Holyoke Range Collection Page 2
Holyoke Range Beginnings
The origins of the Holyoke Range are tied to the formation of the Connecticut River Valley when the
North American continent and the African Continent began to separate 400 - 500 million years ago.
The basalt rock that constitutes the core of the mountains was created from volcanic lava that hardened
200 million years ago. The most recent natural formation of the range occurred as ice melted away nearly
10,000 years ago and left behind the sediments of sand, gravel and fertile farmland in the region.
The Holyoke Range is one of the only ranges that runs east to west in the United States.
The Iroquois Federation and the five tribes of the Connecticut Valley inhabited the area around the
Holyoke Range.The Nonotuck Tribe and the Agawam Tribe lived closest to the mountains and farmed
the area on both sides of the range.
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