Place:Chicopee, Hampden, Massachusetts, United States

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NameChicopee
TypeCity
Coordinates42.17°N 72.589°W
Located inHampden, Massachusetts, United States     (1650 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Chicopee is a city located on the Connecticut River in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States of America. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 55,298, making it the second largest city in Western Massachusetts after Springfield. The current mayor is Richard Kos.

Chicopee uses the nickname "Crossroads of New England" as part of a business-development marketing campaign, a nickname also shared by West Springfield. The name reflects the city's convenient location amongst a number of metropolitan areas and its transportation network. Four highways run through its boundaries: I-90, I-91, I-291, and I-391. State routes such as Route 33, 116, and 141, are major providers of regional linkage.

The communities of Chicopee Center (Cabotville), Chicopee Falls, Willimansett, Fairview, Smith Highlands, Aldenville, Burnett Road, and Westover are located in the city.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Nayasett (Cabotville and Chicopee Falls)

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. The settlement in the upper district was at Skipmuck (possibly based on Nipmuc "Skipmaug," meaning "chief fishing place" or "Shipmuck," meaning "big watery place"), a place above the falls on the south side of the river.

A sawmill was the first river industry. The mill was built at Skenungonuck (Nipmuc for "green fields") Falls (now Chicopee Falls) in 1678 by Japhet Chapin, John Hitchcock and Nathaniel Foote. The mill was the first industrial site in Chicopee Falls. The saga of Factory Village really begins in the year 1786, when the property comprising two acres of land was leased to 10 local men with the understanding that they would build an iron foundry within two years. This was accomplished and the business flourished.

In 1823, Jonathan Dwight purchased the water privilege at Skenungonuck Falls in Chicopee. Five years later the textile mill had 14,000 spindles and nearly 500 looms, making it the second-largest operation in the state. By 1831, there were two giant dams, two waterpower canals and two manufacturing communities on the Chicopee River.

In 1848, Chicopee, which for over two centuries had been a part of Springfield, was partitioned off into its own town. Political factions in Springfield wanted Springfield to remain a town, rather than become a city and take on a mayoral form of government. By partitioning off Chicopee, those political factions prevented Springfield from becoming a city until 1852; however, Springfield lost 2/5 of its land area and nearly half of its population when Chicopee was created.

Before and after the partition, eight Chicopee River companies gained product recognition around the globe: Ames, Belcher, Lamb, Dwight, Stevens, Spalding, Fisk, and Duryea. Below the falls in the bend of the river at a place called Factory Village, an important chapter of the region's industrial history was played out.

Various industries

Chicopee adopted the motto "Industriae Variae", which means "Various Industries". Chicopee was home to many types of industries which include cotton mills, woolen mills, textiles, brass foundries and iron foundries, paper making, leather products like boots and shoes, the first lucifer matches, and ship building for the nearby South Hadley Canal, firearms company Crescent-Davis, which specialized in double barrel shotguns.

The Ames Manufacturing Company made many machines and bronze cannons, and more swords than any other American manufacturer at the time. Ames cast a number of bronze statues, including Thomas Ball's monumental equestrian statue of George Washington, installed in Boston's Public Garden. Ames was a major provider of cannon to the Union army during the Civil War. The Stevens Arms plant (later Savage) was responsible for most of the No. 4 Enfields manufactured for the British under Lend-Lease. Chicopee was home to production of the first gasoline-powered automobile made in the United States, the Duryea.

Bicycles

During the late Nineteenth Century, Chicopee Falls became a major manufacturing center of bicycles. The town was the site of at least two bicycle factories: The Overman Wheel Company (1882 to about 1899), and the Spalding sporting goods company.

Albert H. Overman moved his bicycle production from Hartford to Chicopee Falls in 1883.[1] The Overman company benefited the surging popularity of the safety bicycle during the bicycle boom of the 1890s. At its height in 1894 Overman's factory employed over 1,200 workers. The boom eventually went bust, as overproduction drove the price of bicycles down. By 1901 the Overman firm was out of business.[1]

Library

Chicopee was the first city west of Boston to form a publicly funded public library. The Chicopee Public Library was formed by a donation to the city by the Cabotville Institute.

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