Holyoke Public Library
250 Chestnut Street - Holyoke, MA 01040

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City of Stories/Ciudad de Historias: Preview Bilingual Walking Tours of South Holyoke & the Flats

Join us for a preview of two new walking tours of South Holyoke and The Flats that will be available soon as a downloadable mobile app and as a website.  Each bilingual tour offers glimpses into the history of each neighborhood from the distant past to recent times.  A collaborative project, the multimedia tours are based on interviews with current and former residents and on historical research.   

The event will provide opportunities to preview the content of nearly 40 tour stops and submit feedback, comments, and suggestions.  Project staff and volunteers will be on hand to discuss how City of Stories/Ciudad de Historias evolved, its future, and how community members might contribute to the next phase.  Refreshments will be served. Drop in anytime between 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM on June 8. 

The City of Stories/Ciudad de Histories project is made possible by an Expand Massachusetts Stories grant from MassHumanities, with funding from the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information, contact the Holyoke History Room, Holyoke Public Library: (413) 420-8107  historyroom@holyokelibrary.org

Un avance de los recorridos bilingües a pie por los barrios South Holyoke y Flats
Acompáñanos epara una vista previa de dos nuevos recorridos a pie de los barrios South Holyoke y Flats, que estarán prontamente disponibles para descargar como una aplicación móvil y como un sitio web.  Cada recorrido bilingüe ofrece un vistazo a la historia de cada barrio, desde el pasado lejano hasta tiempos recientes.  Los recorridos multimedia, un proyecto de colaboración, se basan en entrevistas con residentes actuales y antiguos y en investigaciones históricas.  

El acto ofrecerá la oportunidad de conocer de antemano el contenido de las casi 40 paradas del recorrido y de enviar opiniones, comentarios y sugerencias.  El personal del proyecto y los voluntarios estarán presentes para hablar de cómo ha evolucionado City of Stories/Ciudad de Historias, de su futuro, y de cómo los miembros de la comunidad pueden contribuir a la siguiente fase.  Se servirán refrigerios. Visítanos en cualquier momento entre las 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM el 8 de junio. 

El proyecto City of Stories/Ciudad de Historias es posible gracias a una beca Expand Massachusetts Stories de MassHumanities, con financiación del Mass Cultural Council, una agencia estatal. Para más información, póngase en contacto con la Sala de Historia de Holyoke, Biblioteca Pública de Holyoke: (413) 420-8107 / historyroom@holyokelibrary.org


May Events




All History Room programs are Free of charge.  All are welcome. 
Todos los programas de la Sala de Historia son gratuitos  Todos son bienvenidos. 



Both Hillary and Iris will be offering full workshops in the winter and spring. Stay tuned! Tanto Hillary como Iris ofrecerán talleres completos en invierno y primavera. Esté atento.

Hillary Schau brings a background in programming and education and has worked as a professional genealogist since 2014.  Iris came to professional genealogy after unraveling a family mystery and is committed to empowering others by helping them connect to their family histories.  Both are members of the Association of Professional Genealogists and additional professional associations.

Hillary Schau tiene experiencia en programación y educación y ha trabajado como genealogista profesional desde 2014.  Iris Alicea Flores llegó a la genealogía profesional después de desentrañar un misterio familiar y está comprometida a empoderar a otros ayudándoles a conectarse con sus historias familiares.  Ambas son miembros de la Asociación de Genealogistas Profesionales y de otras asociaciones profesionales.

¡Genealogía sin cita previa! / Drop-in Genealogy

2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 2:00 - 4:00

Digging into your family history?  Drop by on any 2nd or 4th Wednesday, 2:00-4:00, to receive guided assistance or just to share your discoveries so far.  

In addition to History Room staff, we have 2 professional genealogists ready to help:

2nd Wednesdays:  Hillary Schau

4th Wednesdays: Hillary Schau & Iris Alicea Flores

¿Quiere profundizar en su historia familiar?  Venga cualquier 2º o 4º miércoles, de 2:00 a 4:00, para recibir ayuda guiada o simplemente para compartir sus descubrimientos hasta el momento.  

Además del personal de la Sala de Historia, contamos con 2 genealogistas profesionales dispuestos a ayudarle:

2º miércoles:  Hillary Schau

4º miércoles: Hillary Schau & Iris Alicea Flores


March 26th, 5:30 PM

Rescuing Richardson's Station: Holyoke's 1885 Train Depot, with Will Melton



Missed the talk?  View it here.   Our thanks to Holyoke Media for recording it! 

Considered by many to be the greatest American architect of the 19th century, Henry Hobson Richardson and his firm were commissioned to design more than two dozen railroad stations, many along the east-west line of the Boston & Albany Railroad. Only one, his 1885 Holyoke Passenger Station, was completed in his lifetime on the north-south line between New York and Montreal (the Connecticut River Railroad). When rail passenger service to Holyoke was abandoned nearly 80 years later, the station was altered into automobile parts and machine shops.

It sat empty for decades until local businessman David White bought the building in 2021, "tired of listening to people complain 'Someone should fix it before it falls down.'" His takeout restaurant and Choo Choo's Ice Cream shop will open on the site this Spring. Dave's friend Will Melton will tell the story of Richardson and this architectural commission.


This is Will Melton's third history talk for Holyoke Public Library. He retired in 2015 after four decades in university and museum fund raising to devote time to gardening, his mandolin ensemble, and history studies and writing. Liberty's War, An Engineer's Memoir of the Merchant Marine 1942-45, which he published in 2017, is available from U.S. Naval Institute Press, our library, and the C/W MARS library consortium.

Thursday, November 16, 6:00 PM


A House in Holyoke Through Time: 159 Chestnut Street, a talk with Robert Comeau

The elegant building at 159 Chestnut turns 155 years old in 2023.  It was once the home of James Newton of the entrepreneurial Newton brothers and later the Holyoke Club.  It is currently the Holyoke Day Nursery. Come learn about the biography and residents of one of Holyoke’s oldest homes in this second annual “House through Time” presentation by local historian Robert Comeau. In the Community Room.

Missed the talk?  View it here. 

Thursday, November 9, 4:00 PM

Blue Ghost:  A helicopter pilot writes home from 1968 Vietnam

As a child, Holyoke native Tom Pueschel (1945-2019) dreamed one day of flying.  What he didn’t know was that he would learn to fly, during his 423 days as helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War.  His letters home, published in 2023, capture “a raw, unfiltered journey that navigates not just the perils of war but the emotional and ethical turbulence that comes with that.” Join us in on November 9 in the Community Room at 4:00 PM as Tom’s brothers and sons read from his letters and share stories of his life.  A recording of this event is available here. 

Ciudad de Historias / City of Stories

Read all about our newest Holyoke History project HERE.