John Bellairs Wiki
John Bellairs Wiki

Hoosac is a city in Minnesota, located along the Mississippi River.

It was a long, skinny town, shaped like a cigar, with the Mississippi on one side, and a long artificial lake called Lake Hoosac on the other. All around the town the land was as flat as a tabletop, but in the distance, on ether side, rose tall bluffs. The bluffs were very tall, six or seven hundred feet high, and they were covered with trees. The bluffs on the western side of the town were a long way away (in Wisconsin), but the ones on the eastern side were quite close [The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn; 18-19].

Like Hoosac, the city of Winona lies atop a sand bar formed between two channels, the main channel of the Mississippi and Lake Winona, a secondary channel. This portion of the Mississippi runs from west to east.

In The Mansion in the Mist Anthony and the Eells go home from Shadow Lake by flying from Montreal: "From there they could fly to Minneapolis, which was only a hundred miles away from Hoosac."


Monday family

Howard, Ginny, sons Keith and Anthony Monday

Myra Eells

Notable locations

  • First National Bank
  • Hoosac High School
  • Hoosac Public Library
  • Immaculate Conception Academy
  • Levee Park
  • Monday's Cigar Store
  • Winterborn House



Hoosac is an amalgamation of Bellairs’ hometown of Marshall and Winona, Minnesota, where he lived for two years while teaching at the now-defunct College of Saint Teresa. Because Bellairs was writing the book while living in Massachusetts, there is a slight influence from the Bay State, too – especially the name Hoosac.


Hoosac has its origins in Massachusetts, specifically an Algonquian word for "place of stones." In Massachusetts is the Hoosac Mountain range that contains the Hoosac Tunnel, a 4.75-mile-long railroad tunnel running running east-west. Upon completion in 1875, it was the longest tunnel in North America and the second in the world.

Bellairs was living in Massachusetts for just over a decade when the book was published so it's not hard to believe he had heard of the name Hoosac or seen or heard about the tunnel.


In The Clue According to Sherlock Holmes, the 1980 television adaptation of The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn, the city of Hoosac and everything in it has been renamed Winterborn (e.g. banks, newspapers, etc.).

Anthony Monday Series
Bellairs Corpus
By John Bellairs
Who's who Anthony Monday | Myra Eells | Emerson Eells
What's what Hoosac Public Library | Monday's Cigar Store
Where's there Hoosac, Minnesota | Rolling Stone, Minnesota