On March 5 1920, the New York Times reported that a tract of land in "Central Springfield, MA" had been purchased by the Diamond Match Company. Although that article claimed matches were not to be manufactured there, eventually they were. Until the 1980's the company made matches at the Paridon Street facility. It was served by a branch of the former New York New Haven & Hartford Railroad before passing to Conrail. Conrail outlived the rail line, which was effectively abandoned along with the Diamond Match Property. The tracks themselves were pulled up over the following decades. The only evidence of their existence are the orphan tracks on Sumner Avenue.
Today, we start a new photoblog entitled "Industria." Its focus will be industry, past, present and future. Just a reminder that these properties are private and by their very nature may not be safe. Do not trespass for your own safety. In case you do not understand...
Diamond Match is an odd focal point for the East Forest Park area. The neighborhood is almost entirely residential. Still from the southern areas of the neighborhood and along the Springfield border in East Longmeadow the old smoke stack rise, a silent sentinel to time long past. If you wish to behold some of these areas yourself, PLEASE, stay on public streets. There is plenty to observe along the property's perimeter.
|The Property is primarily used for equipment storage now. The smoke stack rises from a largely obstructed building.|
|You can get a better view of the plant at the base of the smoke stack.|
|Probably a microwave tower, but it could provide cellular service, too.|
|Long abandoned Railroad Ties (sleepers). The rails have largely been removed.|
|Visible just to the left of the picture's center is a rail, nearly overtaken by nature.|
|This is the former Right of Way of the NYNHH's branch. It went through East Longmeadow and ultimately into CT|
|Illegal Dumping is a problem, but could be far worse.|
|More railroad ties, these not cast aside from the ROW|
|From here, the Smokestack almost blends in with the trees.|
|Dumpsters from MLK Charter School punctuate the ROW. The school takes up the former Goodwill building.|
|A Small nature trail, set up by MLK school takes up a wooded area technically within the old Diamond Match perimeter|
|This clearing, today an access road, probably held the industrial spur off the Railroad's mainline.|
|The clearly runs around the Smoke Stack Building. At right are buildings from the YWCA facility on Clough St.|
|Easily the tallest structure in the area, the smokestack base appears to take up less room than the main building in satellite pictures from Google Maps|
|Possible Evidence of Squatting?|
|A Blast from the Past. Albano left office in 2003, so the sign is AT LEAST that old.|
|Although the building at the smokestack's base is hardest to see, the main building goes back quite a distance and is not easily seen without blatant trespassing.|
Although much of the Diamond Match property is not used, it is private property and does have regular activity. WMassP&I observed some in the main lot facing Paridon Street. Do not attempt to get any closer without permission. More photos are visible on our Flickr stream. Check out this USGS map from the 1940's which shows the path of the railroad and its spurs to Diamond Match.