The Parish and the Hill (by Mary Doyle Curran) tour

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The Parish and the Hill is a novel written by Mary Doyle Curran about the life of her family in Holyoke. Through three generations, the life of the family has changed from a rough one in the mills to one of some gentility. Pulaski Park was were the Irish first lived in the late 1840s. St Jerome’s Church was a parish church for the family. After the Irish helped build the mills through the 1850s and 1870s, many new mills came into town. Her father worked as a mill sorter at the Farr Alpaca Mill. The Doyle family moved uptown to the Highlands in the early 1900s as many of the Irish of Holyoke did. There Holy Cross Church started as an offshoot of the St Jerome Church. Mary Doyle was born at 7 Thorpe Avenue and lived there in her youth. She attended the Highland Grammar School. Her relatives lived around the Highlands area and her own family did move a bit.

This tour may be done as a walking, driving, or bicycle riding tour. It is about 3 miles to cover the stops and then another 1 mile to return to the start. Use the 10 underlined TOUR links in the grid below to get to much more information on each stop. This tour outline was designed by Mark Clinton and Patricia Kennedy professors of the Holyoke Community College in 2017. It has been enlarged and described by Robert Comeau. [Use the Holyoke Public Library as a halfway rest area. Doyle worked here in her youth.]

tour map for Holyoke downtown section

tour map for Holyoke Highland section
stoplocationaddress (Google map at link)TOUR linkcomments
1Pulaski Parknorthern end of Maple StreetTOUR
2Veteran’s Parkcorner of Hampden and Chestnut StreetsTOUR
3Saint Jerome Church Campuscorner of Hampden and Chestnut StreetsTOUR
4Holyoke Canal SystemHolyoke Heritage State ParkTOUR
5Farr Alpaca Millscorner of Appleton and Bigelow StreetsTOURMILL
RestHolyoke Public LibraryChestnut StreetTOURLibrary TOUR
6Holy Cross Churchcorner of Pleasant and Appleton StreetsTOUR(first 5 stops at this tour link)
7Mary Doyle’s Birth Place7 Thorpe AvenueTOURincludes genealogical information and her other homes
8Hampden Street businessesHampden StreetTOURfrequented stores
9Highland Parkcorner of Lincoln and Waldo StreetsTOURnow Kennedy Park
10Saint Jerome CemeterySaint Jerome AvenueTOURMary Doyle Curran does not yet have a marker.
BonusBrightsideBrightside DriveTOURThe Doyles visited here for a theatrical play.

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