civil
war governor of Massachusetts, who had many admirers in Spring-
field. George Bancroft, famous historian, who once lived on Chest-
nut street near the city library, has had one of the city's streets
named after him by a political admirer. Calhoun street, laid out in
1860, was named for one of the strongest of the early mayors ; and
Philos B. Tyler, the city's second mayor, whose name was particu-
larly well known in the south because of the cotton presses which
his "American Machine-Works" turned out, is recalled by the long
street bearing his name and running from Oak to Colton.

Dickinson street was an old, nameless road, re-laid and straight-
ened in 1860, and then named after Isaac P. Dickinson, thr^ough
whose land the straightening was partly made. Dwight street has
its name from having been laid across the homestead of James
Dwight. Edwards street, from having been laid out across the
homestead of Col. Elisha Edwards ; and Gardner street, from
Gideon Gardner, one of the proprietors of the land through which
it passes. Greenwood street was laid out by Samuel Green, who
intended to call it by his own name, but was prevented from so
doing because another street bore the name. Grosvenor street was
laid out by Grosvenor B. Bowers, and thus named by the engineer
who surveyed the property. Harrison avenue was named for Presi-
dent William H. Harrison. Hillman street gets its name from Seth
Hillman Barnes, one of the owners of the land through which it was
laid ; and Magazine street, because it ran close past the old maga-
zine of the colonial army.

Among other streets so named are : Marion street, opened in 1883,
for the late Marion D. Tapley ; Mattoon street, opened in 1872, for
William Mattoon ; Morgan street, for Albert Morgan, the seventh
postmaster ; Morris street, for Hon. Oliver P. Morris ; Pynchon
street, opened in 1842, for the Pynchon family ; Sargeant street, for
Horatio Sargeant. Osgood street was opened by Dunham & Sleeper,
across land formerly owned by the Rev. Dr. Samuel Osgood ; Ring-
gold street was opened by George S. Lewis, and named in memory
of Major Ringgold, who was slain in the Mexican War. Sherman
street was opened across land of the Tapley family, and named after
Major-Gen. Sherman of the United States Army. Thompson
street was formerly the northerly part of Hancock street ; and
Haynes & McKnight, having purchased a large tract of land border-
ing on the street, re-named it in honor of one of the city's most
active and prominent business men. Col. James M. Thompson.



848 WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

Water street was originally laid out in sections, beginning with
that between the railroad and State street. It was named from its
nearness to the river; and after many years its name has been
changed to "Columbus avenue" because of its nearness to the Italian
quarter. Court street, associated from the year 1822 with the com-
munity's legal side, was called so because it marked the north side
of Court Square. Almost at its extreme western end the Springfield
Police Court room upholds the long-standing tradition. Everett
street, first north of Linden, was named for the famous orator,
Edward Everett, whose name, during his speaking and lyceum
tours, was many times on the register of the old Massasoit house.
"North Church Alley." between Bridge and Worthington streets,
back of the Bijou theatre, was named for the Old North church
building, which stood where Carlisle Building now is, from 1849 to
1871. Winchester Square is named for Hon. Charles A. Winchester,
another greatly revered mayor of the city. The name of a famous
Springfield contractor is easily suggested by the Ward 6's "Leyfred
terrace."

Garden Brook is a contribution of springs issuing from the several
slopes of the sandy plain forming the highest table-land of the city
east of Main street. It formerly ran down a deep ravine which
extended far into the level plain ; and, reaching the marshy meadow,
■the channel extended across the marsh to the western edge, dispos-
ing of itself in a singular manner by an equal division of its waters,
one-half going north, and in a circuitous, or serpentine manner,
finding its way into the "Great River" above Round Hill. The other
division, forming a channel, ran down the westerly edge of the
swamp, and, constituting the easterly line of the "town street,"
found its outlet in the Connecticut, just above the mouth of Mill
River, two and a half miles below the outlet of the northern branch.
This division took place near the east line of Main street, at its
junction with Worthington street, and still continues although the
bed of each branch has been considerably lowered, of late years, for
the purpose of drainage ; and the same, being known as the "Town
Brook," performs duty as a common sewer. Sixty years ago this
rivulet of clean water, running in the little channel by the side of
Main street, was used for domestic purposes ; and the little belt of
hard land between it and the marsh afforded room for an occasional
store or other building; and by crossing the stream on a plank, and
climbing up a flight of a half-dozen steps, or stairs, the flooring of
the one-story buildings was on tall posts.





yiKST COURT-HOUSK, BUILT 1722.






