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City of Springfield
—  City  —

Nickname(s): City of Homes; Cradle of Basketball
Location in Hampden County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°06′05″N 72°35′25″W / 42.10139°N 72.59028°W / 42.10139; -72.59028
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Hampden
Settled 1636
Incorporated 1852
 - Type Mayor-council city
 - Mayor Domenic J Sarno (D)
 - City 33.2 sq mi (86.0 km2)
 - Land 32.1 sq mi (83.1 km2)
 - Water 1.1 sq mi (2.8 km2)
Elevation 70 ft (21 m)
Population (2008[1])
 - City 150,640
 Density 4,692.8/sq mi (1,812.8/km2)
 Metro 682,657
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01101 01103 01104 01105 01107 01108 01109 01119 01128 01129 01151
Area code(s) 413
FIPS code 25-67000
GNIS feature ID 0609092

Springfield is the largest city on the Connecticut River and the county seat of Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States.[2]

In the 2000 census, the city population was 154,082 with an estimated 2008 population of 150,640.[3] It is the third largest city in Massachusetts and fourth largest in New England (behind Boston, Worcester and Providence). Springfield has two nicknames — The City of Homes and The City of Firsts.

Historically the first Springfield in the United States, it is the largest city in Western Massachusetts and the Pioneer Valley.

Springfield is notable as the birthplace of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, as well as the city where James Naismith invented basketball. It is home to the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Springfield Falcons AHL ice hockey team. It also holds the largest collection of Chinese cloisonné outside Asia at the G.W. Vincent Smith Art Museum.

The Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of three counties: Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin. At the 2000 census, the Springfield MSA had a population of 680,014 (though a July 1, 2007, estimate placed the population at 682,657)[4]. It is also part of a larger metropolitan area known as the Northeast megalopolis.




Colonial settlement

Town Date of separation [5]
Westfield 1669
Suffield (CT) 1682
Enfield (CT) 1683
Stafford (CT) 1719
Somers (CT) 1734
Wilbraham 1763
West Springfield 1774
Ludlow 1774
Southwick 1775 (from Westfield)
Montgomery 1780 (from Westfield)
Longmeadow 1783
Russell 1792 (from Westfield)
Holyoke (southern part) 1850 (from W. Springfield)
Agawam 1855 (from W. Springfield)
Chicopee 1848
Hampden 1878
East Longmeadow 1894 (from Longmeadow)

Contact with European explorers, conquerors, and colonists from the 1500s onward brought diseases which decimated the native population of North America. By 1635, the still-active epidemics had left an estimated 5,000 Indians in all of New England.[6]

In 1635, William Pynchon, then the assistant treasurer of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, led an expedition with John Cable and John Woodcock, either up the Connecticut River or west across land from the Boston settlement, to the site of the Native American village of Agawam (which was associated with either the Pocomtuc or Nipmuck tribe) on the western bank. The lands nearest the river were both clear of trees due to occasional burns by the Indians, and covered in nutrient-rich river silt from occasional floods[7]. They constructed a pre-fabricated house south of the Westfield River in what is now Agawam, Massachusetts. Cable and Woodcock were supplied with food and goods to trade over the winter.

In 1636, Pynchon led a settlement expedition with at least seven other men, among them Deacon Samuel Chapin[8]. The English settlers and their livestock traveled over land from the existing settlements in eastern Massachusetts, while some supplies were transported by boat[9]. Pynchon's party purchased land on both sides of river from the 18 inhabitants of the village, representing the inner tracts of what is now Agawam, West Springfield, Longmeadow, Springfield, and Chicopee[10]. The Indians retained foraging and hunting rights, the rights to their existing farmlands, and were granted the right to compensation if the English cattle ruined their corn crops[11].

The settlement was originally named Agawam Plantation, but in 1640 it was renamed Springfield after the village near Chelmsford, Essex in England where Pynchon was born.

After warnings about the west side being prone to flooding[12], and to "avoid trespassing" on the reserved Indian lands, the settlement moved to the less favorable farmland on the east side of the river, and the initial land grants to English families were made there[13]. Long, narrow plots of farmland were created, extending out from the river, in addition to more distant forested "wood lots". A warehouse was also constructed at Warehouse Point in Connecticut, to facilitate the main profit-generating industry for the settlement - trade with the Indians for beaver skins[14].

Purchases of large swaths of land from the Indians continued throughout the 1600s, enlarging Springfield's territory and forming other colonial towns elsewhere in the Pioneer Valley. Westfield was the westernmost settlement of Massachusetts Bay Colony until 1725, making Springfield a "frontier town" for a number of decades[10]. Over decades and centuries, portions of Springfield were sectioned off to form neighboring towns.

Due to imprecision in surveying the colonial borders, Springfield was soon embroiled in a boundary dispute between the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Connecticut Colony which was not resolved until 1803-4. (See the article on the History of Massachusetts.) As a result, some lands originally administered by Springfield - including the earliest land transactions recorded in western Massachusetts - are now in Connecticut[10].

Springfield remained a small working town when its security was threatened in 1675, during King Philip's War. The leader of the Wampanoag Indian tribe, Wamsutta, died shortly after being questioned at gunpoint by Plymouth colonists. Soon thereafter, the war began. Wamsutta's brother and successor, Metacomet, known as Philip to the colonists, started war with the colony to avenge his brother's death; the Pocomtuc tribe attacked Springfield and destroyed more than half the town on October 5, 1675.[15]

Springfield Armory

Springfield Armory

During the 1770s, George Washington selected Springfield as the site of the National Armory. By the 1780s the Arsenal was a major ammunition and weapons depot. The term Springfield Rifle may refer to any sort of arms produced by the Springfield Armory for the United States armed forces.

