Historical Resource: MACRIS

Lately, I have tended to only write blog entries when I am wowed by something, and lately, nothing has wowed me. But today, I realized that the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS) has digitized its historical inventory files and is making them available to the public.

What wowed me was a photo of the West Union Street school, taken in the 1970's. The building is no longer standing, and I had never seen a photo of it before.

West Union St. SchoolWest Union St. School

I don't know when that building came down; the historical inventory form said that at the time (1983), the building was the only wood frame school left in the city (though the Dry Bridge School is still standing, with the badge of the only ungraded schoolhouse remaining in the city). The Pride Gas Station now sits where it once stood. Did it come down to facilitate this project? Or was it down earlier? It's sad that no one really knew it was there before it was torn down.

Here is a link to MACRIS -- thousands of Springfield landmarks are documented here, and although the photos are not from the period when the properties were built, most are from the 1970's and give an interesting perspective on the properties. Many of the buildings inventoried are no longer standing. The historical inventory forms provide an amazing wealth of information.

843 Chestnut St; Napoleon Russell

Great picture of 843 Chestnut St taken late 70's or early 80's. They spelled 'Napoleon with an 'a' instead of an 'o'. GREAT website! You can search by street, house number or architect. It would be great if the pictures had dates. Below is the link to the picture.

http://mhc-macris.net/Documents/SPR/Photos/SPR_2727.jpg

tour of the West Union St. School

I'm always happy to see a new post on your website! Back in the 70's, a friend and I were respectively broke but decided to take a vacation from home touring places in historic Springfield. One place we visited was the belting factory. The proprietor gladly took us around. I remember specifically the old fashioned cloak room was very much what it had been and the employees used it as such. The building was also once used as a canoe or boat factory back in the day when there were boat club houses lining the banks of the river.

Thanks for the info about the mhc website.

I went to East Union St

I went to East Union St School, I would to see any pictures or writings about it...

Ice Cream Store at Entrance to Forest Park

Back in the 40's, I believe that there was an ice cream store across from the entrance to Forest Park on Sumner Ave. I recall my father taking me there, maybe because Friendly's was closed during the war.

Is there anyone who can confirm this store and any information about it? I believe the building is still there, but since I now live in northeastern Mass, its difficult for me to confirm any of this.

Ice Cream Store

We were just talking about the Ice Cream Store across the street from the Forest Park entrance today. Yes, itdefinetily was there in the forties. Someone thought it might have been a Jane Alden. I Will go on Mass live to see if I can find out.

Forest park ice cream store

Definitely Jane Alden! Thanks for reminding me.

Jane Alden Store

My father, Peter Sr, managed the Jane Alden Store on Sumner Avenue across from the entrance to Forest Park. It opened in 1935 and continued in it's original concept throughout WWII until 1951 or so when my father eneded his tenere. It was a very 'high class' establishemnt catering to all income levels offering fine ice cream confrctions along with chocolates made by Lovell & Covell of Boston Mass. It was owned by the United Dairy System that was located on Plainfield and Clyde sts in Springfield Ma. I will gladly answer any questions you maight have...just e-amil me at ppaysonjr@aol.com.

Jane Alden store

Peter, do you happen to have any pictures of the store? It would be great to see the outside or the inside as it looked in the 40s.
Thanks!

Jane Alden Ice Cream Store

I remember special treat visits to Jane Alden for hot fudge sundaes and also for a special birthday treat, buying individual ice cream shapes that were made in special molds. My other memory was frustration because I remember the hot fudge sauce was served in a separate container and it was impossible to get a spoon into the very bottom to get out all of the wonderful sauce.......but all in all, a very happy childhood memory probably in the 1940's....

Jane Alden's

If memory serves me right, I ate my first Banana Split at Jane Alden's when I was 5 or 6; it would have been about 1944-46.(Maybe it was later; could it have been closed during the war? In any event, I was very young.) We had moved from a farm in West Springfield, when my father went to work for the Springfield Street Railway during the war. Jane Alden's was on his bus route. A visit for icecream was part of our routine whenever we spent Saturday or Sunday at Forest Park.
Jane Alden's was the biggest icecream parlor I've ever been in, all white inside and out, with glass windows covering the front of the store under the wide open veranda that ran the entire width of the building. I may have a picture somewhere. I'll send it if I can find it, if anyone wants it.
Joe Bishop New Orleans
(I was called Peter back then.)

Jane Alden's

Hello! I have been hoping to get a picture of Jane Alden's as my grandfather, Peter, managed it in the late 30s through 40s. My dad, Peter, and mother, brother and sister, used to live behind the shop and unfortunately he has but one picture but lots of fond memories. I would so appreciate it if you were willing to share the photo! My email is bla8912@comcast.net. Thanks so much, Leslie

Jane Alden pic

Hello, I am looking for any photos of the Jane Alden IceCream store for my dad who's father managed it. You mentioned you might have a picture. It would be so great to see it! Thank you, Leslie

springfield street railway

Your father worked for Springfield St Railways perhaps you can tell me when was the Springfield Street Railway building was built in on Main St. In Springfield's north end?

Springfield

I believe it was 1895, date is on the front of the building, sorry I am not in town to check it..