SECOND C(nUT-Ht)U>K, !! I. 1 1- 1 \^'2].










IIAMI'J'KX COUNTY COURT-HOUSE, ERECTED 187-1.



SPRINGFIELD 849

Town Brook — The waters of Garden brook after entering the
Wet Meadow pursued partly a southerly and partly a northerly
course, entering the Connecticut in the vicinity of York street and
by Three Corner Meadow brook. How well defined originally was
either stream in its course through the meadow the evidence is not
sufficient to show. An early record speaks of "the ditch" on the
east side of the Main street. Perhaps it is not remarkable that in
so level a tract as the Wet Meadow the flow should be both north
and south. One of the old city engineers describes the brook in
King's Handbook, P. 71. The following is from an unpublished
letter of Annie Brown Adams, daughter of John Brown, the aboli-
tionist, dated May 19, 1908: "When we moved to Springfield we
boarded at first for a few days at the Massasoit House ; then went
to live in a new house that was situated on the right hand side of
Franklin street on the left bank of Town's Brook, a small stream
that had a culvert bridge, the width of the street, across it. Father
rented the house and it was a good one. I cannot remember any
houses between there and the foot of Armory Hill which was in
plain sight. A man named Green owned some vacant lots just
across the stream on the opposite side of the street. I remember
seeing him drive a poor man off them who had a load of wood on
his back and was going across that way to his home in the evening
after his work was done, as it was a shorter way to go. I was very
indignant and told father. He said that "Mr. Green had a legal
right to order the man not to cross his lot, but it was not kind to
do so."

Churches — While the early church and civil history of Springfield
are interwoven and treated as a whole elsewhere in this volume, it
may be briefly stated that the four Congregational churches were
organized in the following manner :

It is believed (no positive records) that the first church of Spring-
field was organized in 1637 by Rev. George Moxon, who remained
pastor for fifteen years, then accompanied Mr. Pynchon to England
and never returned. For seven years the church was without a
pastor and then came Rev. Peletiah Glover who continued pastor
from 1659 to his death in 1692. The next pastor was Daniel Brewer
who served thirty-seven years, after which came Rev. Robert Breck
who was pastor forty-eight years. The next was Rev. Howard for
twenty-four years ; Rev. Osgood, forty-five years ; Rev. H. M. Par-
sons, sixteen years; Rev. Reed, seven years; Rev. Edward Terhune,

W. Mass.— 54



850 WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

five 3^ears ; Rev. Michael Burnham, nine years ; Rev. Frank L. Good-
speed, fourteen years and the present pastor Dr. Neil McPherson,
since 1910.

The Second Society of the First Congregational church parish of
Springfield was set ofif by the Legislature in 1818. While the
founders of this church did not formally declare themselves to be
of the Unitarian faith, yet they leaned in that direction strongly.
The second church was that in Chicopee street and the third was
"Church of Unity." The Fourth church, after twenty years, was
styled legally. Olivet Church. They erected a building in 1834 with
two towers on it.

The North church at Salem and Elliott streets, was formed in
1846. Their first pastor was Rev. Raymond H. Seeley who came in
1849. Out of this church organization came Memorial Church on
North Main street in 1865. One of the great preachers who was
pastor of this church — the North Congregational — was Washington
Gladden, D. D., later of Columbus, Ohio. The first building of this
society was built in 1849 and the present one in 1873.

South Congregational church, an off-shoot of the old First Church
was organized in 1842; built an edifice in 1843 costing $8,100. The
present church was dedicated in 1874 and cost $145,000 — one of best
in New England. It stands at the corner of Maple and High streets.
Union Street and Long Hill churches were off-shoots from this
church.

