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Location in Hampden County in Massachusetts
|Incorporated (town)||April 29, 1848|
|Incorporated (city)||April 18, 1890|
|• Type||Mayor–council city|
|• Mayor||John L. Vieau ([Independent Party (United States)|
|• Total||23.88 sq mi (61.83 km2)|
|• Land||22.91 sq mi (59.33 km2)|
|• Water||0.97 sq mi (2.51 km2)|
|Elevation||200 ft (61 m)|
|• Density||2,406.62/sq mi (929.22/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern)|
01013, 01020, 01021, 01022
|GNIS feature ID||0617597|
Chicopee ( // CHIK-ə-pee) is a city located on the Connecticut River in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 55,298, making it the second-largest city in Western Massachusetts after Springfield. As of 2019, the estimated population was 55,126. Chicopee is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. The communities of Chicopee Center (Cabotville), Chicopee Falls, Willimansett, Fairview, Aldenville, Burnett Road, Smith Highlands and Westover are located within the city.
One of the ventures of the Boston Associates,Chicopee is a city built around several smaller former mill communities on its namesake, the Chicopee River. During the 19th century, the city was home to the first American producer of friction matches as well as a variety of other industries, including the Ames Manufacturing Company, an early pioneer in machining lathes, building upon the work of Springfield's Thomas Blanchard, and the largest producer of swords and cutlasses for the Union Army during the Civil War. By the start of the 20th century, the city was home to a number of industrial plants, including those of the Fisk Tire Company, one of the largest tire makers of that time, and some of the earliest sporting goods factories of A. G. Spalding.
Today the city is home to a variety of specialty manufacturers, as well as Westover Air Reserve Base, the largest Air Force Reserve Base of the United States, built in 1940 with the emergence of World War II.Chicopee today goes by the nickname the "Crossroads of New England" as part of a business-development marketing campaign, one that West Springfield also uses. The name reflects the city's location among a number of metropolitan areas and its transportation network. Four interstate highways run through its boundaries, including I-90, I-91, I-291, and I-391, as well as state routes such as Route 33, 116, and 141.
The city is named after the Chicopee River, a tributary that flows into the Connecticut River at the confluence on in its boundaries. "Chicopee" is derived from the Nipmuc language, probably from the words chekee ("violent") and pe ("waters") in most Algonquian dialects, with reference to rapids. The Nipmuc were the indigenous people who occupied this area before the arrival of European colonists.
Alternatively, chikkuppee ("of cedar") may be the adjective form of chickkup ("cedar").
In 1636, William Pynchon purchased land from the Agawam Indians on the east side of the Connecticut River. He moved from the Town of 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 were developed 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 the area of what are now 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.
Colonists built a sawmill as the first industrial site along the river. The mill was built at Skenungonuck (Nipmuc for "green fields") Falls (now Chicopee Falls) in 1678 by Japhet Chapin, John Hitchcock and Nathaniel Foote.
In 1786, what was called Factory Village began to develop when 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. He built a textile mill and five years later, it operated 14,000 spindles and nearly 500 looms, making it the second-largest operation in the state. It processed cotton from the Deep South, becoming part of the extended slave economy and King Cotton. By 1831, settlers had developed two giant dams, two waterpower canals, and two manufacturing communities on the Chicopee River.
In 1848, Chicopee, which for more than two centuries had been a part of the Town of Springfield, was separated and organized as a distinct town. Political factions in Springfield wanted that jurisdiction to remain a town, rather than become a city and take on a mayoral form of government. By partitioning Chicopee, those political factions prevented Springfield from becoming a city until 1852. The result was that 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.
Chicopee adopted the motto "Industriae Variae", which means "Various Industries". Chicopee's industries included cotton mills, woolen mills, textiles, brass and iron foundries, paper making, footwear factories, for leather boots and shoes, the first friction matches, and ship building. In nearby South Hadley Canal, the firearms company Crescent-Davis specialized in producing 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 President 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.
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, Connecticut to Chicopee Falls in 1883.The Overman company benefited from 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.
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.
