Learn about the history of Springfield through the museums and Basketball Hall of Fame

Destination New England

(Mass Appeal) – Tucked along the eastern banks of the Connecticut River in the picturesque Pioneer Valley, Springfield, Massachusetts has a rich history of innovation thanks to the many things invented here.

  • The first American dictionary
  • The first American Gas-powered automobile
  • The biggest claim to Springfield, the invention of Basketball!

Springfield Museums:

Springfield’s five museums each have a little something for everyone.

“We have an incredible, phenomenal collections. And everyone has a favorite area of the museums that they love and always want to come back and see.”

Kay Simpson, President, Springfield Museums

In the Fine Arts Museum, one of the favorite areas is the French Impressionism gallery. There are beautiful paintings made by:

  • William-Adolphe Bouguereau
  • Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
  • Gustave Courbet
  • Théodore Géricault
  • Jean Léon Gérôme
  • Adolphe Jourdan
  • Jean-François Millet

The Science Museum has many popular places, including the live animal center, the planetarium, and the natural history dioramas.

In the Wood Museum, there is a vast collection of Indian Motorcycles, which were built in Springfield, and motor vehicles. The Smith Museum has a collection of Asian decorative arts.

And how can you forget Dr. Seuss, who called Springfield home! The Dr. Seuss Museum started in 2002 when the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden first opened but it was until 2017 when the first Dr. Seuss museum opened. It is the only Dr. Seuss museum in the world! You can view exhibits that show who he was as a person and writer.

Basketball Hall of Fame:

In 1891, Basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith and today, the Basketball Hall of Fame is one of the most visited tour attraction in downtown Springfield.

The Hall of Fame has something for all basketball fans. The Hall of Fame complex is full of 40,000 square feet of Basketball history. When you enter the building, you will be overwhelmed with the sense of skill, ability, and importance that is highlighted in each of the inductees.

From start of the art technology to historical artifacts and pictures, visitors can travel through time to see how the game of basketball has evolved over the years.

Dr. Naismith would never believe how popular the sport he invented has become around the globe. Naismith threw a ball into a peach basket back in 1891 while at the YMCA International Training School, which is now Springfield College. And it’s all history from there!

Each year, Springfield is visited by a group of coaches and basketball players that are inducted into the Hall of Fame. The streets are filled with basketball fans hoping to see big players such as Shaq or one day Lebron James. Unfortunately, this year’s enshrinement has been postponed due to COVID-19.

The Class of 2020 includes:

  • Kobe Bryant
  • Patrick Baumann
  • Tamika Catchings
  • Tim Duncan
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Kim Mulkey
  • Barbara Stevens
  • Eddie Sutton
  • Rudy Tomjanovich

For more information, visit Hoophall.com

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Destination New England

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