King's Handbook of Springfield, Massachusetts: A Series of Monographs, Historical and Descriptive

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J.D. Gill, Publisher, 1884 - Springfield (Mass.) - 394 pages
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This is an excellent read about the City of Springfield, Massachusetts - especially in 2011, as Springfield is in the midst of a resurgence - and offers an historical perspective on popular Springfield sites such as the Springfield Armory, Springfield businesses like Smith & Wesson and MassMutual Financial, and Springfield luminaries like John Brown, Thomas Blanchard, and Daniel Shays.
I was interested to read that Springfield was first nicknamed "The City of Progress," and "City in a Forest," because today its nicknames are the "City of Firsts" and the "City of Homes." Whereas the two contemporary names reflect on Springfield's 19th through mid-20th Century accomplishments, the original two nicknames are actually more appropriate today.
In short, an excellent book about a truly great American city that's just being rediscovered after 40 years in the wilderness, so to speak.

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Page 60 - Thou crownest the year with thy goodness ; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness : and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks ; the valleys also are covered over with corn ; they shout for joy, they also sing.
Page 264 - And snatch'd o'er hill and dale, and wood and lawn. And verdant field, and darkening heath between, And villages embosom'd soft in trees, And spiry towns by surging columns mark'd Of household smoke, your eye excursive roams...
Page 81 - ... project of a railroad from Boston to Albany ; a project which every one knows, who knows the simplest rule in arithmetic, to be impracticable, but at an expense little less than the market value of the whole territory of Massachusetts, and which, if practised, every person of common sense knows would be as useless as a railroad from Boston to the moon.
Page 21 - Ellsworth and stay'd there near an hour — reached Springfield by 4 o'clock, and while dinner was getting, examined the Continental Stores at this place. ... A Col" Worthington, Col" Williams, Adjutant General of the State of Massachusetts, Gen.
Page 264 - Of household smoke, your eye excursive roams : Wide-stretching from the hall, in whose kind haunt The hospitable Genius lingers...
Page 10 - Wee intend, by God's grace, as soon as we can, with all convenient speede, to procure some Godly and faithfull minister, with whom^ we purpose to joyne in church covenant, to walk in all the ways of Christ.
Page 202 - ... She had often repeated that clause of the beautiful Nicene Creed; now it came with new meaning, new force and sublimity. " I believe in the Holy Catholic Church ! " the Church militant here upon earth, gathered from all climes, and from all the corners of the earth, and numbering among its members all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth ; and the Church triumphant, wearing her spotless garments, and joining in the eternal song of thanksgiving, on the other side the narrow river...
Page 248 - THIS is the Arsenal. From floor to ceiling, Like a huge organ, rise the burnished arms; But from their silent pipes no anthem pealing Startles the villages with strange alarms. Ah! what a sound will rise, how wild and dreary, When the death-angel touches those swift keys! What loud lament and dismal Miserere Will mingle with their awful symphonies! I hear even now the infinite fierce...
Page 89 - ... L. Hinckley, Stephen Brewer, Jonathan H. Butler, Winthrop Hillyer and their associates, received a charter as the NORTHAMPTON AND SPRINGFIELD RAILROAD CORPORATION, for the purpose of building a road " commencing within one mile of the Court House, (Northampton), crossing Connecticut River near Mt. Holyoke, and passing down the valley of said river on the East side thereof, through a portion of Hadley, South Hadley and Springfield, to meet the track of the Hartford and Springfield corporation...
Page 87 - From Salisbury to Williamstown, and then to Bennington in Vermont, there stretches a county of valleys, lakes and mountains, that is yet to be as celebrated as the lake-district of England and the hillcountry of Palestine.

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