View looking north from the Mt. Tom Summit House, Holyoke, Mass.

The view looking north from the Mt. Tom Summit House, between 1900 and 1915. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The view in 2014:

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As with the previous photo, it wasn’t possible to perfectly re-create the original image, because it was taken from atop a building that no longer exists. However, the 2014 photo shows the same general view, although from ground level.  I took the photo from around the same spot as the concession stand in the lower right corner of the first photo.  According to the sign on the building, they offered “Salted Peanuts and Kibbe’s Corn Cakes” for five cents.  The building further away on the right-hand side of the photo is the upper station of the railway, which ran trolleys up and down the mountain, carrying passengers for 25 cents per ride.  The boardwalk in the first photo leads down to the station, where the people in the photo most certainly arrived at the summit – I can’t imagine any of them climbing up in such clothing.

Mt. Tom Summit House View, Holyoke, Mass.

The view of Easthampton from the Summit House on Mt. Tom, around 1908. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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Approximately the same view in 2014:

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It’s almost impossible to get an identical view, because the Summit House no longer exists, and the actual site of it has radio towers that are behind fences.  However, these two photos both show the same general section of the boardwalk that once went across the summit. The 2014 photo was probably taken around the spot in the lower left of the 1908 photo where a flat rock protrudes above the boardwalk. Compare to a similar “before” view, and a 2010 view of the location.

View from Summit House, Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Mass.

The view of Easthampton from the Summit house atop Mt. Tom, between 1905 and 1915.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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A similar view in 2010:

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The Summit House no longer exists, so I wasn’t able to perfectly re-create the early 20th century photo, but the 2010 photo shows the remains of the promenade that is in the foreground of the older photo.  President William McKinley once walked along it, but now all that remains is the concrete that once supported the wooden boardwalk and the rusty metal railings that tourists once admired the view from alongside.  The Summit House from the older photo was built in 1901, replacing the 1897 structure that had burned just three years later.  The 1901 building also burned, in 1929, and the third one was closed in 1938.  The site of the summit houses is now off-limits; it is the site of numerous radio and TV antennas for the Springfield area.

Easthampton from Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Mass

The view of Easthampton from Mt. Tom, between 1900 and 1910.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same view in 2014:

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Not much has changed in Easthampton in 100 years, at least nothing that it particularly noticeable from the summit of Mt. Tom.  President William McKinley would’ve seen a very similar view during his visit in 1899, but another famous visitor to the mountain, Jonathan Edwards, would’ve seen a very different view in the 1730s.