Jane Alden

I have also been thinking about that store. I grew up in
Sringfield (North End) and went there a few times while visiting Forest Park.
The building is still there, across from the front entrance, probably a doctor's office now

There was also a Jane Alden store on the corner of Chestnut and Carew St. The building is
still there, I know that it became a laundromat years ago, and now a "medical building"

Just a few short blocks from there was Chestnut St. School that I went to. All torn down now!

Ice Cream Store

Was it Jane Alden's?

Yes, I'm pretty sure it was

Yes, I'm pretty sure it was a Jane Alden's. I remember going there when I visited the park many years ago.

Ice Cream Store

Yes, it was Jane Alden..........and it was around longer than the 1940's because I was born in 1950 and I went there as a child.

ice cream store

The building at 302-304 Sumner Ave. was owned by General Ice Cream Corp. in the 1950's, according to the Hampden County registry of deeds database. Here's a link to the google maps photo of the place: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=sumner+ave+springfield+ma&hl=en&ll=42.0847...
Is that the building you had in mind?

Jane Alden Ice Cream Shop

Kathy--thanks for that posting! I've always wondered about the strange configuration of that building, with the wide, deep "porch" across the front, because it always seemed a strange design for a medical office. I no longer live in the area, but I remember driving past it on the way to my aunt and uncle's house in Springfield. The building's earlier incarnation as an ice-cream shop explains it. The large plate-glass windows of the seating area could have been removed, and the kitchen and preparation areas enclosed to create the office space. Mystery solved!

Jane Alden Ice ream Store

My grandfather, Peter, used to manage the Jane Alden Icecream Store on Sumner Avenue. I grew up with plenty of stories about it from my dad who used to live in the same building. I was born in 1961 so I didn't get to experience it first hand. Wish I had! Anyway, I have one picture that I will try to post. Have been searching for others for awhile! The building is still standing and is, ironically, a dentist office, I believe.

West union school

I remember living on Wilcox st. As a kid in the mid sixties and that school was the site of a leather machine belt company that still was making machine driving leather belts and I believe it was called Springfield belting co. Or something similar along that same block you had franks variety store right on the corner of union and Columbus ave and that was were I-91 ended at that time also right on the site between Wilcox and union st on Columbus ave was the texaco statio owned by the Cirelli brothers

While We're on the schools topic...

This could be considered off topic, but since I'm a newbie, I have to ask.
Does anyone know anything about the land that the Alice B. Beal School (Formerly Tiffany St. School)is located on? the school was built in the 50's, and the area around it almost suggests that there was once a few houses and a street. I have had no luck finding a map. any info would be much appreciated. you can even email me if you want mcapozza9@gmail.com

Tiffany St/Beals School

You can find the location of the Beals School if you go to the City Atlas's of 1910 and 1920. You can find them online http://www.historicmapworks.com/Search/city.php?query=Springfield&State=MA

It was not called Tiffany St at the time. Looks like it was either a continuation of Shawmut St or something called Forest Ave. Where on the road exactly you would have to figure out as it was open land mostly with a few scattered houses. You may be able to see if any of the houses are still there.

In the 1910 Atlas, go to page 26 and look at the Sub Plan 2 in upper right corner. There is a neighborhood called Franconia, it may be around there.

In the 1920 Atlas, Sub Plan 2 is on page 22, about the same.

These Atlas's are also available in the Archive room in the basement of the Woods Museum at the Quad.

Be interested in what you find and then post back on this site.

house

I live in an old house built in 1910 in West Springfield. I have owned it for 2 years but grew up in the neighborhood. I would love to know the history of my home...any suggestions? I am new to this.

House

If we live in old houses we often become curious who lived here before, when they lived here and general things about the history of our homes, even early pictures of our houses.

In the early 1980’s. Ed Lonergan of the local history department of the Library and Museums Association wrote a very fine short book called “A Guide to researching Springfield Buildings” on how to research your building in Springfield. The book is still very accurate and usable and is a great resource for researching the history of your home.

The book can be found in it’s entirety on the Springfield Preservation Trust’s website which is springfieldpreservationtrust.org . Go to the website, resources section, and go down to books on line.

The Springfield Preservation Trust is Springfield’s non-profit Historic Preservation organization. It is dedicated to preserving Springfield’s built environment and its historical buildings. The Trust has been serving Springfield since 1972. Its website tells about current projects and events as well as a list of contractors who have been recommended by members. There are many links to other Preservation and historical organizations and websites in the area.

Also in West springfield there is the Ramapogue Historic group that runs the Day House and they may be able to guide you to specific resources in West Springfield

Babin & Fitzgerald golf

My friend is looking for some info on the Babin and Fitzgerald golf training that was located on the corner of Bay and Roosevelt ave. in Springfield back in the 30's. I am wondering if you would have any info on that business. I think it was a farm back then. I went to school with a Linda Fitzgerald who lived on that corner....they may be connected. It was run by Ernest Babin and they called Mr. Fitzgerald "the old man" I also have the name of Ernest Babin and Harry Dowling connected with a golf school.
I would appreciate any info you have available.
Sincerely,
Carol

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