Welcome to Dedham Tales! by Jim Parr

EXTRA!! EXTRA!! New Dedham Blog goes live!
Ghosts! Legends! Scandal! Crime and Punishment! Mr. Ed! Wrangler Wranch! Dedham has it all, and you’ll read all about it on these pages. This blog is a followup to my recently published book Dedham: Historic and Heroic Tales from Shiretown. Most of the tales in the book took place decades, even centuries ago, and some of those stories will be highlighted here. But there will also be tales from the Dedham that I knew as I grew up here in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. The Dedham from that time may also be the Dedham that you know best, so I hope that this blog becomes a conversation where lots of stories and pictures are shared. If you would like to buy your own autographed copy of the book, just let me know!

Explore posts in the same categories: ...all the old familiar places, Dedham Then and Now, History/Mystery, JP's Dedham, Lost Dedham

11 Comments on “Welcome to Dedham Tales! by Jim Parr”

  1. Arthur Howe Says:

    Love, love it all. Brought back many fond memories (50s-60s) and others I never knew about. I recently wrote about one of my escapades attempting to secure (shhh…steal) wagons for the 4th of July burning in Oakdale Square. This yearly event should be among these wonderful Dedham memories as it was truly quite a unique event.


  2. Arthur Howe Says:

    How can we purchase the book?


  3. Kate Says:

    Anyone have the sauce recipe from the Garden’s Restaurant which the Pusateri family owned?


  4. Beth Shabanoff Says:

    Just finished reading your book Jim. Loved it!!! This should be a must read for the high school students of today. If your proud of growing up in Dedham you’ll be more so after you finish this book. Please tell me your working on another one.


  5. Brian Thistle Says:

    Great book, great photos, great Dedham Mall info ( I worked at Record Town, Tj Maxx, and York Steak House) do you have any info on the old Horse Track that was situated near the meadows in the back of the Manor section of Dedham. Also is there still remnants of a circus train at the bottom of Sprague’s Pond or is this just folklore? Thanks


  6. Joseph Harrington Says:

    Another anecdote about the barn behind the S.M.A. seminary: it was re-roofed as a summer project by the seminarians themselves in 1958. The barn was used during those years as a sort of “gymnasium”


  7. The Readville horse track later became a race car track…but before any of that it was a large Army training ground (Camp Meigs) for units including the Civil War 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (of “Glory” movie fame). The training grounds extended from what later included the Stop & Shop warehouse (where a huge fire took place in the 70s) to Wolcott Square (a couple of buildings in the neighborhood date back to the Civil War). The Dedham boundary near Sprague Street extends across the railroad tracks (the ones running from Readville Station out to Rte 128 Station) and may have included portions of Camp Meigs / race track / Stop & Shop warehouse.


  8. For historical aerial photos, check out https://www.historicaerials.com/viewer. Type in Readville, MA in the address search window, and aerial photos from 1978 are available on the map menu. Depending on the location, there are aerial photos taken long before 1978.

    You can see/imagine the curved shape of the oval race track circling around the south end of the large warehouse building. Vestiges of that curved section appear to still be there today (e.g. Google maps).


  9. Steve Flint Says:

    Taken from a news article:
    Legend has it that an engineer figured the easiest way to get rid of a decaying locomotive would be to start it up, then jump off and let it run off the tracks into the pond. However, historian Harry B. Chase, Jr. reports that while there may still be the remains of a coal-fired locomotive in the pond, it got there by accident, when the Providence and Boston Railroad was building the line way back in 1834:

    The engine Black Hawk, which had labored unsung in lowly construction service for barely a year, toppled ignominiously off the track along with its train of loaded cars, or else the roadbed sank under it, and was lost forever in the treacherous quicksands of Sprague’s Pond.


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