Town History

Old Town Center

The history of the Town of Holland was recorded in “The History of Holland” by Rev. Martin Lovering in 1915.  This book is available at the Holland Public Library and at the University of Massachusetts Library, Amherst.

Please visit this website to view the historical document.

The town is presumed to have derived its name from Lord Holland.  Holland was incorporated July 5, 1783, as the East Parish of South Brimfield in the County of Hampshire (it has been in Hampden County since 1812).  It formally became a town May 1, 1836.  The principal reason for the separation from Brimfield was the traveling difficulties, over mountainous roads to Brimfield, to transact town business.

The pioneer settler of Holland was Joseph Blodgett, who bought land in the region in 1730, which was subsequently known as the Polley Place.

Perhaps the most significant happening in Holland was the approximately 19 inches of rain that fell during August 1955 that changed the Town.  The dam that created the Hamilton Reservoir was no longer useful.  The town was able with government help to create a useful water sport area.

The Army Corps of Engineers created a series of flood control dams and surplus water impoundment areas.  This reduced the useful size of Holland drastically.  About 170 tracts of land in Holland were purchased by the federal government so that they could be flooded when required.  A number of houses were moved from these tracts and others were torn down as part of the clearing process.  Despite the upset caused by this project, it has turned Holland into a quiet vacation community.

--Excerpts from the Bicentennial Commemorative Booklet