Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Moving Brickwall: Marie Sophie Lalonde from Champlain NY to Holyoke, Massachusetts

Taking a little left turn here to write about my genealogical ups and downs and how researching leads to new interests and finding out new things about places and people everywhere.

You might already know how fascinated I am by the canals that went through Cohoes and Waterford - the Erie, the Champlain and the canals that were built specifically to generate power for the Harmony Mills.  So imagine my delight when researching Marie Sophie Lalonde, I learned about the power canals in Holyoke, Massachusetts.   Here's the research background...

Marie Sophie Lalonde is what I call a moving brick wall.  Sophie  married Jacques Jacob Poissant dit Glaude (Glode) whose father dropped the Poissant when he moved across the border from Québec to Clinton County, New York.
Sophie and Jacob are the great great grandparents of Edgar, Milo and Arthur Mylott through their mother Edith Lida Glode. I cannot locate the marriage of Sophie and Jacob or anything about her parents, despite obtaining her death certificate from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The document states she died in South Hadley of "old age" on June 24, 1893; she was 84 years old and the widow of John Glode. Her parents were both born in Canada.  Her father was Norbert Lalonde and mother was Larvie Ledamp (sic).

She raised her family in Champlain, NY.  Several years after becoming a widow, she can be found in Holyoke city directories.  The 1888 Holyoke City Directory states she is boarding at 101 Lyman St., Holyoke.  Her son Nelson Glode also lives there.  "Nelson" here is the Anglicized name for Narcisse.



  101 Lyman Street looked quite impressive in this 1877 map of Holyoke and its power canals on the Connecticut River.


the detail....


So I checked out Google maps for present day 101 Lyman Street to see if the house is still there.  I found an empty area and then found a blog with unusual photographs from a fire on December 23rd and 24th, 2009 at 102-103 Lyman Street leaving fifteen families homeless.  It would seem the building was demolished after the fire. Industrial era  buildings are vanishing rapidly but the canals of Holyoke are still there.....Click on these links to check it out:

Friends of Holyoke Canalwalk

Wikipedia: Holyoke Canals

Photos of Christmas Eve Fire on Lyman Street, Holyoke


According to the city directories from 1888 through 1902, Sophie Lalonde's sons William and Nelson had many different jobs: clerk, teamster, laborer on Holyoke Street Railroad Company, worker in the paper mill. Finally, in 1902, ten years after Sophie's death,  they operated their own "feed stable" at 59 Hampden St in Holyoke along with their sons. Her grandson, Joseph, appears to have died prematurely - his wife was Lucie Salabin who appears as a widow in the 1902 directory listing:



After Sophie's death in 1893, her body was returned to Champlain, NY where I suspect she was buried alongside her husband, Jacob Glode.

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