To see a photograph of the Holland Inn around 1900, go to the piece, Five separate Schoolhouses in Holland ?
This is part one of a series about local history that I will publish for interested readers here on the Holland Blog.
I will publish other rare, never seen photographs over the next few weeks about historic events and buildings of our town.
The pictures published here are from Chief Goodhall's estate and were donated by Corrine and Ruth Goodhall.
Click on any picture to download larger image!
In the end, the firefighters burned the remainder or all that was left of the Holland Inn down after the fateful fire of May 3rd 1957. A gathering place for the inhabitants of Holland for over 147 years was gone in nearly an instant.
To this day no one knows what caused the fire. When I sat down and spoke with former Assistant Chief Robbie Piazzo, he indicated the Inn had a tank and device in the ground that produced a type of gas that was piped into the Inn to power the old gas lighting fixtures that were still in use at the time. One theory was that something malfunctioned with that system that night and may have caused the fire. It was thought the fire started near the kitchen.
Few people probably know that Morris Suntop who is remembered as owning the Holland Store and years later who use to drive around in second gear in his little Silver Ford Falcon all the time was a permanent resident of the Inn. A number of towns people got together and built the little white house to the right of the Holland Store for him to live in as a result of the fire. On a similar note it's said that immediately after the fire that the towns people got together and refurbished the Holland Pavilion and it was ready to open a day or so after the fire.
These pictures are of the day the Inn was burned down. They are pictures of some of the firefighters both from Holland and Wales that participated in the efforts that day along with some of the fire trucks and the old fire station in Holland.
In the picture above is the old Holland Fire Station shown. The old Holland Fire Station and the addition shown here, and even the pump truck on the left behind the three men were all built by town volunteers. Individuals from left to right; Bob Wilson, Dom DiPaolo, Joe Nitka (or Charlie Vogel), Al Menard, Al Montville, Fire Chief John Goodhall, Pete Bishop, Bill King, Gerry Germaine, Charlie Bennett.
Congratulations to Bob Wilson. He celebrated his 100th Birthday on July 4th 2010. Both he and his beloved wife Estelle served the Town of Holland in many capacities. The town owes them many thanks for all they did for us over the years. They are two of the nicest people this town has ever seen.
Please note that these pictures were supplied and donated by the John Goodhall Estate and from Robbie Piazzo who were Fire Chief and Assistant Chief on the Holland Fire Dept. Some references are The Southbridge Evening News, and a report on the Holland Inn prepared by a student in 1988, G. Gentile.
If anyone has any photos of the fire of the Holland Inn, the 55 flood, pictures of the Lake Siog side of town, or photographs about any other historic events in Holland that you feel people would like to see, please contact me or the Holland Blog. We would appreciate being able to copy them. We are trying to build a collection of photographs for the people of the town of Holland.
Hisgen House Bed & Breakfast
78 Hisgen Road
Holland, MA 01521