Hampden County  


Mount Tom


2312 Mount Tom, MA Mount Tom is a mountain peak on the west bank of the Connecticut River about 4.5 miles (7 km) northwest of Holyoke, Massachusetts. It is 1191 feet (363 m) high and affords a wide view of the Connecticut River Valley. The summit is the transmitter location for three Springfield-Holyoke television stations: WSHM-LP, WGGB, and WFXQ-CA, and for radio station WHYN-FM.

The summit of Mt. Tom was not easily accessible until the construction of the Mt. Tom Railroad in the year 1897. The Summit House was a large, solidly built structure, 76 feet wide by 104 feet long, three stories high. Wide piazzas surrounded two stories and the upper story was a large observation room (48 x 80 feet), surrounded by windows of polished plate-glass. The observation room was furnished with numerous telescopes for the use of visitors. Maps of the United States Topographical Survey showed the country with all the details of water, relief, and culture, on a scale of about one mile to the inch, from Boston Bay to the Hudson River and from Long Island Sound northerly into Vermont and New Hampshire. The original Summit House was built in 1897 and was renovated one year later. The first summit house burned down in 1900 and an even larger one was built, eight stories high to the top of its golden dome. The view depicted on glass no. 2312 [left] shows this second Summit House. It was from this one that then President McKinley stated that the view from the summit was the most beautiful in the world. The summit house burned again in 1929. With the growing popularity of automobiles and the beginning of the Great Depression the summit house was replaced with an inexpensive pavilion and its popularity waned. The summit house is curently under reconstruction. One of the rooms is named for Jenny Lind, the 'Swedish Nightingale', who once ate dinner in that room.

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tom_(Massachusetts), http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/mttom.html, http://www.mounttom.com/, http://www.leaptoad.com/ahp/holyoke.shtml, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_Park,_Holyoke,_MA]

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