In 1787 poor farmers from western Massachusetts, led by Daniel Shays, tried to seize the arms at Springfield. This came to be known as Shays's Rebellion, and was a key event leading to the Federal Constitutional Convention. Those involved in the rebellion planned to use the weapons to force the closure of the Commonwealth and county courts, which were seizing their lands for debt. Shays Rebellion played an important part in moving the United States away from the Articles of Confederation to the current Constitution.[16]


Main Street, looking north, 1905

The Armory played an important role in the early Industrial Revolution as it became a center of invention and development. Thomas Blanchard and his lathe led to an increased use of interchangeable parts and mass production. Springfield and its Armory played a key role in the Industrial Revolution.

Springfield is known as the City of Homes, a nickname given to it in the late 19th century due to its many Victorian mansions, as well as multitudes of single-family houses inhabited by workers.

Wason Manufacturing Company, one of the earliest makers of railway passenger coach equipment in the United States, was established in Springfield in 1845.

On May 2, 1849 the Springfield Railroad was chartered to build from Springfield to the Connecticut state line. By the 1870s it had become the Springfield and New London Railroad.

In 1856, Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson formed Smith & Wesson to manufacture revolvers. The company headquarters are still located in Springfield.

Charles Gilbert and John Barker formed the Gilbert and Barker Manufacturing Company in 1865. The company produced gasoline pumps in Springfield until moving to West Springfield, Massachusetts in 1912. The company became Gilbarco and moved to Greensboro, North Carolina in 1965[1].

Charles and Frank Duryea, built a gasoline powered automobile in their bicycle garage on Taylor Street in 1893. The Duryea Motor Wagon's first test was conducted on Howard Bemis's farm on September 20, 1893 and soon became to be the first ever offered for sale[17]. The Duryeas were joined in the automobile industry in 1900 by Skene (which disappeared the next year) and Knox (which survived until 1914).

Indian Motorcycles were manufactured in Springfield from 1901 to 1953. Chief and Scout models were the best sellers from the 1920s to the 1950s. The Hendee Manufacturing Company, Indian's parent company, also manufactured other products such as aircraft engines, bicycles, boat motors, and air conditioners.

From 1921 to 1931 the only North American Rolls-Royce factory was in Springfield and assembled nearly 3000 Silver Ghosts and Phantoms before production was halted by the Great Depression and the decision by Rolls Royce not to retool the plant.[2]

Granville Brothers Aircraft manufactured aircraft at Springfield Airport from 1929 until their bankruptcy in 1934. They are best known for the trophy and speed record holding Senior Sportster series of racing aircraft.


In 1936, Springfield suffered its most devastating natural disaster. The Connecticut River flooded, reaching record heights, inundating the South End and the North End where some of Springfield's finest houses stood. Damages were estimated at $200,000,000 in 1936. This flood occurred at the height of the Great Depression. The water damage was repaired after WPA money was made available to Springfield. However, large riverfront portions of the North and South Ends no longer exist.

Two years later, water hit Springfield again. The New England Hurricane of 1938 came up the east coast of the United States on September 21, 1938, flooding the Connecticut River Valley once again.

Birthplace of basketball

The city of Springfield is most commonly known as the birthplace of basketball. In 1891, James Naismith, a professor from Springfield College, invented the sport at the YMCA International Training School, now known as Springfield College, to fill the gap between the football and baseball seasons. The sport quickly became popular worldwide. On February 17, 1968, The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was opened on the Springfield College campus, which was replaced by a larger facility on the east bank of the Connecticut river in 1985. In 2002, a newer facility for the Hall of Fame opened next to the existing site. Shaped like a basketball and illuminated at night, it has become a memorable addition to the cityscape. The first building to serve as an indoor basketball court resides at Wilbraham & Monson Academy and has since been converted into a dormitory (Smith Hall).

State takeover

After an ongoing fiscal crisis, the Massachusetts General Court granted control of the city (especially finance, personnel, and real estate matters) to the Springfield Finance Control Board on June 30, 2004. The Board was composed of three appointees of the State Secretary of Administration and Finance, the Mayor, and the President of the City Council[18][19].

The fiscal problems had already resulted in wage freezes, cuts in city services, fee increases, and layoffs.

The FCB operated under the overall direction of the state Secretary of Finance and Administration. The FCB legislation included a state loan of $52 million to be paid back with future city tax receipts[20]. A $20 million grant was originally included, but then-House Speaker Thomas Finneran eliminated that section, fearing it would invite fiscal irresponsibility among other municipalities. Initial estimates placed the city's operating deficit at over $40 million annually.

The original FCB bill filed by then-Governor Mitt Romney included a suspension of Chapter 150E, the state law that defines the collective bargaining process for public employees (state employees are not covered by federal labor laws). Opposition from the unions eliminated that section.

City and state officials disagree over the causes. The State blamed overspending relative to income by the city. Municipal officials blame dwindling local aid during the statewide financial crisis in 2003[21]. Other observers noted a weak economy and years of mismanagement and corruption in city government[22].

On June 30, 2009, the State of Massachusetts turned the Finance Control Board back to the City of Springfield.


Springfield is located at 42°6′45″N 72°32′51″W / 42.1125°N 72.5475°W / 42.1125; -72.5475 (42.112411, -72.547455).[23] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.2 square miles (86.0 km²) of which 32.1 square miles (83.1 km²) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²) (3.31%) is water.

Springfield sits on the bank of the Connecticut River, just a few miles north of the border between Massachusetts and Connecticut. Along the river, the city is fairly low and flat. Moving outward from the river, the terrain becomes more hilly, most prominently along State Street and Belmont Avenue.

