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Commonly known as a "Stanley Steamer", this steam-powered carriage was designed by identical twins Francis and Freelan Stanley. Before going into production, they sold the rights to the Locomobile Company. The Stanley twins received worldwide publicity for this vehicle design when it climbed Mt. Washington in August 1899, the first self-powered vehicle to do so. Later the vehicle was also sold by the Mobile Company. Several years later, the twins revised the vehicle design and manufactured the improved "Stanley Steamers" in Watertown, MA under the Stanley Motor Carriage Company name. By 1900, you could purchase a Locomobile at Springfield Automobile Company, located at 25 Main Street.

This Locomobile or Mobile, which was probably manufactured around the turn of the century, was chain-driven and gasoline-fueled. Pictured in the above photo is Henry L. Boyden of Springfield with his English Bulldog named Dan. In a story passed on by his niece, one day Henry needed to conduct some business in Longmeadow. Unable to buy gasoline, he filled the tank of this vehicle with kerosene instead. He drove down Longmeadow Street accompanied by clouds of thick smoke and an eye-burning stench. As he neared the middle of town, the Chief of Police dashed out of his office, stopped him cold, and made him drain the kerosene out of the tank. Then, the chief provided him with a large horse to ride so that he could complete his business in town.


  1. Longmeadow Historical Society archives

  2. Springfield Republican, Dec. 16, 1900

Contributed by Elizabeth Hoff, Longmeadow Historical Society Board Member

Originally published April 2, 2020

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Updated: Dec 1, 2022

Have you ever wanted to own a horse farm? Charles Birnie did.

In 1889, Charles Birnie bought the old Thomas Hale house (corner Booth Road- later renamed Birnie Road- and Longmeadow St.) and started acquiring thoroughbred race horses and breeding them on his farm in Longmeadow. His 80 acres of land stretched down to the Connecticut River and he pastured his horses on the lowlands where there were fewer rocks, boulders, or ditches that might injure his horses.

The above picture is from an article in the 1894 Springfield Republican about one of his horses, Anteneer. By 1900 he had 4 brood mares, 1 stallion, 6 three-year-olds, 2 two-year-olds, and 4 yearlings on his farm. He also employed a horse trainer, Irving Hinkley, to tend to his horses.

Charles Birnie moved his farm to Virginia in 1901.

Sources: 1900 US Federal Census, Springfield Republican, Dec. 3, 1889; July 1, 1894; Sept. 27, 1901; Oct. 8, 1901; Oct. 22, 1901; Longmeadow Assessors Valuation Listings 1899-1904

Contributed by Elizabeth Hoff, Longmeadow Historical Society Board Member

Originally published March 26, 2020

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

The headstone of Mary Colton aka Mary Drake

"The old burying ground of the Town of Longmeadow consisted originally of just one acre of land "granted" out of the town highway leading eastward from the main street into the commons--literally a "God's acre," in area as well as in assignment of sacred use." (From the Proceedings at the Centennial Celebration of the Incorporation of the Town of Longmeadow,October 17th, 1783)

Prior to the cemetery being established, burials occurred in the Springfield cemetery near the river. When the railroads disturbed that cemetery, burials were moved to the Maple Street cemetery or to nearby towns.

The earliest stone in the Longmeadow Cemetery belongs to Mary Colton, who died October 19th, 1682. She was originally buried in Springfield, and re-interred here

Mary Colton Alias Mary Drake Who dyed octo 19th

1682: My dayes are few. My glas is run. My age 32 and one

attributed carver: George Griswold.

Contributed by Betsy McKee, Longmeadow Historical Society Board Member

Originally published March 12, 2020

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