OUR LONG TRADITION WITH MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE
In 1915 South Hadley's Joseph Skinner purchased Sycamores and it became a private dormitory for Mount Holyoke College students. In 1937 the College purchased Sycamores and continued its use as a dormitory. The Sycamores holds fond memories for decades of Mount Holyoke College students who lived here in their sophomore year.
Many visit each year during reunion weekend and share fun and fascinating stories of life at Sycamores in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Just this summer one resident told of coming home to Sycamores after seeing Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, The Birds. Currently, our researchers are seeking information on Adaline Potter, MHC ’31, Professor of English who was a resident of Sycamores in 1929-30. She wrote a small book about her life there, entitled Sycamores, Reflections on the House.
A NEW ENGLAND HISTORY RESOURCE
Located in the heart of the Massachusetts Pioneer Valley, the Sycamores & Rawson complex is home to many historical objects and documents. On the property a restored water tower provided running water to Sycamores in 1900, when a public water supply did not exist. The Rawson House ell boasts a circa 1733 fireplace used for cooking, and is surrounded by open hearth cooking tools. Architecturally, the Sycamores front parlor exhibits original 18th century hand-carved raised paneling. An object of note is the painted silk mourning picture by an Abby Wright student. The Sycamores Committee purchased the house and the 3.7 acre lot on which it stands from Mount Holyoke College in 1999. With a matching grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the building has been stabilized and restored. Pictured above is a Joseph Chandler painting showing the center of South Hadley in 1876. The painting, entitled "Second Meeting House, South Hadley", shows the Sycamores and Rawson House in the distance. The painting is in the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.