Springfield is typically divided up into eighteen distinct neighborhoods. They are, as defined by the city election commission: Bay, Boston Road, Brightwood, East Forest Park, East Springfield, Forest Park, Indian Orchard, Liberty Heights, McKnight, Memorial Square, Metro Center, North End, Old Hill, Pine Point, Six Corners, Sixteen Acres, South End, and Upper Hill. Their exact boundaries are disputed by Census data, civic wards, precinct borders, zip codes, and the opinions of the city's citizens. Many of the neighborhoods are subdivided again according to landmarks or voting precincts. Some names are unofficial, but are used by area residents nonetheless. For example, the Hollywood section in the South End actually refers to a housing complex, and Mason Square (formally known as Winchester Square) is the central intersection in the McKnight neighborhood.

Forest Park lies in the southwestern part of the city, along the border with affluent Longmeadow, Massachusetts. The park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. The city shares borders with the towns of Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Ludlow and the city of Chicopee. The cities of Agawam and West Springfield are across the Connecticut River. The city owns Cobble Mountain Reservoir, its water supply, located in the towns of Blandford, Granville and Russell, at the western edge of Hampden County. It also owns Franconia Golf Course, located mostly in East Longmeadow.


Springfield, as the rest of interior southern New England, has a hot summer humid continental climate with four distinct seasons and precipitation evenly distributed throughout the year. Weather conditions are highly variable and can change rapidly. Winters are cold with an average January high temperature of 33 °F (1 °C) and an average low of 16 °F (−9 °C). This is also the time of the year when coastal storms can drop significant snowfalls on the region. Temperatures below 0 °F (−18 °C) are observed on a few nights in most years. Summers are usually very warm and humid with afternoon thunderstorms sometimes developing on hot days when unstable warm air collides with an approaching cold front. The average July high temperature is 83 °F (28 °C) and the average low is 61 °F (16 °C). Several days during most summers will exceed 90 °F (32 °C) with fair to poor air quality. Spring and fall can be rainy but are otherwise quite pleasant with comfortable days and cool nights. Although not unheard of, hurricanes and tornados are rare. Precipitation averages 42.3 inches (1,070 mm) annually and snowfall averages 49.7 inches (1,260 mm), most of which falls from late November to mid-March.

Climate data for Springfield, Massachusetts
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 65
Average high °F (°C) 33
Average low °F (°C) 16
Record low °F (°C) -22
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.2
Snowfall inches (mm) 13.6
Source: {{{accessdate}}}


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 1,574
1800 2,312 46.9%
1810 2,767 19.7%
1820 3,914 41.5%
1830 6,784 73.3%
1840 10,985 61.9%
1850 11,766 7.1%
1860 15,199 29.2%
1870 26,703 75.7%
1880 33,340 24.9%
1890 44,179 32.5%
1900 62,059 40.5%
1910 88,926 43.3%
1920 129,614 45.8%
1930 149,900 15.7%
1940 149,554 −0.2%
1950 162,399 8.6%
1960 174,463 7.4%
1970 163,905 −6.1%
1980 152,319 −7.1%
1990 156,983 3.1%
2000 152,082 −3.1%
Est. 2008 155,521 2.3%

At the 2000 census, there were 152,082 people, 57,130 households and 36,391 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,737.7 per square mile (1,829.3/km²). There are nearly 2 million residents in the greater Springfield-Hartford metro region. In Springfield proper, there were 61,172 housing units at an average density of 1,905.6/sq mi (735.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.11% White, 1.92% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 21.01% African American, 0.37% Native American, 16.45% from other races, and 4.04% from two or more races. 27.18% of the population were Hispanic of any race. Ancestries include: Irish (12.6%), Italian (9.3%), French (8.2%), Polish (6.0%), and English (4.8%).[3]

There were 57,130 households of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.7% were married couples living together, 23.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.19.

Age distribution was 28.9% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.7 years. For every 100 females there were 89 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84 males.

The median household income was $30,417, and the median family income was $36,285. Males had a median income of $32,396 versus $26,536 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,232. 19.3% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.3% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.

The 2007 Springfield population is 151,176. 51.80% of people are white, 22.36% are black, 2.37% are Asian, 0.46% are native American, and 22.97% claim 'Other'.

30.90% of the people in Springfield claim Hispanic ethnicity.

In 2007, the median age was 32.7. The US median was 37.6. 44.06% of people in Springfield are married; 10.10% are divorced.

The average household size is 2.63 people. 15.04% of people are married, with children. 18.53% have children, but are single. [24]

In November 2009, the United States Census Bureau revised its estimate of the city's population at July 1, 2008, to 155,521 after the city informally challenged the bureau's previous estimate of 150,640.[25]


Springfield became a city on May 25, 1852, by decree of the Massachusetts Legislature. Springfield, like all municipalities in Massachusetts, enjoys limited home rule. Prior to the Control Board, Springfield's government had the power to establish commissions, pass city ordinances, set tax rates, write a budget, and other miscellaneous operations specifically relating to the city. The current city charter, in effect since 1959, uses a "strong mayor" government with most power concentrated in the mayor, as in Boston and elsewhere. The mayor representing the city's executive branch presents the budget, appoints commissioners and department heads, and in general runs the city. The Mayor is former City Councilor Domenic Sarno, elected November 6, 2007 by a margin of 52.54% to 47.18% against incumbent Charles Ryan. He took office in January, 2008. In November 2009, Sarno won reelection.

The City Council, consisting of nine members, is the city's legislative branch. Each of the members are elected at-large, along with the mayor, every odd numbered year. It passes the budget, authorizes bond sales, holds hearings, creates departments and commissions, and amends zoning laws. The city council appoints a president who becomes acting mayor should a vacancy occur in the office.

The mayor's office and city council chambers are in city hall - part of the Municipal Group in downtown Springfield. The Finance Control Board met there as well.

Springfield City Council 2008-2009
  • James J. Ferrera III
  • William T. Foley, President
  • Patrick Markey
  • Rosemarie Mazza-Moriarty
  • Timothy J. Rooke
  • Bruce W. Stebbins, Vice-President
  • Jose Tosado
  • Kateri Walsh
  • Bud L. Williams

Switch to Ward Representation

In the past, efforts have been made to provide each of the city's eight wards a seat in the city council, instead of the current at-large format. There would still be some at-large seats under this format. The primary argument for this has been that City Councilors currently live in only four of the city's wards. An initiative to change the composition failed to pass the City Council twice. In 2007 More recently Mayor Charles V. Ryan and City Councilor Jose Tosedo proposed a home-rule amendment that would expand the council to thirteen members adding four seats to the existing nine member at large system, but allocated between eight ward and five at large seats. This home-rule petition was adopted by the City Council 8-1, and was later passed by the State Senate and House and signed by the Governor. On election day, November 6, 2007, city residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of changing the City Council and School Committee. The ballot initiative that established a new council with five at-large seats and eight ward seats passed 3-1. On November 3, 2009, Springfield held first-in-a-generation ward elections.

The results of the 2009 election were as follows.[26]

Springfield City Council-Elect 2009
  • Thomas Ashe—At-Large
  • James J. Ferrera III(i)--At-Large
  • Timothy J. Rooke(i)--At-Large
  • Jose Tosado(i)--At-Large
  • Kateri Walsh(i)--At-Large
  • Zaida Luna—Ward 1
  • Michael Fenton—Ward 2
  • Melvin Edwards—Ward 3
  • E. Henry Twiggs—Ward 4
  • Clodo Concepcion—Ward 5
  • Keith Wright—Ward 6
  • Tim Allen—Ward 7
  • John Lysak—Ward 8

Many proponents of ward representation argue that the slim Caucasian majority in Springfield keeps the city council out of touch with the needs of Springfield's large black and Hispanic populations, and that the cost of running a city-wide campaign is prohibitively high for local black or Hispanic politicians who could represent their home wards more effectively than they are currently being represented. Others argue that some blacks and Hispanics have run for office, and that the current minority representation on the Council would not increase under ward representation as proposed. Some citizens believe that the problem might be corrected by greater voter turnout among blacks and Hispanics. The plaintiffs hoped to postpone the 2005 municipal election pending the judge's ruling, but the motion was denied. The case itself is ongoing; however, further action by the Court has been stayed pending the local ballot measure.


Like every other municipality in Massachusetts, the city has no judicial branch itself. Rather, it uses the Springfield based state courts, which include Springfield district court and Hampden County Superior Court. The Federal District Court also hears cases regularly in Springfield.


Public schools

Springfield has the third largest school district in Massachusetts. It operates 38 elementary schools, six high schools, six middle schools (6–8) and seven specialized schools. The main high schools in the city include the High School of Commerce, Springfield Central High School, Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical High School, and the High School of Science and Technology, better known as Sci-Tech. The city School Committee recently passed a new neighborhood school program to improve schools and reduce the growing busing costs associated with the current plan. The plan faces stiff opposition from parents and minority groups who claim that the schools are still unequal. The city is required under a 1970s court order to balance schools racially which had necessitated busing. However, since then, the city and the school's population has shifted and many of the neighborhoods are more integrated, calling into question the need for busing at all. Though the plan is likely to be challenged in court, the state Board of Education decided it did not have authority to review it, sidestepping the volatile issue while effectively blessing it. Springfield also has a charter school SABIS International which is one the top ranking schools ranked 1299 of all high schools that puts it in the top 5% of all schools in America.

Private schools


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield operated five Catholic elementary schools in the city, all of which were consolidated into a single entity, St. Michael's Academy, in the autumn of 2009.[27]


The diocese runs Cathedral High School, which is the largest Catholic high school in the area.

A non-denominational Christian school, the Pioneer Valley Christian School, is located in the Sixteen Acres neighborhood of the city.[28]

Two nonsectarian schools are also located in Springfield: The MacDuffie School, which was founded in 1890 and teaches grades six though twelve, and Academy Hill[29], which teaches kindergarten through grade eight.

Higher education

Greater Springfield boasts the second-largest concentration of institutions of higher learning in New England. The City of Springfield is home to three four-year colleges: Springfield College, Western New England College and American International College. Springfield Technical Community College is on the grounds of the former Springfield Armory. The greater Springfield area is home to ten additional colleges and universities: Elms College, Westfield State College, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Bay Path College, Hampshire College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst,Holyoke Community College, and The Career Institute of American International College.


Springfield is the economic center of western Massachusetts. Greater Springfield is largest concentration of retail establishments in the area. Springfield is also home to the largest Fortune 500 company in Massachusetts. Baystate Health is the city's largest employer with over 10,000 employees.

With its high concentration of institutes of higher learning and large medical centers such as Baystate Medical Center, the area has a number of biotech firms. Springfield also has a regional Shriners Hospital.

Springfield is home to Baystate Health, the largest medical center in western New England and the Western Campus of Tufts University. Baystate Medical Center is currently adding a $500 Million addition, the largest current construction project in New England.

As with every other northern U.S. industrial city, Springfield has had economic problems, due largely to a decline in manufacturing. Many major companies that maintained factories in the city closed their facilities, moving to the suburbs or out of New England altogether.

A downtown revitalization project known as Baystate West, was completed in 1973. The construction contributed to Springfield's modern skyline. Following Baystate West, many other modern buildings were constructed through the 1980s. Since the 90s though, no tall buildings have been built. However, there have been several important projects during this time such as the $120 Million Civic Center renovation and the $150 Million new Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Eastfield Mall was built in Springfield's more suburban like Sixteen Acres neighborhood in 1969. Consequently, Springfield's largest retail area is now on Boston Road, on the northeastern edge of the city, rather than downtown. The Holyoke Mall at Ingleside, the largest mall in western New England, opened in the 1980s in nearby Holyoke.

Many banks headquartered in Springfield closed or merged with larger banks. The only bank left headquartered in Springfield is Hampden Bank.

As of 2009 Greater Springfield ranks as the 24th most important high-tech center in the United States with almost 14,000 high-tech jobs.[30]


  • Baystate Health — Largest employer and healthcare provider in Western Massachusetts
  • Big Y — a regional supermarket chain that was originally founded in nearby Chicopee, but is now headquartered in Springfield. Big Y currently operates more than 50 supermarkets throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.
  • Breck Shampoo — Founded in Springfield in 1936.
  • Fenton's Athletic Supplies — Sporting goods provider founded in 1924.
  • Health New England
  • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company — Founded in 1851. MassMutual is the largest Fortune 500 company based in Massachusetts. The corporate headquarters are on State Street.
  • Merriam-Webster — Publisher of the original Webster Dictionary[31]
  • TD Bank — Massachusetts branch is headquartered in downtown Springfield.
  • Smith & Wesson — Founded in 1852, Smith & Wesson is America's largest producer of handguns. The company currently maintains its corporate headquarters on Roosevelt Avenue in Springfield.
  • American Hockey League, the primary development league for the NHL.
  • Peter Pan Bus Lines

Former Springfield Businesses

  • Springfield Armory — Closed by the Pentagon in 1968
  • Milton Bradley Company — American game company established in 1860. Headquartered in Springfield until relocation to East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.
  • Indian Manufacturing Company — America's first motorcycle brand, was founded by George M. Hendee and C. Oscar Hedström in Springfield in 1901.
  • Forbes & Wallace — Regional department store closed in 1974
  • Friendly Ice Cream Corporation — Founded in Springfield, currently headquartered in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.


The Dr. Seuss Memorial and Museum of Fine Arts at The Quadrangle

Springfield retains strong ethnic characteristics seen in the variety of restaurants available in all parts of the city.

Springfield is home to many fine museums at The Quadrangle along with its main library. The collection includes the first planetarium in the country and the Dr Suess National Memorial. Springfield also has its own orchestra.

Greater Springfield is also home to the Eastern States Exposition, also known as the "Big E". The Big E acts as New England's state fair. The fair is one of the largest in the country and brings thousands of tourists to the area each September.

Due to its distance from Boston, many residents of Springfield feel that the city and region have been ignored by the powers that be in the eastern parts of the state. Said powers are periodically accused of lumping Springfield and its formerly industrial neighbors together with the rest of the agricultural areas west of Worcester.

Some have observed, sarcastically, that Springfield maintains a better relationship with Hartford than with Boston. Springfield is physically closer to Hartford, shares a major interstate highway, and Bradley International Airport. Sometimes they are considered twin cities.


Country Home Magazine named Springfield one of the "Greenest Cities" in the Country. Among others, the city is home to Forest Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the country. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.[32]

Points of interest

  • The Quadrangle, a grouping of art, history and science museums as well as the Dr Seuss National Memorial.
  • Bright Nights is a cultural attraction during the Christmas season. A 2+ mile road in Forest Park is decorated with lights in the form of various characters and scenes, many of which are animated, including some from the works of Springfield native Dr. Seuss.
  • CityStage and Symphony Hall offer concerts, off-Broadway productions, children's programming, and guest speakers.
  • St. Michael's Cathedral
  • Basketball Hall of Fame

National Register of Historic Places

Springfield has many locations and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.[citation needed]


Besides Springfield's historic connection with basketball, the city has a rich sporting history. Volleyball was invented in the adjacent city of Holyoke, and the first exhibition match was held in 1896 at the International YMCA Training School.

Ice hockey has been played professionally in Springfield since the 1920s, and the Springfield Indians of the American Hockey League (now located in Peoria, Illinois) was the oldest minor league hockey franchise in existence. In 1994 the team relocated to Worcester and was replaced by the current Springfield Falcons, who play at the MassMutual Center. Springfield is still home to the league office of the American Hockey League. For parts of two seasons (1978–80) the NHL Hartford Whalers played in Springfield while their arena was undergoing repairs after a roof collapse. On the amateur level, the Junior A Springfield Olympics played for many years at the Olympia, while American International College's Yellow Jackets compete in NCAA Division I hockey.

Basketball remains a major factor in the city. The Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic has been the semi-official start to the college basketball season for many years, and the NCAA Division II championships are usually held in Springfield. The New England Blizzard of the ABL played its first game in Springfield, and several minor pro men's and women's teams have called the city home, including the Springfield Fame of the United States Basketball League (the league's inaugural champion in 1985) and the Springfield Hall of Famers of the Eastern Professional Basketball League.

Springfield is home to the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League, to begin play for the 2009-10 season with home games at the MassMutual Center. The Armor are affiliated with the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, and Philadelphia 76ers.[33]

The city has had professional baseball. The Springfield Giants of the Single- and Double-A Eastern League played between 1957 and 1965. The team was quite successful, winning consecutive championships in 1959, 1960 and 1961, by startling coincidence the same seasons in which the Springfield Indians won three straight Calder Cup championships in hockey. The Giants played at Pyncheon Park by the waterfront, and were forced to move when Pyncheon Park's grandstands were destroyed by fire[34]. Before that time, the Springfield Cubs played in the minor league New England League from 1946 until 1949, after which the league folded; they then played in the International League until 1953. For many years before the Giants, Springfield was also a member of the Eastern League, between 1893 and 1943. Generally the team was named the Ponies, but it also carried the nicknames of "Maroons" (1895), "Green Sox" (1917), "Hampdens" (1920–21), "Rifles (1932, 1942-43) and "Nationals" (1939–41).



Springfield's largest local newspaper is The Republican. It was formerly the Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican. Smaller papers such as The Reminder and the Valley Advocate also serve Greater Springfield.

Other newspapers include Predvestnik (a Russian language newspapers), El Pueblo Latino, which serves the Hispanic community, and Unity First which serves the African-American community.


Springfield has a long history of broadcast television, including two of the oldest UHF television stations on the air today.

Channel Call Sign Network Owner
3 WSHM-LP CBS Meredith Corporation
34 WESA-LP Independent Independent owner*
40 WGGB ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV Gormally Broadcasting
43 WHTX-LP Univision Entravision Communications
57 WGBY PBS WGBH Educational Foundation

++WFXQ-CA rebroadcasts WWLP.

  • WWLP, UHF 22 (Digital 11). WWLP is the NBC affiliate for the area. While WWLP is licensed to Springfield, they moved their studios to nearby Chicopee from their old studios atop Provin Mountain. WWLP is the oldest TV station to air regularly scheduled programming in the market, launching its schedule on March 17, 1953, on Channel 61. WWLP also operated WRLP, a UHF station licensed to Greenfield, whose transmitter was in Winchester, New Hampshire as well as W69AQ, a low power station that transmitted from the WWLP tower on Provin Mountain. WWLP remains the only full-power station in the market with an analog television signal on the air.
  • WGGB, UHF 40 (Digital 40). WGGB is the ABC and primary Fox, secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate for the area. WGGB's studios are on Liberty Street near the Chicopee line. WGGB (originally WHYN) signed on on April 1, 1953 on Channel 55. In 1958, WHYN switched to UHF 40. Guy Gannett Broadcasting bought the station in 1979 and changed its call sign to the current WGGB-TV effective at the start of the following year. In 2008, WGGB launched a secondary service called "Fox 6", named after its channel position on the local Comcast cable lineup. FOX6 also appears on WGGB's DTV sub-channel 40.2. WGGB is the only locally owned station, owned by businessman John G. Gormally. WGGB's analog television signal signed off permanently in late November 2008, due to a transmitter failure.
  • WGBY, UHF 57 (Digital 58 until April 18, 2009, Digital 22 thereafter). WGBY is the PBS affiliate for the area. WGBY's studios are in downtown Springfield, near Interstate 91 and the Conrail train lines. WGBY signed on in 1963. WGBY is owned by Boston-based WGBH. WGBY signed off their analog signal permanently in November 2008, to allow for the replacement of transmission antennas.
  • WSHM, UHF 67 (to be Digital 21/WSHM-LD), WSHM is owned and operated by Meridith Broadcasting. WSHM is Springfield's CBS affiliate operated by Hartford's WFSB. WSHM has studios in the Monarch Tower in downtown Springfield. WSHM-LP does local newscasts, including a 10pm news on cable and online. They are the original 10pm newscast in the Springfield market. WSHM is the former W67DF, a low-power station run by Trinity Broadcasting. WSHM is referred to as "CBS 3", denoting its cable channel assignment within the market and it is a way to have long-time viewers of WFSB stay with WSHM.

Springfield does not have its own CW affiliate. Instead CW is carried on the two local cable operators via a closed circuit satellite feed.

Cable Operators

Springfield proper is serviced exclusively by Comcast cable. Springfield had a unique "dual plant" cable system from 1980 until 2001. All homes wired for cable had two cable drops run into their house.


Springfield was home to the first commercially licensed radio station and the oldest radio station of any kind in New England, WBZ, which moved to Boston in 1931.

Callsign Frequency City/town Network affiliation / owner Format
WFCR 88.5 FM Amherst University of Massachusetts, Amherst Public Radio
WSKB 89.5 FM Westfield Westfield State College Public Radio
WSCB 89.9 FM Springfield Springfield College Public Radio
WTCC 90.7 FM Springfield Springfield Technical Community College Public Radio
WAIC 91.9 FM Springfield American International College Public Radio
WHYN-FM 93.1 FM Springfield Clear Channel Communications Hot Adult Contemporary (Top 40 on HD2)
WMAS-FM 94.7 FM Springfield Citadel Broadcasting Corporation Adult contemporary (Country on HD2)
WPKX 97.9 FM Springfield Clear Channel Communications Country (Americana on HD2)
WLZX 99.3 FM Northampton/Springfield Saga Communications of New England "Everything That Rocks"
WLCQ-LP 99.7 FM Feeding Hills Lighthouse Christian Center Christian Rock/Pop Music, "The Q"
WRNX 100.9 FM Amherst/Springfield Clear Channel Communications AAA
WAQY 102.1 FM Springfield Saga Communications of New England Classic rock
WCCH 103.5 FM Holyoke Holyoke Community College Public Radio
WNEK-FM 105.1 FM Springfield Western New England College Public Radio
WVEI-FM 105.5 FM Easthampton/Springfield Entercom Communications Sports Talk(simulcast of WEEI-AM in Boston)
WEIB 106.3 FM Northampton/Springfield Cutting Edge Broadcasting Smooth Jazz
WHYN 560 AM Springfield Clear Channel Communications News/Talk
WNNZ 640 AM Westfield Clear Channel Communications Public Radio (programmed by WFCR)
WACE 730 AM Chicopee Carter Broadcasting Corporation Religious
WARE 1250 AM Ware Success Signal Broadcasting Oldies
WPNI 1430 AM Amherst Pamal Broadcastring Public Radio (temporary simulcast of WUMB-FM in Boston)
WHLL 1450 AM Springfield Citadel Broadcasting Corporation Sports radio (ESPN Radio affiliate)



A view of downtown Springfield from I-91.

The Pioneer Valley is often referred to as the "Crossroads of New England" because of the crossing of major east-west and north-south railroads. While the same railways exist and operate today, the city is also served by a number of Interstate Highways including I-90 (Mass Pike) and I-91, which connect New Haven, Hartford, Holyoke, Northampton, and Vermont to Springfield. One of the few spurs of I-91 in Massachusetts, I-291, runs through the city and provides a secondary connection between I-90 and I-91. (There is an unnumbered connector in West Springfield.)


Springfield also has an Amtrak station served by trains destined for New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, Vermont, and Chicago. Amtrak operates out of its own station facility built into one of the old platforms of the city's old train station on Frank B. Murray St. with an entrance on Lyman street, which lies on the side of the railroad embankment opposite the station.

Plans exist for redevelopment of the city's Union Station into an Intermodal Transportation facility for both Amtrak and bus lines[35]. While significant federal, state, and civic investment has been appropriated for this project, disputes between the owners of the right-of-way and the planners in charge of the project have delayed any action for over a decade. As of June 8, 2007, new funding has been awarded to create a new revised development plan.

Plans also exist for a New Haven-Hartford-Springfield Commuter Rail Line[36]. As of August 2006, the Connecticut General Assembly has committed $146 million to the project, which is considered only a first step. In order to complete the project, the state of Connecticut must provide further funding, as must the state of Massachusetts if the line is to cross the state line. The line could become operational as soon as 2011[37].


Buses running into the city use a facility owned and operated by Peter Pan Bus Lines, located on the corner of Main and Liberty streets. The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is the regional public transit provider, operating a fleet of buses from the Peter Pan terminal and its main garage on Main Street.


The Springfield-Hartford area is served by Bradley International Airport in nearby Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and Westover Metropolitan Airport in Chicopee.

Springfield and Hartford are located 25 miles (40 km) apart with Bradley International between them.

Westover Metropolitan is 5 miles (8 km) from downtown Springfield. It is 3 miles (5 km) from the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Notable residents

Bands and artists from Springfield


  1. ^ "City-Data: Springfield, MA". 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "City-Data: Springfield, MA". 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007 (CBSA-EST2007-01)" (comma-separated valuesCSV). 2007 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  5. ^ US-5: A Highway To History
  6. ^ Swift, p. 11
  7. ^ Swift, p. 9
  8. ^ Swift, p. 5
  9. ^ Swift, p/ 16
  10. ^ a b c
  11. ^ Deed of purchase (PDF), 15 July 1636.
  12. ^ Swift, p. 105
  13. ^ Swift, p. 12
  14. ^ Swift, p. 16
  15. ^ Lepore, p. xxvi.
  16. ^ Foner, Eric. "Give Me Liberty! An American History." New York: W.W Norton & Company, 2006. 219
  17. ^ Worlds Greatest Cars
  18. ^ City of Springfield, Mass.: Control Board
  19. ^ Springfield Finance Control Board
  20. ^ Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2004, Massachusetts General Court
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Springfield 2009 Election Results
  27. ^ Catholic grade schools remade, The Republican, Jan. 24, 2009
  28. ^ Pioneer Valley Christian School
  29. ^ Academy Hill
  30. ^ The Top 100 tech centers
  31. ^ "Contact Us." Merriam-Webster. Retrieved on October 27, 2009.
  32. ^ City of Springfield
  33. ^ Springfield's NBA Development League Team Unveils Name and Logo
  34. ^
  35. ^ City of Springfield
  36. ^ "New Haven — Hartford — Springfield Commuter Rail Implementation Plan". Connecticut Department of Transportation. June 29, 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  37. ^ Reitz, Stephanie (July 30, 2006). "Conn. looks into building rail line from Springfield to New Haven". Associated Press (through the Boston Globe). Retrieved 2007-05-09. 


External links

Coordinates: 42°06′45″N 72°32′51″W / 42.112411°N 72.547455°W / 42.112411; -72.547455

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SPRINGFIELD, a city and the county-seat of Hampden county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., about 99 m. W. by S. of Boston and 26 m. N. of Hartford, Connecticut, on the east bank of the Connecticut river. Pop. (r800), 2312; (1850), 11,766; (1890), 44, 1 79; (1900), 62,059., of whom 14,381 were foreign-born (5462 Irish, 2474 French Canadians, 1144 English-Canadians, 1321 English), 33,710 were of foreign parentage (either parent foreignborn), and 1021 were negroes; (1910, census), 88,926. Springfield is served by the Springfield division of the New York & New England, the Hartford division of the New York, New Haven & Hartford, the Connecticut River division of the Boston & Maine, and the Athol division and the main line of the Boston & Albany railways, and by inter-urban electric railway lines. The river is crossed here by four large bridges. The area of the city, which until 1852 was a township, is 38.53 sq. m. In its extreme eastern part is the small village of Sixteen Acres; north-west of the main part of the city on the Connecticut river is another village, Brightwood (on the Boston & Maine railway) and on the Chicopee river, north-east of the business part of the city, is the village of Indian Orchard, served by the Athol division of the Boston & Albany railway.

