About This Place
Holyoke is a city in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States, between the western bank of the Connecticut River, New England's largest river, and the Mount Tom Range of mountains. As of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 39,880. Sitting only 8 miles north of the major city of Springfield, Massachusetts, Holyoke is considered part of the Springfield Metropolitan Area - one of the two distinct metropolitan areas in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The City of Holyoke was named for Elizur Holyoke, a Springfielder who first explored the area in 1664.
Holyoke was one of the first planned industrial communities in the United States. Its rectilinear grid pattern is notable in Western Massachusetts, where few roads are straight. The city's advantageous location on the Connecticut River - the largest river in New England - beside Hadley Falls, the river's steepest drop (60 feet,) attracted the Boston Associates, who had successfully developed Lowell, Massachusetts' textile industry. From the late 19th century until the mid-20th century, Holyoke was the world's biggest paper manufacturer. The elaborate Holyoke Canal System, a system of canals bult to power paper and textile mills, distinguishes it from other Connecticut River cities. Holyoke is nicknamed The Paper City due to its fame as the world's greatest paper producer.
The sport of volleyball was invented in Holyoke in 1895. The Volleyball Hall of Fame is located there.