Introduced in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the town’s incorporation, Chicopee traces the history of this Western Massachusetts community from its first settlement in the 1660s to the growth spurt of the post-World War II era. Much of the community’s early built environment changed during Chicopee’s transformation from town to city, and this fascinating new book reveals the lost elements of the landscape. From covered bridges over the Chicopee and Connecticut Rivers to early farms, readers will see much that has disappeared from Chicopee over time. The 200 vintage images displayed in this volume depict lost schools and churches, local businesses, shops, and factories, as well as the factory workers, entrepreneurs, farmers, recent immigrants, and other townspeople who populated these institutions. Longtime residents will find that the book conjures up many memories, and newer ones will see Chicopee as they’ve never seen it before.
Author Bio: Author Michele Plourde-Barker works in the library of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum. She was a founding member of the Chicopee Historical Society, from whose collection many of the images in this book have been drawn. Other institutions that provided images for use in Chicopee include the Chicopee Public Library and the Edward Bellamy Memorial Association. Photographs have been drawn from private collections as well. Residents will surely cherish this comprehensive and vibrant portrait of life in Chicopee.
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