compiled by Esther M. Bieber,
Secretary, Holyoke Street Railway Company

On June 11, 1884, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts granted a charter to the Holyoke Street Railway Company for the purpose of locating, constructing, maintaining and operating a street railway for the carriage of passengers. The mode of travel was to be Horse Cars. It was not until 1891 that the street railway was electrified.

In July 1888, Mr. William S. Loomis, a director of the new company, purchased the Holyoke Street Railway Company from the original nine members who were leading citizens of Holyoke and South Hadley Falls.

During the years that followed, Mr. Loomis purchased some so-called "cow pastures with scenery" and created Mountain Park. He felt that the public was going to demand and support public recreation parks. Arrangements were made for the building of an Open Air Theatre. The only protection the actors and actresses had was a portable canvas top and a back drop. The only protection the audience had in inclement weather was under the huge trees. A Merry Go Round, Roller Coaster, and a restaurant were built. This was in 1895, and on June 7, 1895, a trolley car line was extended from Lincoln and Northampton Streets to Little Mountain in Mountain Park.

On April 21, 1897, the Holyoke Street Railway Company purchased the Mountain Park property from Mr. Loomis. The property consisted of 365 acres. A charter was granted to the Company by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the purpose of building a pleasure resort. At that time, Mr. Louis D. Pellissier worked in the office, as assistant to Mr. Loomis, and together they planned the recreation park. A new Open Air Theatre was built for vaudeville but was replaced later with another building which had a seating capacity of 2,500. It was considered the largest summer park theatre in New England. A record 12,000 persons paid admission to the Casino for the Mountain Park Opera Company. Other operas were presented, such as Pinafore, Mascot, Virginia, Mikado, Fra Diavalo and many others, all of Gilbert & Sullivan fame.

In 1909, a new Dance Pavilion, Restaurant and Carrousel were built. The Park was noted for its natural beauties and beautiful flowers, particularly the roses of many varieties which bloomed from June to November.

In 1915, a new roller coaster was built called the "Gorge Scenic Water Ride."

In 1929, under the leadership of Mr. Louis D. Pellissier, who was then President of the Company, a New Midway was erected. All new amusement devices featured a much larger roller coaster, Carrousel, Dodgem Ride, The Whip, Penny Arcade, Airplane ride, Shooting Gallery, Midget auto cars and many other amusements. A new athletic field was available for baseball games and other sports. In addition, a new entrance was made to the Park off Northampton Street with automobile space for 1,000 cars. It was an ideal spot for outings and picnics and was well patronized by clubs and organizations for their annual outings and Field Day.

On December 30, 1952, the Holyoke Street Railway Company sold the Mountain Park property to two brothers, John and Dennis Collins of Wellesley, Massachusetts. It was called the Mountain Park Amusement Co. Many new rides were added and many improvements were made.

In the spring of 1971, Mr. Jay Collins, son of the late John Collins, and owner of the Park, leased the property to ARASERV, a nation-wide syndicate.

On June 11, 1971, an explosion and fire completely destroyed the Dance Pavilion and Restaurant Building.

Mountain Park is still one of the finest and most beautiful summer parks in New England.