Methodism — Sanford Street Methodist Episcopal Church was
founded in 1849 with Rev. Leonard Collins as the first pastor. In
1864 this church Avas reorganized as Congregational, with the pastor
Rev. W. W. Mallory. This is rather an exceptional feature in Meth-
odism, as this denomination usually does not yield the field to an-
other sect but continues on, even if with small membership. But
this was only an exceptional incident in the church history. Meth-
odism, really had its start in Springfield as early as 1791 when
Bishop Asbury visited the town, preaching the first sermon here
July 15, that year. Between 1791 and 1797 the first class was formed.
Preaching services were held in the houses of Mr. Sykes and Deacon
John Ashley. The first class had a membership of fifteen. This
society was weak, however, for many years. In 1815 it was reor-
ganized by Rev. William Marsh. Springfield became a separate
station in 1819. The services were at first held in the "water-shops"
and in the Armory chapel on the "Hill." The old school house was
also used until it was closed against the denomination by the school



SPRINGFIELD 851

board. The pastor also taught school in the old block-house on
the Armory grounds. In 1820 the church had a membership of
seventy-seven. During 1820 a chapel was built at the "water-shops,"
later styled Asbury Chapel. This was the sixteenth Methodist
church erected in all Massachusetts. In 1835 the church had in-
creased so that a second church organization was demanded and
was obtained. In the matter of temperance societies and abolition
of slavery, this church — the Methodist Episcopal — were in the van
guard and fought until Prohibition was an accomplished fact, in the
adoption of the Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment.

In 1844 a new church was organized (now known as Trinity)
and a good edifice erected on Pynchon street and the Asbury Chapel
membership was transferred to the new organization. In 1856,
however, preaching was resumed at Asbury Chapel. In 1866 a new
edifice was built on Florence street, the same being dedicated by
Bishop Simpson, and then the name Asbury Chapel was dropped
and the organization called "Florence Street Methodist Episcopal
Church."

What is now State Street Methodist Episcopal church, formerly
Union street church, separated from Asbury Chapel church in 1835
and in 1871 commenced to erect a new edifice on State street. It
was finished in 1873. It seated 1,000 and cost $70,000.

Trinity Methodist Episcopal church, organized as Pynchon Street
Church in 1844, had for its charter members about forty persons.
The earlier services were held in the Worthington street grove.
The Pynchon street church was dedicated in March, 1845. In 1869
the society built a new church on Bridge street. In 1880 the church
had a membership of almost 500. The present fine edifice is located
on Oakland street and the membership is very large.

Grace Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1867, with
twenty-nine members. They built on Main and Winthrop streets.
The church cost $70,000. Its tower is 182 feet high. Bishop Bow-
man dedicated the property in January, 1875. Originally, this was
styled the Central Methodist Church, but upon building the last
named edifice it was changed to Grace.

The Union American Methodist Episcopal church (colored) was
organized in 1865. The first pastor was Rev. George Bailey.

Episcopal Churches — The first Episcopal services in Springfield
were held in 1817 by Rev. Titus Strong, of Greenfield. Rooms were
obtained in the U. S. Armory for chapel uses. There services were
only occasionally held up to 1821. In February that year. Rev.



852 WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

Edward Rutledge became minister of the parish. The church was
organized that year, with Colonel Roswell Lee and Dr. John Stone
being elected wardens. In 1838 a reorganization of the society took
place, and it was given the name of Christ Church. A new church
was provided in 1840. Rev. Henry W. Lee was first pastor and
later made bishop in Iowa. A new building was completed in 1876,
costing $75,100. Its location is Chestnut near State street and is
still one of the finest church properties in New England.

The Baptist Churches — With nineteen persons this church was
organized in 1819 and named the "First Baptist Church." Meetings
were held in private houses until 1821, when a small edifice was
erected on Central street, east of Pine. In 1832 the society increased
to fifty members; a new edifice was erected on Maple and Mulberry
streets. In 1846 another edifice was built on Main street and Harri-
son avenue.

State Street Baptist church was formed in 1864, services being
held in Union Hall until the fine edifice was completed in July, 1866.

Pilgrim Baptist church was formed in 1872 and the old South
church, on Bliss street was occupied by them at first.

