About NeVar


In the future this website's mascot and spokes-raven, NeVar, will tell stories about the Mt. Tom Range, particularly the Mt. Tom Area.

Ravens have been followers of our kind longer than recorded history and are a rich part of our folklore. To Indigenous Americans ravens are revered noble spirits: intelligent, adaptable, sociable.

And so the common raven was chosen to tell the story of the Mt. Tom Range and why the ridge that makes up the spine of Holyoke, Massachusetts, should be preserved largely as undeveloped open space.


035summithouseHistorically, the Mount Tom area is rich in places and events of note.  This image is of the second hotel on the summit of Mount Tom, where President Mckinley and his wife dined after taking the Holyoke Street Railway’s counter-balance* train to the summit. For a more detailed historical record spend some time with the reservation’s interpreter at the Nature Center in Mt. Tom State Reservation.   Viewers can make arrangements to read the Robert Schwobe 13 volume Mt. Tom History Collection located in the reservation’s management office, as well as documents in the Holyoke Public Library’s History Room.

Train, Mt. Tom Top

Two train cars, one traveling to the top of Mt. Tom and one traveling down, were cabled together.  With assistance of electric motors, gravity and the weight of the trains counterbalanced one another, making for a smooth quiet ride. The illustration and photograph are courtesy of the web.