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flag  History of Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA

(Aldenville) (Chicopee Falls)

Visit Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA - The Falls, Chicopee Falls, Mass.

Chicopee, Hampden, Massachusetts, USA

Chicopee is Indian named, the word signifying "cedar tree" or a birch bark place.
How New England Towns Received Their Names
The Day
New London, Connecticut
October 21, 1914

In 1636, William Pynchon purchased land from the Agawam Indians on the east side of the Connecticut River and moved from Roxbury to Springfield to found the first settlement in the area that comprises the territory of today's Chicopee Center (Cabotville). Both Cabotville and the Falls began as manufacturing centers (villages).

According to local historian Charles J. Seaver, the area above the falls was first settled in 1660. The land purchased from the Indians was divided into districts. Nayasett (Nipmuc for "at the small point - angle") was the name given to Chicopee Center and Chicopee Falls.

Chicopee includes: Chicopee Falls, Fairview, Sand Hill, Willimansett, and Aldenville.

There is MUCH more to discover about Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Chicopee Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

The Falls, Chicopee Falls, Mass.
Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA

The Falls, Chicopee Falls, Mass.
1907 Springfield Street looking North, Chicopee, Mass.
Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA

1907 Springfield Street looking North, Chicopee, Mass.
Administration Building, Our Lady of the Elms College, Chicopee, Mass.
Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA

Administration Building, Our Lady of the Elms College, Chicopee, Mass.

Discover Chicopee: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
April 29, 1848 - Chicopee is incorporated

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1854 - Fire at Chicopee - Four Lives Lost.
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Friday, July 28. A dwelling-house, belonging to A. Bullens and occupied by two Irish families, near the Junction Depot, at Chicopee, was destroyed by fire about 1 o'clock this morning, and four people perished in the flames. Two of them were named CANTY, aged respectively 9 and 21 years; one named COUGHLIN, aged 25, and the other named COLLINS, aged 8 years. The bodies have been recovered, but in a shocking state, and the head of one of the unfortunate girls was not to be found at all. A young man named PATRICK BOLAR was badly burned in rescuing his mother from the flames. The fire was first discovered issuing from the room occupied by the victims. House valued at $1,300; insured for $660.
The New York Times
New York, New York
July 29, 1854
1873 - DESTRUCTIVE FIRES. Burning of the Chicopee Mills, Massachusetts - Loss $500,000.
SPRINGFIELD, April 15. - One of the most destructive fires in Western Massachusetts for many years broke out at 10:45 o'clock last night, in Mill No. 2 of the Dwight Manufacturing Company, of Chicopee, and before the flames were extinguished, destroyed both that and the mill adjoining, No. 1, belonging to the same company. The fire caught in the wheel-room, by the accidental overturning of a lamp, and spread very rapidly. At 10½ o'clock two steamers were sent from this city, but before their arrival the buildings were nearly consumed. The mills were employed in the manufacture of cotton sheeting and cotton flannel, and contained 4,500 bales of cotton, which were destroyed.

In addition to the two mills, there were destroyed the engine and picker building, two storehouses filled with first-class lumber and old and new machinery, and a part of the railroad freight depot, which was used as a store-house for cotton. There were 1,500 bales of cotton in the cotton storehouse, most of... Read MORE...

Chicopee Massachusetts, 1890
Chicopee is an important manufacturing town situated on the eastern side of Connecticut River, in Hampden County, and about 100 miles west of Boston, from whence it is reached by the Boston and Albany Railroad and the Connecticut River Railroad; the latter passing through its villages on the river, and sending a branch to Chicopee Falls. On the north are South Hadley and Granby; on the east, Ludlow; on the south, Springfield; on the west, West Springfield and Holyoke. The area, excepting highways and water-surfaces, is 12,800 acres; in which is included 1,850 acres of woodland. The geological formation is middle shales and sandstone, with iron ore in several localities. The bottom land (about 25 feet above the Connecticut) and that immediately adjoining it, is of the highest and best natural quality for agricultural purposes. The land remote from the rivers is, to a large extent, pine plains averaging about 80 feet above the river, and with a soil lighter and less productive. The... Read MORE...

