A little Chicopee/Springfield cross-history

I was scouring old maps today for a Baptist church that might have been on Central Street, and came across this little section of Central:

I grew up in Chicopee, off of Chicopee Street, so the names "Doane and Williams" are very familiar to me as a woodworking company that was near the Willimansett Bridge. A little browsing of the Springfield Republican archives turned up this tidbit:

Doane and Williams dates back to 1876 when carpenters George Doane and John Williams made woodwork for Victorian homes.

Not the most earth-shattering discovery in the world; I'd put it into the "so now you know..." category.

Neither house is still standing; that entire neighborhood is mostly empty lots. The city has underestimated the age of many houses on surrounding streets, with the GIS system giving dates in the 1910 range to houses that appear on the 1899 city atlas.

Doane & Williams went bankrupt around 1993.

Baptist church on Central Street

I have a small book entitled "Hand Book of the Baptist Anniversaries...A Souvenir Programme" in connection with a meeting with the Highland Baptist Church held in Springfield in May of 1901.

On page 12, there is a picture of a primitive looking wooden building labelled, "The Mother of Us All, The First Baptist Church Building in Springfield." The write-up describes the establishment of the first Baptist Church in 1811. At that time "there was no regular place of meeting and no settled pastor. In 1821 a lot at the corner of Central and Cherry Streets was purchased and a plain wooden building erected as a house of worship. In July, 1822, with a membership of 50, Rev. Allen Hough of Meriden, Conn., was installed as pastor." The article goes on to say that the next house of worship stood at the corner of Mulberry and Maple and was dedicated September 12, 1832.

If you are interested in a copy of the picture and/or article, let me know.


the history of any place specially from springfield ma facinates me im even going to college to try to get in something to do with this. the reason why im sending you this message about the church in central and cherry sts is because i live in the corner of central st and cherry so please i want to know more about it

Picture of church

Hi Barbara --

Yes, definitely. I am working on a map of churches with pictures, similar to the school map, and there are some churches which are very hard to get pictures of, particularly the early ones. Thanks!



Here are pictures of churches I have if you need them. does any one else have others for Ralph? I also have a marble memorial plaque from the Emmanuel United Church of Christ that was originally on the corner of Orange and White. Anyone have a picture of that? It was originally called the White Street congregational church but it name was changed in 1894 to emmanuel. Jim

PC’S of Springfield Churches: Jim Boone Collection

RP Real Photo PC usually a very limited number, each a real photo print
B&W Commercially made card in black and white, mass produced, commercial printing
Color Can be linen color card, chrome or early German card, hand colored

Church that is now the Dunbar Community Center RP
St Michaels Cathedral Color, B&W
Saint Paul’s Universalist Church B&W, several different ones
1st Church Congregational Court Square Color, B&W
Church of the Unity Color, B&W many
Highland Baptist Church B&W
Highland Baptist Church on fire B&W
Sacred Heart color, several different ones
Holy Family color
Park Memorial B&W
Wesley Methodist several B&W
First Highland Baptist B&W
Park Congregational RP
Ashbury First M.E color and RP
St Paul’s Universalist Chestnut and Bridge B&W
Our Lady of Hope
Emanuel Congregational B&W
East Springfield Baptist B&W
St. Mary’s Church B&W
South Congregational color, B&W
Memorial Church Memorial Square, several
State Street Baptist B&W, RP
Trinity M.E. Bridge St. B&W
Grace M.E. B&W
Carlisle Chapel Dresden St. B&W
State Street M.E. Myrtle and State
Church of Living God King St. B&W
First Church of Christ Science color
East Congregational
Church of Immaculate Conception Indian Orchard
Evangelical Church Indian Orchard
Swedish Mehtodist now Holy Trinity on lower Bay St. RP
Holy Temple Church of God on Bay between Thompson and Westminster, orig had dif name. RP
Park Baptist Forest park Ave RP

Missing Hope Congregational Winchester Square, thought I had one, couldn’t find it, fairly common card.


What makes the church list so difficult is that the term "church" can refer to a building or a congregation. This means:

1) A church building could have been used by more than one congregation over its history, taking on different names. For example, the church that used to be on the corner of State & Spring was built as the First Baptist Church, but then became known as St. Paul's First Universalist Church.

2) A church congregation could have had more than one building, even on the same plot of land (if a building burned, for example).

If you want a sneak-peak of what I have so far, you can look here:


The very early church buildings -- pre 1850 or so -- are hard to even know about. For example, the two Baptist churches that Barbara referenced above, at Cherry/Central and Mulberry/Maple don't appear on early maps because they had been likely razed by 1899, which is when the most detailed city atlas had been published.

I'm working on a database that separates the congregation from the building and the name, but it's a low-priority thing right now.

early churches

I snail mailed the Baptist church picture yesterday. I can probably offer some assistance on some of the early 19th century churches. For
years I've researched the anti-slavery movement in Springfield and churches with abolitionist sympathies played a major role (the first Baptist was one of them). Pictures are, indeed, very hard to come by but I will compile some documentation and get back to you.

Thanks, again, for your invaluable contributions to the preservation of our heritage.

early churches + anti-slavery movement

Am wondering if you know where Sojourner Truth stayed when she came to lecture/speak in Spfld. with other abolitionists? I read that her co-lecturer stayed at a hotel, but she was refused and stayed at a private home instead. I have not been able to find out who or where that was.

Sojourner Truth

On at least one occasion, Sojourner Truth stayed in the home of prominent abolitionist Dr. Jefferson Church. At the time he lived on Elm Street.

On another occasion, Sojourner Truth accompanied other abolitionists including lecturer George Thompson to a speaking engagement in Springfield. She stayed at the Hampden House. which was located on the corner of Main and Court Streets. Rioters opposing Thompson threw rocks through her window in the hotel but did not succeed in running her (or the other antislavery people) out of town.

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