In 1641, Willian Pynchon expanded his 1636 holdings by buying the land from the Chicopee River north to the Willimansett (Nipmuc for "good berries place" or "place of red earth") Brook. Land sales in Chicopee were recorded in 1659, but apparently no homes were built immediately.
Winthrop McKinstry writes that the sons of Deacon Samuel Chapin appear to be the first home builders. Henry Chapin is believed to have constructed his at Exchange and West streets (lower Chicopee) in 1664, and Japhet Chapin north of what is now known as James Ferry Road (upper Chicopee) in 1673. It is apparent from McKinstry's book that the Chapin family dominated the area north of the Chicopee River for the settlement's first 70 years. Chicopee Street was part of the First Parish in Springfield.
By the 1750s, Quabbin Road (now McKinstry Avenue) allowed the farmers to access the meadows and fields on the plains at the top of the hill. The Chapins used the land in common for grazing livestock and built ice houses near several large ponds. The ponds were drained by several brooks which flowed into the Connecticut River.
At the end of the 19th century, the city voted to build the Willimansett Bridge, connecting Willimansett with Holyoke. The results were profound. Willimansett and Aldenville would develop close ties to Holyoke; even postal and telephone service were (and still are) tied to the "Paper City." The legislative act ordering the building of the bridge was passed in 1892. L.L. Johnson reports that the completion of the bridge was grandly celebrated.
By the 20th century, Willimansett village had developed into quintessential Americana with a high percentage of French Canadian inhabitants. In total, Chicopee became four distinct commercial and political sub-divisions, each with its own ethnic makeup representing its own special interests and, much too frequently, in conflict with each other.
Located between Fairview and Willimansett, the Smith Highlands section once had its own school (first and second grades), Holyoke Street Railway bus service from Ingham Street across Irene, Factory, and Prospect streets, and two locally owned markets. The former Robert's Pond swimming area was a popular summer attraction, and the fields where the current Bellamy Junior High School is located were a popular sledding and skiing location winters.
Fairview is the northernmost neighborhood (village) in Chicopee and originally included the lands that are now part of Westover ARB. Primarily agricultural, Fairview was known for its tobacco farms. After 1939, Westover helped to rapidly develop the village into a residential and commercial district. Memorial Drive (Route 33) flows north–south connecting Chicopee Falls with South Hadley.
On August 18, 1870, Edward Monroe Alden purchased 600 acres of land just east of Willimansett for the sum of $9,000 with the intent to create a "little city on the hill," which would become Aldenville. In 1890, he began laying out streets which he named for family members and divided the land up into 60-by-170 feet lots. French-Canadian factory workers from Chicopee Falls, Cabotville (Chicopee Center), and Holyoke began to build up the community. Sold for a selling price of $150 with $10 down, the first house was bought and built by French-Canadian builder and carpenter Marcellin Croteau.
The villages of Cabotville, Chicopee Falls, Willimansett, and Fairview (and the lands that would become Aldenville) remained a part of Springfield, Massachusetts, from 1636 until 1848, when they were partitioned to form the Town of Chicopee. Political factions in Springfield had wished to keep Springfield a "town," instead of becoming a "city," which would give it a mayoral form of government. To keep Springfield sufficiently unpopulated to subvert a state regulation that would have required it to become a city, they partitioned Chicopee, which contained approximately 2/5 of Springfield's land area, and nearly half of its population.
Regardless of the partition, Springfield became a city only four years after the partition of Chicopee. Both cities continued to flourish for over a century after the partition.
On April 18, 1890, the community was granted a charter as a city by the Massachusetts General Court. George Sylvester Taylor (1822–1910) became Chicopee's first mayor on January 5, 1891.
Westover Field was created by a war-readiness appropriation signed by president Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. The site used to be tobacco crop fields east of and part of Fairview, east of Aldenview, and northern Willimansett. It was assigned to the United States Army Air Corps Northeast Air District. It was renamed Westover Air Force Base in 1948 after that Air Force's creation as a separate service. In 1974 SAC leadership turned the base over to the Air Force Reserve.
In 1991, St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Church, located on Front Street, was proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II.
Chicopee is located at(42.170159, -72.588630).