St. Paul's Universalist Church— The Universalist church in this
city dates back to 1827, when services were held in the old Armory
Chapel, which was also at that date used by the Episcopal people.
Later they worshipped in Military Hall until 1844, when their new
building was erected in 1869. Their present church property on
State and Spring streets, is one of the most valuable edifices in
Springfield.

Catholic Churches — The first service of this denomination in
Springfield was in Military Hall about 1846 and in 1847 the Baptist
Church building, corner Maple and Mulberry streets, was bought
and removed to East Main, where after being refitted, was dedicated
in April of the same year. That church was called St. Benedict's
and its first pastor was Rev. G. T. Riorden. But soon it was found
a larger church home must be secured and a lot was purchased on
the corner of State and Elliott streets. The edifice there erected
was dedicated September 29, 1866, as St. Michael's Cathedral, and
was then known as one of Massachusetts finest Roman Catholic
church edifices. In 1879 this congregation numbered over six thou-
sand souls.

The Chapel of the Sacred Heart was founded in 1874, as an ofif-
shoot from St. Michaels. It located on Everett street.

St. Joseph's Church (French Catholic) on Howard street, near



SPRINGFIELD 853

Water, had seven hundred communicants forty-five years ago.

The Second Advent Society was formed in this city about 1860
with J. G. Adams as pastor; it worshipped in Central Hall many
years.

The Swedenborgian (New Jerusalem Church) was founded here
in 1853 and was supported by voluntary offerings. It never grew
to be a large society.

Spiritualists — What was styled the Free Religious Society of
Spiritualists, organized in the seventies, had in 1880 one hundred
members, but no building had been erected.

Present-day churches of Springfield — From general and church
directories published for 1925, the following are named as the pres-
ent churches in the city of Springfield :

First Congregational, Court square ; South Congregational, Maple
and High streets; North Congregational, Salem street; Hope Cong-
regational, State and Winchester ; St. John's Congregational (col-
ored). Union and Hancock ; Park Congregational, St. James avenue ;
Emanuel Congregational, White and Orange streets; Evangelical
Congregational church, Berkshire and Myrtle streets ; Faith Church,
Ft. Pleasant and Sumner avenue; Swedish Evangelical Mission
church, John street.

Baptist Churches — Auburndale Baptist, 710 White street; First
Baptist, State and Stebbins streets ; Park Memorial Baptist church.
Forest and Garfield; Swedish Baptist, 76 Oak street; Chase Memor-
ial Baptist, Dresden street; Bethany Baptist (colored). Eastern
avenue ; Third Baptist (colored) William street.

Christian Science — First Church of Christ, Scientist, corner State
and Orleans.

Disciples — Church of Christ, Dickinson street ; Faith Tabernacle,
343 Bray street.

Episcopal Church — Church of Christ, Chestnut and State ; All
Saints, Oakland street; St. Peter's, 45 Buckingham street.

Greek Catholic — Holy Trinity Orthodox Greek, 147 Carew street;
St. George, Orthodox Greek, 63 Patton street ; Russian Orthodox,
118 Carew street.

Jewish — Congregation Beth Israel, Gray's avenue ; Congregation
B'nai Jacob, 100 Congress street; Congregation Beth El, Port
Pleasant avenue ; Congregation Kodimah, Oakland and Sumner
streets; Congregation of Israel, 1321 North street; Congregation
Kesser, 329 Chestnut street; Congregation Tiferes Israel, North
Main and Chestnut streets.



854 WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

Lutheran Churches — German EvangeHcal Lutheran Trinity
church, King and Wahiut streets ; Swedish Evangelical Lutheran
Bethesda church, King and Merrick streets.

Methodist Churches — Free Methodist church, Colman street ;
Asbury First Methodist, 140 Florence street ; Trinity Methodist
Episcopal, 31 Oakland street; First Swedish Methodist Episcopal,
57 Bay street ; St. James Methodist Episcopal, North Main and
Dover streets; Wesley Methodist Episcopal, 741 State street;
Liberty Methodist Episcopal, Liberty and Carew streets ; African
Methodist Episcopal, Z7 Loring street; A. M. Zion church, 30 Vine
street.

Roman Catholic Churches — St. Michael's Cathedral, State and
Elliott streets ; St. Matthew's Church, Pine street ; Church of the



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