Chestnut Street Walking Tour from Lyman to Hampshire Street

The tour starts in Veterans Park of Holyoke and travels north along Chestnut Street one block to Lyman Street. Then it crosses the street to now walk southwardly along Chestnut to Hampshire Street. This is 6 city blocks. At Hampshire cross the street to walk along Chestnut in a northwardly direction. There are many sites along the way.

  • Private GROUP TOUR (COSTS) is two hours long for this Chestnut Street and Neighborhood walking tour. Also a one hour indoor presentation can be given.
  • Streets of Holyoke
  • A free public tour comes up every five years.
  • A self-tour is available for anyone using the maps and text seen below.

stops 1 – Corner of Hampden and Chestnut Streets

Read my post on the Saint Jerome Church area. Also read about the park at the LINK. (LOCATION)

stop 2 – Whiting School

Read at this link. (Stop 3) (LOCATION)

stop 3 – Corner of Lyman and Chestnut Streets

To the NE is the former campus of the Mater Dolorosa Church and also the Maple Street entrance to Pulaski Park. (LOCATION) To the NW is one of the many housing projects of Holyoke. To the SE is the location of Emerald Fire Station that was taken down in about 1918. Adjacent to it is the William Whiting School. To the SW is the Shaker House.

stops 4 – Corner of Hampden and Chestnut Streets

Read my post on the Saint Jerome Church area.

stop 5 – Notre Dame School

The Notre Dame School was the girls’ school of Saint Jerome. Read stop 12 at this LINK. (LOCATION)

stop 6 – Corner of Dwight and Chestnut Streets

Read my post on the Veterans’s Park area. (LOCATION)

stop 7 – Corner of Suffolk and Chestnut Streets

The Holyoke Savings Bank was located at this corner of Chestnut and Suffolk Streets in what is now the Holyoke Gas and Electric. (LOCATION) The years printed above the side door are the year that the bank started 1855 and the year that it moved to this location 1923. Also on this corner is the Victory Theater which was constructed in 1920 and closed in 1979.

There are at least two old theaters remaining in downtown Holyoke with the chance of at perhaps two more beyond that.

Sanborn map analysis:

Sanborn 1949 map and part B

Sanborn 1956 map

stop 8 – Corner of Appleton and Chestnut Streets

James Newton owned this house until 1916. (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. This is the second nursery in Massachusetts’ history with the first being in Boston. It was started by the St Agnes Guild on the St Jerome campus but within a couple of years moved here.

Sanborn map analysis:

Sanborn 1884 map

Sanborn 1889 map

Sanborn 1895 map

Sanborn 1915 map

Sanborn 1949 map

Sanborn 1956 map

stop 9 – Corner of Essex and Chestnut Streets

The Essex at the SW corner is a fine example of the fancy residential structures that are around the city. (LOCATION) The building to the south was the Jefferson but it was taken down. The Carlson and the Randolph are being revamped for new habitation. They will be joined with the former Providence School of Nursing a little up Essex Street into the Library Commons.

stop 10 and 12 – Corner of Cabot and Chestnut Streets

Read my post on the Library Commons area.

Also read the wonderful story of the COMMONS area as presented by the Holyoke Library.

There you can also experience the wonderful TREE TOUR around the Holyoke Public Library.

stop 11 – Corner of Hampshire and Chestnut Streets

The Notre Dame of Perpetual Help campus was on this now empty block (LOCATION). It burnt in 1999. From 1923 it held the church, rectory, school, and convent. These were originally down by the Mater Dolorosa School but moved.

Sanborn map analysis:

Sanborn 1956 map

The Lawrence School across the street is a neo-Gothic structure. It was built in the former Maple Street Grounds.

Looking to the south you can see the Sacred Heart Church. This was built in 1883 as the second parish for Irish Americans in Holyoke. It has a church, rectory, and and auditorium still in existence. Its convent and school have been taken down. Across the street from the back of the church is the South Chestnut Street Playground. This is the former location of the South Chestnut Street School.