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.

STILL TO COME:

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

  1. Kathy Brown Says:

    Very interesting

    Like

  2. Beth Says:

    Wow! I never knew any of this

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    • 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.

      Like

  3. 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!

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    • 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)

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  4. Tom Ryan Says:

    Outstanding Lesson!! Thank You@

    Like

  5. 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.

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    • 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.

      Like


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