Holyoke holds the distinction of being the first planned industrial community in the Nation. In 1847, merchant investors began construction of dam and canal system along the Connecticut River. With this construction came an elaborate complex of mills and worker’s housing, which evolved into the City of today. While many of the historic mills and industries are now gone, a number of structures have been maintained through preservation and revitalization efforts.

Since its inception, Holyoke has been built on harnessing the power of the water of the Connecticut River. Utilizing a natural 57 foot drop in the river, these merchant investors constructed a granite dam and multi-level canal system. This system allowed the power of the river’s water to be extended to dozens of mill facilities throughout the Downtown area.

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Last Updated on September 26, 2012 by