At 159 Chestnut Street one can learn about the Newton family, the Holyoke Gentlemen’s Club, and the Holyoke Day Nursery.
James Newton (HOUSES) owned this house until 1915. (LOCATION) Two years later the Holyoke Day Nursery moved into the house and are still here. This is a Second Empire building with an Italianate carriage home in back. James Newton and his brothers built and ran many of the mills around Holyoke from the 1860s to the 1890s. In 1907 James Newton had built a new home for his family on Pinehurst Road.
The Holyoke Club House was here for a few years beginning in 1911 and had built the hall that runs from the house to the carriage house in 1915. The hall had a restaurant. The carriage house was converted into a pool hall. See the 1915 Sanborn map for the drastic changes.
In 1916 a day care or nursery was started in a house near the old Providence Hospital. It was started by the Saint Agnes Guild (with the help of Reverend Daniel Tully) on the Saint Jerome campus but within a couple of years moved here to Chestnut Street (in 1918). It was at first called the Saint Agnes Home. It was later called the Holyoke Day Nursery. This is about the tenth nursery in Massachusetts’ history with the first being in Boston. There were very many children in the nursery so the former restaurant was changed to a cafeteria. A playroom and classrooms were added.
Sanborn map analysis: