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Map of trolley lines, 1908. from History of the Holyoke Street Railway by Donald Shaw. unpublished. courtesy of the Holyoke History Room & Archives

As the 20th century dawned, the Holyoke Street Railway continued to prosper and grow. This was despite a depression in 1907-08 and 1913-14. In 1907, construction began on new headquarters at Canal and Bridge St. The company purchased the Amherst and Sunderland Railway companies and expansion continued into the “trolley suburbs” of Holyoke.

Building certificate for HSR headquarters on Canal & Bridge st. 1907

Building certificate for HSR headquarters on Canal & Bridge st. 1907

The Mountain Park project became a huge success for the Holyoke Street Railway. Along with the amusement park, the summit house was a magnificent structure that attracted vistors from many parts of the country and the world. The dining environment at the Top-O-Tom Restaurant was elegant and the view was spectacular.

Letter to City of Holyoke petitioning for extension of rail lines, 1907

However, the 1900s were not without setbacks and strife. On October 8, 1900 the original Summit House burned down. Since this was such a huge tourist draw for the company, a second, more ornate Summit House was constructed throughout the winter of 1900-1901. The new structure opened 6 months later on May 15, 1901, an incredibly expedient timeline for the period.

The Holyoke Street Railway enjoyed a mostly harmonious relationship with the City of Holyoke. Exceptions occurred throughout the company’s history, as seen by this stern letter from the Department of Public Works notifying the company of their illegal use of the South Hadley Falls Bridge in 1903.

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