Introducing Journeys into Holyoke

Introducing Journeys into Holyoke

Journeys into Holyoke

I knew nothing about Holyoke.

I knew there was a Holyoke and a Mt. Holyoke - both situated in Mass. - north of Springfield. But Holyoke, Hadley, Northampton, Amherst, William, Mt. Herman, Mt.Holyoke - it was all the same to me.

Then daughter #1 attended Smith College. It gave me a chance to get to know the Pioneer Valley. But in five years of visits along I-91, Route 9, 116, 141, et. al. I never got off to see Holyoke - though its "skyline" beckoned and intrigued.

Now daughter #2 is about to start college. She ends up at Mt. Holyoke,and I finally pass through Holyoke (and come to appreciate that it is a coupleof miles separated from the college).

During a drive through I noticed the welcome sign and it description of Holyoke as "Birthpalce of Volleyball". I also noticed the old industrial footprint. I was intrigued.

And, as I started to read I became further intrigued - Overshadowed by the prestigious college land to the north and Springfield to the south, Holyoke has been overlooked by many.

Yet I started to discover a richness to the place. Yes, its main story line is one also familiar in places like Buffalo, Akron, Paterson, Camden, Lowell, Providence and Springfield,. But there is more and it is that more than prompts this "Journeys into Holyoke" page.

This is the first of a number of "Journeys Into" pages targeted to the Pioneer Valley - for residents, supportors and those who might contemplate a journey of discovery of their own.

Journeys into is "an exploratiom of the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked & forgotten". Holyioke has many stories that fit those categories - part of their community narrative - their DNA. It is a place worth remembering and celebrating - not just for its roots and traditions, but for it valiant modern day efforts and its resilience that points to a new supplemental chapter for the future.

It is my hope to inform, enterain, enlighten and also to remember Holyoke's past as a foundation to build on for the future. The community and the rest of us have a lot worth learning from Holyoke and carrying forward with us.

There are lessons about what it is like to be a community as well as what making community is and can be going forward.

So let's journey together.

Photo credit: Mass

Introducing Journeys into Holyoke