February 17, 1965

Mt. Holyoke Cable Car Burned

Region:
Western

On this day in 1965, Massachusetts officials burned what was left of the wooden tramway that had carried thousands of people to the summit of Mt. Holyoke. Abandoned for decades, the deteriorating tramway was a safety hazard. But for 75 years, it was an unforgettable part of the experience of visiting Mt. Holyoke. As early as the 1830s, the mountain-top in Hadley was a popular destination for artists, writers, students, and ordinary sightseers. A series of ever-bigger hotels was built there. Then, in the 1920s and 30s, the car changed the way New Englanders spent their leisure time. By 1940, the hotel was closed; the land was donated to the Commonwealth for use as a state park.

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