Blizzard of ’78 Part 3- A Haven in the Storm

Today it’s Joe’s American Bar and Grill. When I worked there for a month as a sophomore in high school in 1975 it was Boraschi’s Villa, and the decorative sign from that incarnation can still be seen in the main dining room of the Route 1 eatery. But in 1978 it was J.C. Hillary’s, and for several days during the Great Blizzard it became home to stranded motorists who trudged up from their abandoned cars on Route 128. Over 500 motorists stayed at both Hilary’s and the Showcase Cinema across the street, which became a Red Cross shelter for several days. Another 20 refugees from Route 128 made their way to the Caulfield home on Vincent Rd. where they were given shelter.


The lobby of the old Showcase Cinema with stranded motorists

Roads were closed by order of Governor Dukakis, and both state and local police were busy handing out citations to people who disobeyed the order.

School in Dedham was closed for 7 days, with Dukakis declaring that the days did not have to be made up, so Dedham students only went to school 176 days that year.

A portion of the roof of the Dedham Mall collapsed over Cummins, a women’s clothing store.

During the storm burglars broke into The House of Sports on Eastern Ave. and made off with $5000 worth of sporting goods, including the toboggans that they used to transport their plunder.

And I walked around with my little camera, taking fuzzy pictures of the Tower St. neighborhood.

Below: The house on Tower St. after the Blizzard of ’78. The bottom picture was taken after another memorable storm, the April Fool’s Day Blizzard of 1997.

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2 Comments on “Blizzard of ’78 Part 3- A Haven in the Storm”


  1. Great stories! What is your favorite snow-time pastime?

  2. sclifford Says:

    A further insight to the robbery of the sports store…the local thieves were apprehended by crack Dedham detectives who followed the stolen toboggan track marks back to the inept thieves,caught red faced and red handed with the plundered loot!


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