James Newton house

This is part of the Holyoke Heritage Trail so after visiting here get back onto the trail.

The James Newton house on Chestnut Street in Holyoke is the home of the most important person in the history of Holyoke. James Newton funded many of the early industrialists of the city. He also ran his own businesses. James is the only one that lived on Chestnut Street with his three brothers living on Elm Street. The Moses Newton home is gone but was behind James’ house. John Newton lived at 236 Elm and Daniel lived at 214 Elm (also a day care). He moved out of this house in 1916.

For 1917 and 1918 the house was used by the Holyoke Club. They were a men’s fraternal group. They only stayed those two years and then in 1919 the house was empty.

This physical house was called the St Agnes’ Home from 1920 onwards and was from that point used by the St Agnes Guild. In 1923 they started to also run the St Agnes Home as an extension of the medical care of the hospital. Most likely long term care was given. The group was assisted by the Sisters of Providence who also ran the Providence Hospital.

The Holyoke Day Nursery at 159 Chestnut Street is now a private group. When it started in 1916 it was a religious group from Saint Jerome Church. The group was called the Saint Agnes Guild and was a women only group. This was the first child care day nursery in Western Massachusetts and about the 10th in Massachusetts overall. In 1927 the Holyoke Day Nursery (still run by the Guild) moved into this St Agnes Home from their original location on Dwight Street. The house then had a triple purpose of day care, medical care, and guild home. Starting from 1934 up to the present, the Holyoke Day Nursery only would occupy this home.

In the 1920s after the founding of the Community League, the Day Nursery served as a link between Catholics and Protestants.

Sanborn map analysis:

Sanborn 1949 map