The city is made up of several neighborhoods; the result of the city's origin as a collection of four villages in the northernmost part of Springfield, which seceded from it in 1848. Chicopee Falls, Chicopee Center (Cabotville), Fairview, and Willimansett continued to develop. In the early 1900s, Aldenville developed as a distinct community. Since then, the city has filled in most of its open space resulting in a number of new neighborhoods. These neighborhoods include Chicomansett, Ferry Lane, Sandy Hill and the geographically isolated Burnett Road neighborhood.
The city is bordered by Holyoke to the northwest, West Springfield to the southwest, Springfield to the south, Ludlow to the east, Granby to the northeast and South Hadley to the north. Chicopee is located 29 miles (47 km) away from Hartford, 89 miles (143 km) away from Boston, 90 miles (140 km) from Albany and 140 miles (230 km) from New York City.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.9 square miles (62 km2), of which 22.9 square miles (59 km2) is land and 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2) (4.31%) is water. The Chicopee River flows through the south part of the city, emptying into the Connecticut River. Many ponds, lakes, and streams are part of the Chicopee River or Connecticut River watersheds.
Willimansett, and portions of the Center and Falls are on low land, with Aldenville, Fairview, Westover, and the Burnett Road neighborhoods on an elevated plateau. At 288 feet, the highest elevation in the city is on Old Lyman Road, in the Fairview section.
Chicopee is mostly a service economy with a mixture of small, local businesses and national chains. Reflecting the city's history, many businesses are Polish-American and include the Chicopee Provision Company, a major producer of Polish sausage kielbasa under the Blue Seal brand, and Millie's Pierogi, a producer of traditional Polish dumplings called pierogi.
Despite changes in the global economy, Chicopee does remain home to manufacturers including Callaway Golf which produces more than 5 million golfballs a year at its Willamansett production plant.Since 2013, Chicopee has been home to the headquarters of the Chemex Corporation, makers of the Chemex pour-over coffeemaker, which has been produced with the same design since 1941. Chicopee also hosts the Buxton Company, which "designs, manufactures, and markets personal leather goods, travel kits, and gifts collections for men and women." Founded as L.A.W. Novelty Co. in 1898, the firm changed its name to Buxton Co., LLC in 1921.
Chicopee is home to a handful of financial businesses as well including Alden Credit Union, [ citation needed ]The Polish National Credit Union and Chicopee Savings Bank. Chicopee Savings Bank is run by Chicopee Bancorp, which operates trades as CBNK on the NASDAQ exchange.
The Chicopee River Business Park and Westover Business Park are within the city's boundaries.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2010, Chicopee was 3.1% black, 1.6% Asian, 18.5% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 75% white
As of the censusof 2000, there were 54,653 people, 23,117 households, and 14,147 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,389.7 people per square mile (922.7/km2). There were 24,424 housing units at an average density of 1,067.9 per square mile (412.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.82% White, 2.28% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 4.90% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.76% of the population (12.8% Puerto Rican, 0.5% Dominican, 0.4% Mexican, 0.2% Colombian). Chicopee is the second largest municipality in Western Massachusetts, after Springfield (defining Western Massachusetts as Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties).
There were 23,117 households, out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.6% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,672, and the median income for a family was $44,136. Males had a median income of $35,585 versus $25,975 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,646. About 9.6% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.5% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.
The College of Our Lady of the Elms is a four-year liberal arts college offering thirty-three academic majors. It was first founded in 1897 as a girls' preparatory academy in Pittsfield, the Academy of Our Lady of the Elms. In 1899, it moved to Chicopee as St. Joseph's Normal College. A charter for the school to operate as a women's liberal arts college was approved in 1928, and the name was changed to the College of Our Lady of the Elms. It began admitting men in 1998.
Chicopee has a multitude of Catholic schools that are operated under the Diocese of Springfield. These schools include: Saint Joan of Arc School which serves Saint Rose de Lima Church on Grattan Street; and Saint Stanislaus School which serves the St. Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr's Parish Bishop and Martyr on Front Street.
Within the past decade, a number of private elementary schools and their associated parishes have closed. These include Assumption School which served the former Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish, Saint Patrick's School which served the former Saint Patrick's parish (closure of this parish is currently in dispute), Holy Name School which served Holy Name of Jesus parish, Mount Carmel School which served the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish, and Saint George School which served Saint George's parish that merged with Saint Rose de Lima / Saint Joan of Arc School.
