The Crossing at Ridgewood Village sits on 44 acres of former military housing that once belonged to nearby Westover Air Force Base. There are two-hundred-and-eighty-six housing units. A system of walkways link and define the outdoor spaces. Recreational facilities include a swimming pool, tennis court, and a community center.
Tools for Residents
• Residents can learn of upcoming meetings and Ridgewood events by visiting the Calendar page.
- • The Documents page has information and down loadable links that Ridgewood Village residents will find very helpful. This page will help with everything from missed trustee meetings, reviewing the rules & regulations and navigating the complicated processes of selling, refinancing and dealing with an insurance company.
- • The Call List page has phone numbers and links that Ridgewood Village residents will find useful, and you can fill out forms, request service and leave feedback on the the Requests page.
- • The property is managed by the association and its elected Board of Trustees and the property is maintained by Spaeth Property Service.
A Little History
Are you a new Ridgewood Village resident? We encourage you to read the the short history of Ridgewood Village.
The story of Ridgewood goes back a long way. It’s not just a story of houses; it’s a story of people, an air base and of a city.
Before the settlers came, the Nipmuck Indians were here. They lived along the rivers and meadows and sandy plains. Their name meant “fresh water Indians”. Many lived along the “Chicuppy”, meaning “violent or raging waters”. William Pynchon began to buy land from the Nipmucks in the meadows in 1641. And so began Chicuppy.
The land in this area was called the “sandy plains” and was largely unsettled. In the middle of the 1800s, there was a wooden covered bridge across the Chicuppy River at the falls, connecting onto Montgomery, Grattan and Sheridan Streets [see the map]. There was no Memorial Drive. There was little development. The area of what is now Westover was sparsely settled, mostly dirt roads and more than 7 square miles of tobacco fields, mostly owned by Consolidated Tobacco, fields of fruit and asparagus and scrub pine trees.
Around 1865, James Stone had a home on what is now James St.
He was one of the first settlers in the sandy plains, called Plainville. When the residents wanted a post office, the name had to be changed because there was another Plainville in the state, which incidentally had a rather unsavory reputation. Many names were suggested, one of which was Ridgewood. After much discussion, the name James Stone suggested, Fairview, was agreed upon.
The rural farm life was destined to change. As early as 1926, Anthony Stonina visualized the vast flat sandy plains as an airport. In the fall of 1938, Congress decided to establish strategic air bases around the country, one being in the northeast. In Nov. 1938, Mr. Stonina, then mayor of Chicopee, sent a telegram to the Secretary of War asking him to consider the sandy plains of Chicopee as the air base for the northeast.
Mr. Stonina created a 10 member Aviation Committee to supply maps, photos, topographical maps and specifications of the land. This information was sent to Major General H. Arnold, Chief of the air Corps. In August 1939, government engineers arrived for topographical studies of the area.
The Secretary of War, Henry Woodring, made the official selection of the sandy tobacco fields of Chicopee, September 15, 1939. The Northeast Air Base was born. In Nov. 1939, $2,070,918 was designated for land taking by eminent domain. More than 100 farmers and families were ordered to move within 30 days. Not everyone was happy. There must have been much disagreement, many pros and cons and much apprehension. Perhaps few realized the magnitude of the changes that would take place. Many feared their daughters would run off with the “fly boys” and perhaps many have. Among those ordered to leave was James Stone. His property was to become Central Ave. of the air base, later changed to James St., in his honor.
The plains called for hangars, runways, housing, hospital, schools, chapel and more. Work started immediately using the dirt roads of the farms. The base was ready for use by July 1940. By 1941, 5 single officers’ quarters and six non-commissioned officers’ quarters were constructed.
And so began the Northeast Air Base, a beginning that would influence the lives of many people and change Chicopee forever.