Holyoke Home for Aged People
One of the most interesting of the many philanthropies that mark Holyoke and make it such a pleasing city in which to live, is the Holyoke Home for Aged People. This institution, situated in the most beautiful part of the choicest residential section of the city, with mountain scenery from every window for the delight of the big family there, opened its doors for service on March 1, 1911. For months now it has had a full complement of residents.
Few such institutions have had so unique a history.
When it was dedicated and a study of its history was made it was found that the fine Home had been in the making 28 years, a full generation.
A group of ladies, five in all, of whom only Mrs. William G. Twing is now living, formed a little outing club, its object being to study and enjoy the wild flowers that made beautiful the swamps and hillsides that surrounded the young city. The other ladies were Mrs. William A. Chase, whose husband was then the agent of the Holyoke Water Power Company, Mrs. Philander Moore, Mrs. E.L. Draper, and Mrs. Jane Ordway. All these ladies lived close together, on Pine street, or close by, then the farthest limit of the downtown district.
Rain or Shine Club
The quest for flowers from arbutus time to the late gentians, lead the way to outing where unique feasts were featured. Then, through the inspiration of Mrs. Charles Blodgett, who knew life as the sphere for doing good to those around her, the Outing Club, by that time known as the Rain nor Shine Club, became an organization devoted to providing a home for aged men and women.
Mr. Jane Orway was the first president, and the means of raising money was through card parties, fairs, and suppers. In March, 1898, Mrs. C.E. Ball was made president of the Rain or Shine Club.
In 1902, the Rain or Shine Club gave way to the legally incorporated Holyoke Home for Aged People's Society, with Mrs. Ball its first and only president.
There were twenty-five women to sign the incorporation papers. Mrs. James Ramage was the first treasurer, but Mrs. Joseph Merrick has held that position since January, 1900. Mrs. F.E. Miner has been the long time secretary.
The Holyoke Home for Aged People's Society now has on its rolls two hundred and sixty corporation members. At first the building grew very slowly. But early in 1908 William S. Loomis, as a memorial for his wife, gave the tract of land on Morgan street upon which the beautiful home was built. The women of the society redoubled their efforts. They had from Joseph Metcalf a gift of $10,000 to be added t the $10,000 they had in hand for endowment fund, and to be known as the Clara F. Metcalf fund. In smaller amounts came the generous gifts that made up the total required for the building, which cost $32,000, and which is one of the most perfect of its kind up and down the land.
Its perfection of detail was a labor of love, from its architect, James A. Clough, whose services were given thus to the aged men and women of the city. Now the Home cares for twenty-four people who find the evening of life rich in unexpected but deserved care and comfort.
Mrs. Elizabeth Dunn has been the matron of the Home since its opening, and is doing a rare service in that capacity.
The approval of the Holyoke public for this Home is most cordially shown when appeals have to be made in its behalf, for not yet is it entirely upon a self-supporting basis.
Home for Aged People
This Holyoke Home is one of the few institutions of it kind where men and women can go together. There is provision for aged couples and deserving men who need a sheltering fireside are welcome. It is also one of the few homes where no barriers are built p in the name of race or creed. Men and women are accepted as residents who are in need, are worthy, and would not interfere with the general happiness of the Home, which is the object aimed at in its conduct. Many pleasant programs are carried out for their entertainment. They have a well stocked library, music, and in the summer time a garden and a hen yard add to their interests.
The present official board in charge of the Home includes: President, Mrs. Charles E. Ball; vice-presidents, Mrs. E.G. Whiting and Dr. Alice Hunt; secretary, Mrs. Frederick E. Miner; treasurer, Mrs. Joseph Merrick; board of managers, Mrs. Charles E. Ball, Mrs. James Ramage, Mrs. William G. Twing, Mrs. Frederick E. Miner; Mrs. Charles R. Dunbar; Mrs. Elizabeth Hogan, Mrs. Joseph Merrick, Dr. Alice Hunt, Mrs. J.L. White, Mrs. D.B. Kelton, Mrs. W.E. Reddington, Mrs. Ellen Ives, Mrs. H.M. Senor, Mrs. Garner Cox, Mrs. N.C. Mansir, Mrs. W.O. Judd, Mrs. Edward G. Whiting, Mrs. William McCorkindale, Mrs. James Collingwood, Ms. W. C. Wharfield, Mrs. H.M. Senior, Mrs. William G. Dwight, Mrs. D.E. Bartlett, Mrs. James Dickey, Mrs. G.L. Bosworth, Mrs. S.D. Nevin, Mrs. William S. Looms, Mrs. A.J. Osborne, and Mrs. C.E. Van Valkinburg; advisory board, Dr. J.H. Potts, George S. Lewis, R.C. Wnchester, Dr. H.O. Hastings, and C.W. Rider.
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