Chicopee MA



Chicopee (pronounced /ˈtʃɪkəpi/ CHIK-ə-pee) is a city located on the Connecticut River in Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States of America. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2007 census, the city had a total population of 54,653, making it the second largest city in Western Massachusetts. The current mayor is Michael D. Bissonnette.

The city is made up of several neighborhoods, the result of the city’s origin as a collection of villages in the northern-most part of Springfield, which it seceded from in 1848. These villages are now represented by the neighborhoods of Aldenville, Willimansett, Chicopee Center (Cabotville), Chicopee Falls (Skipmuck), and Fairview.

The city has since filled in most of its open space resulting in a number of new neighborhoods. These neighborhoods include Chicomansett (often referred to as part of Willimansett, this area is located at the southern intersection of Meadow and Chicopee Streets northward to Meetinghouse Road), Ferry Lane (an offshoot of Chicomansett surrounding Ferry Lane), Sandy Hill (the area overlooking Chicopee Center, connecting Cabotville and Aldenville), and the geographically isolated Burnett Road neighborhood.

Chicopee uses the nickname “Crossroads of New England” as part of a business-development marketing campaign. The name reflects the city’s convenient location amongst a number of metropolitan areas and its transportation network. Chicopee is located 29 miles away from Hartford, 92 miles away from Boston, 90 miles from Albany, and 140 miles from New York City. Four highways run through its boundaries: I-90, I-91, I-291, and I-391. State routes such as Route 33, 116, and 141, are major providers of regional linkage. The city is home to Westover Metropolitan Airport and is also served by Bradley International Airport in nearby Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Westover Air Reserve Base, was built here in 1940. It has one of the largest runways on the east coast at 11,597 x 301 feet (92 m).

Reflecting the Polish background of many of its residents, a number of Polish-American businesses are based in Chicopee. These include the Chicopee Provision Company,a major producer of Polish sausage kielbasa under the Blue Seal brand and Millie’s Pierogi Company, a producer of traditional Polish dumplings pierogi. Chicopee held an annual kielbasa festival at the Fairfield Mall (now the site of Chicopee Crossing on Memorial Drive) until the mid 1990’s. The festival featured the World’s Largest Kielbasa for a number of years (several times the city’s kielbasa lost to a kielbasa in Krakow, Poland).

 Name

Chicopee is a Nipmuck name, probably from chekee – "violent", and pe – "waters" in most Algonquin dialects, with reference to rapids. The Nipmucks are the native residents of the region and have been here since before the arrival of the English. Alternatively, chikkuppee ("of cedar") is the adjective form of chickkup ("cedar").[1]

 History

Chicopee was settled in 1640, but was a part of Springfield, Massachusetts until 1848. The City’s original Charter was granted by the Massachusetts General Court on April 18, 1890. George Sylvester Taylor (1822–1910) became Chicopee’s first mayor on January 5, 1891.

Chicopee adopted the motto "Industriae Variae", which means "Industry Varies". Chicopee was home to many different types of industries which include cotton mills, woolen mills, textiles, brass foundries and iron foundries, paper making, leather products like boots and shoes, the first lucifer matches, and ship building for the nearby South Hadley Canal, firearms company Crescent-Davis, which specialized in double barrel shotguns. The Ames Manufacturing Company made many machines and bronze cannons, and more swords than any other American manufacturer at the time. The Stevens Arms plant (later Savage) located there was responsible for most of the Number 4 Enfields manufactured for the British under Lend-Lease. Chicopee was home to the first gasoline-powered automobile made in the United States, Duryea.[citation needed] In 1991, St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Church, located on Front Street, was proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II.

Edward Bellamy, circa 1889.

Chicopee was also the first city west of Boston to form a publicly funded public library. The Chicopee Public Library was formed by a donation to the city by the Cabotville Institute.

 Geography

Chicopee is located at 42°10′13″N 72°35′19″W / 42.17028°N 72.58861°W / 42.17028; -72.58861 (42.170159, -72.588630).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.9 square miles (61.9 km²), of which, 22.9 square miles (59.2 km²) of it is land and 1.0 square miles (2.7 km²) of it (4.31%) is water. The Chicopee River flows through the south part of the city.

Within Chicopee lies the Chicopee Memorial State Park in the Burnett Road neighborhood. Formerly known as the Cooley Brook Reservoir and Watershed, the area has been developed into a high use active recreation area. The total area is 575 acres (2.33 km2) including two 25-acre (100,000 m2) ponds. Activities include swimming, fishing, picnicking, jogging and biking.

 Demographics

Although once defined by the predominant nationality of its immigrant occupants, historically largely Polish and French Canadian, the city is now occupied by people of many cultures while still maintaining their historical, ethnic charm.

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 54,653 people, 23,117 households, and 14,147 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,389.7 people per square mile (922.7/km²). There were 24,424 housing units at an average density of 1,067.9/sq mi (412.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.82% White, 2.28% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 4.90% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.76% of the population.

There were 23,117 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,672, and the median income for a family was $44,136. Males had a median income of $35,585 versus $25,975 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,646. About 9.6% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.5% of those under age 18 and 9.3% of those age 65 or over.

 Education

 Public Schools

The City of Chicopee operates fifteen public schools within the Chicopee School District, serving 7800 students. Richard W. Rege is the superintendent. There are nine elementary schools, two middle schools, one early childhood center, and three high schools (Chicopee High School, Chicopee Comprehensive High School and Chicopee Academy). Every fall the football teams from the two secondary schools maintain the competitive athletic rivalry between them, competing for a sword. Chicopee Comp won in 2006 and 2008 while Chicopee High won in 2007 and 2009. Chicopee Comp won the very first Sword Game in 1964.

 Preschool

 Elementary schools

 Middle schools

 High schools

 Higher education

 Private Schools

Chicopee has a multitude of Catholic schools that are operated under the Diocese of Springfield. These schools include: Holy Name School which serves Holy Name Church & Assumption Church: St. Joan of Arc/St. George School which serves St. Rose de Lima Church on Grattan Street; and St. Stanislaus School which serves the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr on Front Street.

Holyoke Catholic High School opened its doors at its new Chicopee location in September 2008.

 Notable residents

 See also

 References

  1. ^ An Historical Address / Delivered before the citizens of Springfield in Massachusetts at the public celebration May 26, 1911 of the Two Hundred and Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the Settlement with Five Appendices, by Charles H. Barrows. Copyright 1916, Connecticut Valley Historical Society. Thef. A. Bassett Co. Printers, Springfield, Mass. Appendix A, Meaning of Local Indian Names.
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Level 3 Sex Offender – Richard Roger Lavigne". Commonwealth of Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board. http://sorb.chs.state.ma.us/ResultDetail.asp?btn752=Detail. Retrieved February 14, 2010. 

 External links

 

 
from wikipedia

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