Holyoke is an industrial city located on the Connecticut River eight miles (13 km) north of Springfield. Chief manufactured products have included paper, textiles, and metals. A dam built in 1849 was key to the development of the textile industry.
The city was named for Elizur Holyoke, one of the early settlers to the area. The community was separated from West Springfield in 1850 and chartered as a city in 1873.
Several famous colleges and universities are located nearby, including Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.