1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chicopee

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CHICOPEE, a city of Hampden county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., situated on the E. side of the Connecticut river, at the mouth of the Chicopee river, immediately N. of Springfield. Pop. (1890) 14,050; (1900) 19,167, of whom 8139 were foreign-born; (1910, census) 25,401. Chicopee is served by the Boston & Maine railway. The city, which has an area of about 25 sq. m., contains five villages, Chicopee Center, Chicopee Falls, Willimansett, Fairview and Aldenville. Chicopee Falls lies on both sides of the Chicopee river, which falls some 70 ft. in less than 3 m. and furnishes valuable power for manufactories. The most important products are cotton goods (two large factories having, together, about 200,000 spindles), fire-arms (especially the Stevens rifles), tools, rubber and elastic goods, sporting goods, swords, automobiles and agricultural implements. Here, too, is a bronze statuary foundry, in which some of the finest monuments, bronze doors, &c., in the country have been cast, including the doors of the Capitol at Washington. The bronze casting industry here was founded by Nathan Peabody Ames (1803-1847), who was first a sword-maker and in 1836 began the manufacture of cannon and church bells. The total value of the city's factory product in 1905 was $7,715,653, an increase of 43.2% in five years. There is a public library. The municipality owns and operates the water-works system and the electric lighting plant. Chicopee was settled about 1638, was set off from Springfield as an independent township in 1848, and was chartered as a city in 1890. Chicopee Falls was the home of Edward Bellamy. The name of the city is an Indian word meaning “cedar-tree” or “birch-bark place.”