Who put the Paul in Paul Park? /Part 2

So, who DID put the Paul in Paul Park? The quick answer to that question is this man:

Ebenezer Paul bought the house on Cedar Street and surrounding acreage from the Fales estate and moved here with his wife Susan and children in 1867. He farmed the land, and over the years added to his substantial holdings by purchasing adjacent lots. At the time of his death in 1898, Paul’s land holdings extended from Oakdale to Endicott, the Manor and Greenlodge. Upon his death, son Ebenezer Talbot Paul took ownership and management of the property and began subdividing it for housing lots in the 1920s. Here is the 1925 plan for a development which includes the site of my childhood home on Tower Street:

Interestingly, the development was named Ashcroft Wood, but nobody I know ever called it that. Hemlock Street was never built, and Sycamore does not connect with Alden. Neither does Beech connect with Turner, probably due to the huge rock located in what was known as “Ogden’s Woods” back in the 60s.

Here is a plan for another development named “Farview.”.

Mt. Vernon Street was later named Kimball Road, although it is essentially the same street intersected by the railroad tracks. The Cedar Street house can be seen on the left, and although it looks as if old Ebenezer was surrounding himself with a multitude of neighbors on his once quiet farmland, most of the houses on these streets were built in the 50s, long after his death in 1930. As a result of these real estate deals, Paul died a wealthy man, with an estate valued at about $1.3 million in today’s dollars. His wife Marietta passed away in 1949 at age 92. They had no children.

In December, 1951, the Town of Dedham purchased just under 3 acres from the Paul estate for $2,625 (about $30,000 in today’s dollars) for recreational purposes.

Paul Park was dedicated on June 8, 1952 in a ceremony attended by several hundred people. Music was provided by the elementary school orchestra under the direction of Miss Rhona Swarz and the elementary school band under the direction of Robert Shreve. Musical selections included When Johnny Comes Marching Home, And the Band Played On, and The Star-Spangled Banner. Director of Recreation William Ryan described plans for further development of the park including a baseball diamond, bubbler, merry-go-round, swings, slides, fire places, sand-boxes, and picnic tables. Fifteen years later I would sit at one of those picnic tables and make a loop potholder for my mother. Thank you, Ebenezer.


  • More Paul Family history
  • Shenanigans at 390 Cedar Street
  • The Mystery of the Missing Plaque

Explore posts in the same categories: ...all the old familiar places, JP's Dedham

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11 Comments on “Who put the Paul in Paul Park? /Part 2”

  1. Kathy Brown Says:

    Very interesting


  2. Beth Says:

    Wow! I never knew any of this


    • Jim Parr Says:

      That’s what makes it so fun to share! You wouldn’t find this kind of information in a more formal history of the town, but it’s what really interests people, especially if you grew up in the neighborhood.


  3. Eileen B. Buckley Says:

    Hi Jim – this is your old neighbor “Lee Lee”. I have just moved back to the area after living in New Jersey for the past 12 years, so it was a wonderful surprise to get these emails from your website.

    We can take this discussion off line, but I have a lot more information on our old neighborhood and how title was held to the various parcels.

    My grandfather purchased his house and the adjacent lot from the Dedham Cooperative Bank in 1936 as a bank-owned foreclosure. Interestingly this property is not deeded real property with the deed recorded at the Registry of Deeds. It is actually Registered Land with the original title held at the Norfolk County Land Court. This disconnect might provide you with more relevant information on the Ashcroft section of town.

    I have left my email for you below so that you can contact me directly.

    Many thanks! Eileen


  4. Renee L Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I live on Savin St. (#29). I believe our house was built in the 1920s so it seems like it may have been one of the first in the “Ashcroft Wood” development. Really interesting to learn the history of the neighborhood!


    • Jim Parr Says:

      Thanks for checking it out. Savin is a small bush with berries, like a juniper, so your street name may have been part of the “tree group” of names (Sycamore, Locust, Beech, Poplar)


  5. Tom Ryan Says:

    Outstanding Lesson!! Thank You@


  6. Robert Scheffler Says:

    Was it also dedicated to Paul Hayward a former selectman? I too remember sitting on the picnic tables doing crafts as a kid. I clearly remember that the sign said “Paul Hayward Park”, does anyone else remember this.


    • Jim Parr Says:

      That might have come later, but I’m pretty sure the park was named for the Paul family in 1952. The plaque that was mentioned in the Transcript article went missing years ago.


      • Robert Scheffler Says:

        Jim we were probably sitting right next to each other on those picnic tables. My son has been in the house with his friend who lived there. He said it was huge bit in bad shape. If it’s so historical why not enter the registry and rebuild?


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