Holyoke’s Third Level Canal Walking Tour

Start at the bridge at the Canalwalk at the Second Level Canal and walk south along Race Street to Cabot Street. Take a left there and walk for about 2/3 of a mile to the Willimansett Bridge. Walk over that bridge into Chicopee and then cross the street on the southern sidewalk of the bridge. Return to Race Street in the reverse direction from the one that you just now walked.

stop 1 – Canalwalk Bridge and Walkway of the Second Level Canal

Use the link directly above to read about the canal and this area.

stop 2 – Clovis Robert building

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The Clovis Robert building is a fancy structure that served the French Canadian population of the South Holyoke area. It had retail and residential uses since its inception. This is the start of the French Quarter of Holyoke.

stop 3 – Precious Blood Church campus

Use the link directly above to read about the Precious Blood Church area.

stop 4 – Riverside Station

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Use the link directly above to read about the Riverside Station area.

stop 5 – Connecticut River Railroad

The Connecticut River Railroad was put on the west bank of the river in 1845. One small station was right on the bank itself on the Holyoke side and a similar station on the Chicopee side. The bridge is still used for freight and for Amtrak. Once it include a walkway for people that wanted to walk across into Holyoke or Chicopee. The Connecticut River flows at a very placid tempo at this location.

stop 6 – Willimansett Bridge

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The Willimansett Bridge was made a year after the County Bridge a mile up the river. It was made in about 1891. It is a steel triple truss bridge.

stop 7 – Willimansett

The new bridge made Willimansett into a bustling neighborhood. As you look up Chicopee Street into Chicopee you see on its southern bend an apartment building from 1907 that is typical of its growth. There is a side street on right side of Chicopee called Emerson Street. James Emerson the first engineer who tested turbines in Holyoke built the last house on that street in 1896.

stop 8 – Connecticut River

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The Connecticut River is 406 miles long. At this point it still has a long way to go to Long Island Sound. Look toward the bank on the Holyoke side and you will see Spillway 5 of the Holyoke Canal System. On heavy flow days the output of water is very high. Past the bend of the river is the start of the Chicopee Falls area and also the Chicopee River comes in at the left.

stop 9 – Third Level Canal

Use the link directly above to read about the third level canal area. Most of these mills were made by the Newton Brothers.

stop 10 – Holyoke Water Power Station

Use the link directly above to read about the power station’s history. It has been located here since the 1880s. Emerson might not have worked here but he did write extensively about the tests that they did here. It was the best test flume in the world but now its use is as a power station.

Optional extension to the first level canal – Go up Cabot Street until just before the Holyoke Heritage State Park. The first canal goes north and south at this point.