Holyoke Catholic High School was founded in 1963 at the campus of the former Saint Jerome High School in Holyoke. In 2002 it relocated to the campus of Saint Hyacinth Seminary in Granby. It moved to its current location in September 2008.
Hampden County is a non-governmental county located in the Pioneer Valley of the state of Massachusetts, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, Hampden County's population was 463,490. As of 2019, Hampden County's estimated population was 466,372. Its traditional county seat is Springfield, the Connecticut River Valley's largest city, and economic and cultural capital; with an estimated population of 154,758, approximately 1 in 3 residents of Hampden County live in Springfield. Hampden County was split from Hampshire County in 1812, because Northampton, Massachusetts, was made Hampshire County's "shire town" in 1794; however, Springfield—theretofore Hampshire County's traditional shire town, dating back to its founding in 1636—grew at a pace far quicker than Northampton and was granted shire town-status over its own, southerly jurisdiction. It was named for parliamentarian John Hampden. To the north of Hampden County is modern-day Hampshire County; to the west is Berkshire County; to the east is Worcester County; to the south are Litchfield County, Hartford County, and Tolland County in Connecticut.
Springfield is a city in the state of Massachusetts, United States, and the seat of Hampden County. Springfield sits on the eastern bank of the Connecticut River near its confluence with three rivers: the western Westfield River, the eastern Chicopee River, and the eastern Mill River. As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 153,060. As of 2019, the estimated population was 153,606, making it the third-largest city in Massachusetts, the fourth-most populous city in New England after Boston, Worcester, and Providence, and the 12th-most populous in the Northeastern United States. Metropolitan Springfield, as one of two metropolitan areas in Massachusetts, had a population of 692,942 as of 2010.
Holyoke is a city in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States, that lies between the western bank of the Connecticut River and the Mount Tom Range. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 39,880. As of 2019, the estimated population was 40,117. Located 8 miles (13 km) north of Springfield, Holyoke is part of the Springfield Metropolitan Area, one of the two distinct metropolitan areas in Massachusetts.
Ludlow is a New England town in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 21,103 as of the 2010 census, and it is considered part of the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located just northeast of Springfield across the Chicopee River, it is one of the city's suburbs. It has a sizable and visible Portuguese and Polish community.
South Hadley is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 17,514 at the 2010 census, and was estimated to be 17,791 in 2017. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The Pioneer Valley is the colloquial and promotional name for the portion of the Connecticut River Valley that is in Massachusetts in the United States. It is generally taken to comprise the three counties of Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin. The lower Pioneer Valley corresponds to the Springfield, Massachusetts metropolitan area, the region's urban center, and the seat of Hampden County. The upper Pioneer Valley region includes the smaller cities of Northampton and Greenfield, the county seats of Hampshire and Franklin counties, respectively.
Route 141 is a 15.90-mile-long (25.59 km) west–east state highway in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Its western terminus is at Route 10 in Easthampton. Its eastern terminus is at US 20 in Springfield, a terminus it shares with Route 21. Route 141 gained notoriety in the local media in July 2005 when signage posted by contractors at the junction with Route 10 in Easthampton was posted incorrectly in the form of signage seen in Alabama.
Route 33 is a 5.54-mile-long (8.92 km) state highway contained entirely within the city of Chicopee and the town of South Hadley in Massachusetts. Its southern terminus is at Route 141 and its northern terminus is at Route 116.
The Willimansett Bridge is a steel truss bridge over the Connecticut River located between Chicopee, Massachusetts and Holyoke, Massachusetts. It carries Massachusetts state routes 116 and 141.
The Springfield metropolitan area, also known as Greater Springfield, is a region that is socio-economically and culturally tied to the City of Springfield, Massachusetts. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget defines the Springfield, MA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) as consisting of three counties in Western Massachusetts. As of July 1, 2018, the metropolitan area's population was estimated at 631,982. Following the 2010 Census, there have been discussions about combining the metropolitan areas of Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut, into a greater Hartford–Springfield area, due to the region's economic interdependence and close geographic proximity. Historically the Census has also identified the region as "Springfield–Chicopee–Holyoke, Mass.–Conn." as those cities were the area's population centers as recently as 1980; since that time the population has become further distributed, including new growth in Amherst, Westfield, and West Springfield, as well as Northern Connecticut. Greater Springfield is one of two combined statistical areas in Massachusetts, the other being Greater Boston.