The city contains many public and private buildings of architectural importance. Among these are some of the earlier works of H. H. Richardson, such as the Court House, the Union railway station (1889), the Church of the Unity on State Street, and the North Congregational Church. Among other buildings are: Christ Church (Protestant Episcopal) St Michael's Cathedral (Roman Catholic), the South Congregational Church, the Memorial Church, and the Church of the Sacred Heart; the Art Museum (1894-1896), which contains the George Walter Vincent Smith art collection and an art library; the Horace Smith Hall of Sculpture; the Museum of Natural History (1898), organized in 1859; a group of municipal buildings, with a tower 270 ft. high and a large auditorium; a government building (1891) containing the post office and custom house, the Hampden County Hall of Records, the City Library with 175,000 volumes, and two branch libraries given by Andrew Carnegie; a state armoury, and the business buildings of the Springfield Fire & Marine Insurance Company, the Union Trust Company, and the Institution for Savings. The Public Library, the Art Museum, and the Museum of Natural History are controlled by the City Library Association, organized in 1857. In the city are a government arsenal and armoury. The arsenal was established by the Continental Congress during the War of Independence and began to be used as a repository for arms and ammunition about 1777. The armoury, in the midst of a park on Armory Hill immediately east of the railway station, was established in 1794. Here the famous Springfield muskets used by the Federal forces during the Civil War were manufactured (800,000 having been made during that struggle) and it is still the principal manufactory of small arms for the United States army. Springfield has a good system of parks (under a board of park commissioners) with a total acreage of 550 acres. Forest Park (464 acres), in the southern part of the city, is the largest and most attractive; it contains a good zoological collection, and in its ponds is one of the finest collections in America of lotus plants and Oriental aquatic flora; at its southern entrance is a monument to President McKinley by Philip Martiny. In Merrick Park, adjoining the City Library, there is St Gaudens's famous statue of "The Puritan," commemorative of Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of the early settlers of the city. In Court Square are a statue of Miles Morgan (1616-1699), an early settler, by S. Hartley, and a monument in memory of the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. In Carew Triangle in the northern part of the city is a monument in honour of soldiers of the Spanish-American War. In the suburbs of the city is Hampden Park, once a famous race track. There are two large cemeteries, in one of which are buried many of Springfield's famous men, including Samuel Bowles and J. G. Holland, whose grave is marked by a medallion by St Gaudens. Among the hospitals are the Mercy Hospital (1896, under the Sisters of Divine Providence), the Wesson Memorial (formerly Hampden Homeopathic) Hospital (1900), the Wesson Maternity Hospital (1906), and the Springfield Hospital (1883). The Springfield public school system is excellent, and in addition to the regular high school there are a technical high school, a vocational school, and a kindergarten training school. Other schools in Springfield are: the training school of the International Young Men's Christian Association (1885); the American International College, established in Lowell (1885) as the French-American College for the education of French-Canadians, and now working among various immigrant races; and the MacDuffie school (1890) and the Elms (1866), both schools for girls.

Springfield is noted for the diversity of its industries. In 1905 the capital invested in manufacturing establishments was $24,081,099, and in the value of its factory products ($25,860,250, not including those of the U.S. Arsenal; 42.4% more than in 1900) Springfield ranked ninth among the cities of Massachusetts. The largest single item in point of value was the product ($3,053,008) of the slaughtering and meat-packing establishments. Other important products were foundry and machine-shop products ($ 1 ,749, 0 54); paper goods ($1,481,427, not including envelopes, which had an additional value of almost $700,000); cars, automobiles, firearms (besides the Federal arsenal there is the Smith & Wesson revolver factory); and printing and publishing ($1,165,544).

The principal newspapers are the Springfield Republican (Independent; weekly, 1824; morning, 1844), one of the most able and influential journals in New England, which since its establishment by Samuel Bowles (q.v.) has been the property of the Bowles family; the Union (Republican; morning, evening, and weekly; 1864); the Daily News (Democratic 1880); and the Springfield Homestead (tri-weekly; 1878). The New England Homestead (weekly; published by the Orange Judd Company), Farm and Home, a semi-monthly, and Good Housekeeping, a monthly (published by the Phelps Publishing Company), and the Kindergarten Review (monthly, published by the MiltonBradley Company, who publish other educational matter) are important periodicals.

The city is governed by a mayor, a board of aldermen (one from each of eight wards) and a common council of eighteen members (two or three from each ward, according to population), elected in December every other year. The city owns and operates the waterworks.

Springfield was founded in 1636 by a company of settlers from Roxbury led by William Pynchon (1590-1662). Pynchon, who had been one of the original patentees of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was dissatisfied with the government of Roxbury, of which he had been a founder. On a trip to the Connecticut Valley he selected a spot for a new colony which should have a limited membership and in which his ideas as to government might be put into execution. Accompanied by a dozen families he removed thither early in 1636. The settlers found there a settlement of Agawam Indians (probably allied with the Pacomtuc), and the settlement was at first known as Agawam. For some time the political affiliation was with the Connecticut river towns in Connecticut, but later the authority of the Massachusetts General Court was recognized. In 1640 the name was changed to Springfield, after the native place of William Pynchon in Essex, England. For several years Pynchon was the dominating influence in the colony, ruling it with the power of an autocrat. In 1650 he published a tract (The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption) in which he attacked the Calvinistic doctrine of the atonement, and which was burned on Boston Common by order of the General Court. He was removed from the magistracy and returned to England in 1652. In King Philip's War Springfield was a centre of hostilities. In October 1675 a force of hostile Indians, joined by the hitherto friendly Agawarns, surprised the settlers, killed some of them, drove the others into the three fortified houses, and burned the remaining buildings. They were preparing to storm the fortified houses when they were in turn attacked and driven off by a force of militia. Springfield was somewhat out of the track of operations of the warfare between the French and English in America, as it was later in the War of Independence; but men from Springfield served in all these conflicts. In 1777 the armoury was established and the place became an important military supply depot for the Continental forces. In July of that year representatives of the New England States and New York met here in convention to consider plans of co-operation for meeting Burgoyne's invasion. During Shays's rebellion there was a riot here in September 1786, and on the 25th of January 1787 the insurgent forces under Daniel Shays attacked the arsenal, but were dispersed by the militia under Brigadier-General William Shepard (1737-1817). Springfield remained little more than a large country market town until the completion of the Boston & Albany railway in 1839. From that time its growth as a railway and manufacturing centre was marked. Springfield was a strong abolition centre before the Civil War, and from here active plans were put in operation for sending material aid in the form of men and arms to the "free state" party in Kansas. The city was chartered in 1852.

See H. M. Burt, First Century of the History of Springfield (2 vols., Springfield, 1898-1899); J. E. Tower (ed.), Springfield, Present and Prospective (ibid., 1905); M. A. Green, Springfield,1636-1886 (ibid., 1888); Moses King, Handbook of Springfield (ibid., 1884).

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