Road Trip Idea #24: Finding Your First in Western Mass
Western Mass is known as a land of firsts and for good reason. Springfield, one of at least 36 in the US, but it was the first. We’re also home to the first armory commissioned in the country, the first home of beloved author and illustrator Theodor ‘Seuss’ Geisel, where the American-made automobile was manufactured, the first board game and so much more. Here’s where you can find your first in Western Mass:
Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History
Located on the campus of the Springfield Museums, you’ll find many of the cities ‘firsts’ documented and paid homage to here. From Hasbro Gameland to the largest collection of Indian Motocycles (yep, made in Springfield) and a collection of Rolls Royce’s (yep, these were made here too) this is a great place to start finding your firsts in our region.
Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum
Also located on the Springfield Museums campus, this museum honors Springfield’s most famous son, Theodor Geisel. Ted was born in Springfield and found inspiration from throughout the region as he wrote and illustrated his popular collection of children’s books. This museum is filled with familiar colorful characters and interactive displays but it’s also the home to the most comprehensive collection of Ted’s personal family photographs and letters in addition to artwork that has never been publicly displayed.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Dr. James Naismith invented the game while teaching at Springfield College and this shrine preserves and celebrates the game at every level. Fresh from a $20 million renovation, the Hall features interactive exhibits, personal artifacts from players & coaches and a chance to practice swooshing on the Court of Dreams.
Volleyball Hall of Fame
Volleyball was also invented here and the sport’s Hall of Fame in Holyoke celebrates the sport. The museum was recently redesigned to show more memorabilia than ever before.
Springfield Armory National Historic Site
This was the first armory in the nation, commissioned by George Washington and was the primary center for the manufacture of United States military firearms from 1777 until its closing in 1968. The museum commemorates the critical role of the nation’s first armory by preserving and interpreting the world’s largest historic US military small arms collection, along with historic archives, buildings, and landscapes.
Yankee Candle Village
Western Mass was also the birthplace of the most famous candle in the world – the Yankee Candle. From humble beginnings melting crayons in the basement of his South Hadley home, Michael Kittredge grew the company into an empire but remained loyal to his roots and headquartered the business in South Deerfield. Now the Yankee Candle Village store is one of the most popular attractions in the northeast with over 90,000 square feet of fragrance, décor and interactive exhibits.
You can find your first year-round in Western Mass and rest-assured your safety is our number one priority. Click here to see specific COVID protocols and safety measures.
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