April 18, 1890 - Chicopee becomes a city

Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
1891 - Furniture store robbery
The furniture store of A. R. Martin at Chicopee Falls was entered last night by burglars, who gained entrance by smashing a rear window. Vittel Anse, a Frenchman, discovered the intruders as they were leaving the store. He raised an alarm and pursued them. One of the burglars ran into a barbed wire fence, and before he was able to free himself Aldreman Morton of the new City Government came along and nabbed him.
Boston Evening Transcript
Boston, Massachusetts
January 19, 1891
1895 - Chicopee
Chicopee, chik'o-pe, a post-village constituting part of Chicopee city, Hampden co., Mass., is on the E. bank of the Connecticut River, at the mouth of the Chicopee, and on the Connecticut River Railroad, at the junction of the Chicopee Falls Branch, 4 miles N. of Springfield. It has 7 churches, a convent of the Sacred Heart of Mary, a high school, a national bank, a savings-bank, and extensive manufactures of cotton goods, statuary, cutlery, locks, bi. cycles, and machinery. Here are the cotton-mills of the Dwight Company, which has a capital of $2,000,000 and employs 2000 operatives. Pop. 7000; of the city, 14,050.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 20. - Kasimir Obara and Szymon Galuszka, two Poles, were found dead in bed this morning in the parochial residence connected with the Independent Polish Catholic Church of Chicopee. It is supposed that they were drunk when they went to bed and carelessly built a rousing fire in the hot-air furnace in the cellar of the house.
They permitted the register to remain open and then went to bed. Coal gas and hot air came up in such quantities that the medical examiner considered that they died in an hour after retiring. Obara was the household servant of the pastor of the church, and Galuszka was a friend whom he had induced to spend the evening with him.
The New York Times
New York, New York
March 21, 1898
The paint-shop of M. I. Fuller, on Pine street, at the Falls, was almost totally destroyed by fire about 8:15 o’clock yesterday morning. Mr. Fuller was passing through the shop and stepped on a parlor match, which lay close to some turpentine which had been spilled on the floor. The whole place was ablaze in an instant, Mr. Fuller being obliged to beat a hasty retreat. The fire department responded to the alarm with all possible speed, but it was more than 10 minutes after the alarm was turned in that they got to the scene of action. One of the hose companies pressed Osborn’s milk cart into service, attaching the reel to the rear of the vehicle. The horse was decrepit, however, and matters were not much improved, even with the company pushing behind. Arriving at the fire, however, the department did good work. The saved Mr. Fuller’s barn, which stood but 12 feet away, and also that of D. M. Cook, 20 feet away. The loss is about $1000, partly insured in the Delaware company through... Read MORE...

A fire broke out last night about 10:10 in Mendel Riner’s clothing store at 20 Springfield street, Market square. The flames started in the rear part of the store, near the stove, in which there was no fire. Several persons had been smoking pipes and cigarets just before the proprietor went upstairs. The insurance is $4000, place through James H. Loomis. Mr. Riner had moved upstairs about a month before. The damage is estimated at about $2000. The department responded promptly to the alarm, and soon extinguished the blaze. There is some suspicion of an incendiary origin of the fire.
Springfield Republican
Springfield, Massachusetts
January 25, 1900
Wooden Way Across the Connecticut Destroyed by Fire.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 12. - The old wooden bridge across the Connecticut River between Chicopee Junction and West Springfield was burned this noon. Sparks carried by the strong westerly wind set fire to a number of buildings in Chicopee, including the Boston and Maine station, and the entire Fire Department was called out. The loss, aside from the bridge, is small.

The bridge was built in 1848 as a toll bridge, was more than 1.2000 feet long, and had seven spans. It was made a free bridge in 1872. With the exception of the old toll bridge at Springfield, it was the last of the old wooden bridges across the Connecticut River in Massachusetts.
The New York Times
New York, New York
November 13, 1903
Chicopee, a city of Hampden co., Mass., on the E. bank of the Connecticut River, at the mouth of the Chicopee, and on the Boston and Maine R., 4 miles N. of Springfield. It has extensive manufactures of cotton and knitted goods, bronze statuary, hardware, bicycles, machinery, boilers, fire-arms, swords, carpets, etc. Pop. in 1900, 19,167 (inclusive of Chicopee Falls, Fairview, and Willimansett, incorporated with it).
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
2023 - Chicopee, Massachusetts may not be the biggest town, but it certainly has its charm and offers a variety of places to visit and things to do. Here's a list to get you started:
Szot Park:

Enjoy a relaxing day outdoors at Szot Park. It's a great spot for picnics, sports, or just a leisurely stroll. They often host events and have a playground for the kids.

Chicopee Memorial State Park:

If you're into outdoor activities, check out Chicopee Memorial State Park. It offers hiking trails, a pond for fishing, and a beach for swimming during the summer.

Cabotville Historic Sights:

Explore the historic Cabotville area, which played a significant role in the industrial history of Chicopee. You'll find charming old buildings and perhaps stumble upon some local history.

Chicopee Public Library:

For a quieter day, visit the Chicopee Public Library. It's not just a place for books; they often have community events, lectures, and activities.

Chicopee Country Club:

Golf enthusiasts can tee off at the Chicopee Country Club. It's a well-maintained course with scenic views.

Elms College:

Take a stroll around the beautiful campus of Elms... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Chicopee Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Chicopee, Massachusetts, USA

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Genealogy Resources for Chicopee

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Updated: 10/5/2023 8:18:36 PM