The Chicopee Public Library is the public library for the city of Chicopee, Massachusetts. A member of the Western Massachusetts Regional Library System (WMRLS), the library participates in resources sharing and collaboration with all other libraries in the WRMLS. The library owns approximately 109,000 books according to the 2005 IMLS Public Library Report. In addition, they have 4,200 media items and send and receive over 35,000 interlibrary loan requests. In the fiscal year 2008, the city of Chicopee spent 1.1% of its budget ($1,401,141) on its public library, around $25 per person.
The Cabotville Common Historic District is a predominantly residential historic district in Chicopee, Massachusetts. It is centered on the park now called Lucy Wisniowski Park, which was previously known as "The Common", and includes all of the buildings that face the park, as well as a few on immediately adjacent city streets. It was developed in the 1830s and 1840s as an area where mid-level employees of Chicopee's mills and factories lived, between the simpler tenements and boarding houses of the lower classes, and the elite mansions of the proprietors and top-level managers. Most of the building stock in the district was built between 1846 and 1870, and were single family brick or wood-frame Greek Revival houses. The Common, whose original purpose was to provide shared pasturage for area residents, was by the end of this period converted to a park. From the 1870s to the 1890s the housing stock was predominantly multi-family in scale, and exhibited the architectural fashions of the time: Italianate, Second Empire, and Victorian. Thereafter development was limited due to a lack of available land, and only a few brick apartment houses were built between 1890 and 1915.
Ames Manufacturing Company was a manufacturer of swords, tools and cutlery in Chicopee, Massachusetts, as well as an iron and bronze foundry. They were a major provider of side arms, swords, light artillery, and heavy ordnance for the Union in the American Civil War. They also cast a number of bronze statues which can be found throughout New England.
The Springfield Street Historic District is a predominantly residential historic district south of the downtown area of Chicopee, Massachusetts. It encompasses a significant number of Queen Anne style houses built in the second half of the 19th century by wealthy residents of Chicopee, as well as housing for skilled workers at the nearby textile mills. It is centered where Springfield Street and Fairview Avenue meet. The district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
Chicopee High School (CHS) is a public high school located in Chicopee, Massachusetts, United States. It serves students in grades 9 through 12. Its official school colors are maroon and gold. Its mascot is the "Pacer."
George Perkins Bissell Alderman, often referred to as George P. B. Alderman was an American architect who was very active in western Massachusetts and Connecticut during the late 19th and early 20th Century.
Overman Wheel Company was an early bicycle manufacturing company in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts from 1882 to 1900. It was known for bicycles of higher quality and lower weight than other bicycles of its time. Despite a nationwide bicycle craze in the late 1800s, the company was undercut by lower-priced competition, nearly went bankrupt in 1897, and never recovered from an 1899 fire. The company was sold in 1900.
The Chapin School is a historic former school building at 40 Meadow Street in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Built in 1899 and enlarged over the following 15 years, it is a prominent local example of Classical Revival architecture, and exemplifies city planning of the period, having been designed with growth in mind. The building, now converted to residences for homeless veterans, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 39,880 people, 15,361 households, and 9,329 families residing in the city of Holyoke, Massachusetts. The population density was 723.6/km² (1,874/mi²). There were 16,384 housing units at an average density of 277.2/km² (718.6/mi²).
Mr Woodworth is the president of the Ames Manufacturing Company- the largest sword manufacturing establishment in the country
Although little is known of Ames Chicopee machine-tool production, they must have been at the forefront of developments: an example of their gunstock copying lathe is in the London Science Museum and several examples of an early and beautifully-made 7.25" swing backgeared and screwcutting lathe have survived. Although dating the lathes shown here must be a matter for conjecture, with Ames Chicopee founded in 1810 and machine-tool production starting in 1835
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