Archive for the ‘Dedham Then and Now’ category

Dedham Tales- An Anniversary

February 16, 2013

Who is this man?  Where in Dedham is he sitting?  Why did he come here?  Answers coming soon…

Shiretown 3.13

Aerial views of old Dedham accompanied by quotes from Steely Dan songs

June 16, 2012

Some screen shots from Bing maps. Looks like their photos need to be updated!

“And I’m never going back to my old school…”

St. Mary’s was closed for nearly as long as it was open.  I graduated from there in 1973, the year it was announced that the school would close in 2 years. It was torn down in the fall of 2010.

“Everyone’s gone to the movies…”

The Showcase Cinemas stood at the corner of Elm St. and Route 1 for 35 years,  yet the Frosty’s ice cream stand  that occupied this spot for 10 years seems to be more fondly remembered, at least with Dedhamites of my generation.

“Bad sneakers and a Piña Colada my friend…”

The bad sneakers were issued to me during my unexceptional stint on the Dedham High track team.  They were black canvas with white stripes, a big white rubber toe and crepe-like soles.  We called them bobos.

The Piña Colada (my friend) is a reference to the drinking that went on at the Practice Field (upper right in photo) back in my high school days, although it’s more likely they were drinking Schlitz. Today a renovated Stone Park and new Avery School can be seen in this view. 35 years ago this month, I received my DHS diploma here.

East Dedham Firehouse Tower…Gone With the Wind!

May 5, 2011

It was Hurricane Carol that took out the 80-foot bell tower, in dramatic and dangerous fashion on August 31, 1954. Lifted by a particularly strong gust, the tower tore loose from the building and sailed across the fire station, crashing into the house next door, where Mrs. Louise Guerrio was feeding her one year old son Joseph at the time. Miraculously, neither Mrs. Guerrio nor her son were hurt. A portion of the tower fell across Bussey St., crushing 3 cars and damaging the house at #219.

The steeple of the Old North Church and a WBZ radio tower were also toppled by the hurricane, which was more powerful and more devastating than the famous 1938 storm.

Here is a picture of the firehouse from the early twentieth century:

This is how I remember the firehouse looking when I was a kid:

Thanks to Firefighter Charlie Boncek for letting me use these images.

Where’d the tower go?

May 3, 2011

The firehouse on Bussey St. in East Dedham recently got a makeover, but even with its new siding it is clear that something seems to be missing on the right hand side. That something is the bell tower which can be seen in this drawing from a 1933 map of the town:

The question is… where’d the tower go?
FIND OUT LATER THIS WEEK!

Blizzard of ’78 Part 2

February 7, 2011

This Dedham eatery may be long gone, but it figures in my next tale of the Blizzard of ’78. Do you know where you can find this remnant of the past in present-day Dedham?

Memorial Hall

May 30, 2010


From a turn of the 20th century postcard. This intersection was known as Memorial Square.


May, 2010

Memorial Hall was dedicated on September 28, 1868, as a lasting monument to the bravery of the forty-seven “sons of Dedham” who perished in the Rebellion, or Civil War as it is known today. It was made of Dedham granite, quarried just down the road in what is now Westwood. There were shops on the ground floor, with town offices and a large auditorium upstairs. Marble tablets bearing the names of the honored dead were placed in the vestibule. In his dedicatory remarks, hsitorian Erastus Worthington pronounced “Let this our Memorial Hall receive a benediction from us all today, God keep it ever from the lightning strike and the consuming fire.” The building was unceremoniously taken down in the spring of 1962, and the current police station built on the site. A new town hall was built on Bryant Street, and the marble tablets from Memorial Hall were placed in the lobby of the new building.

The Italian Kitchen

May 21, 2010

I don’t ever remember being inside this restaurant, but I know we would order take-out pizza from here when I was a kid. The Italian Kitchen opened in 1934, and this first ad is from a 1936 Transcript booklet published during the town’s 300th anniversary celebration. The second ad appeared in the Transcript in 1986. The two ads are strikingly similar considering they were printed 50 years apart.

Here’s a post card from the 1940’s, which is pretty much how I remember the place. The second pic shows the empty lot as it looks today, next to Gilbert’s package Store on the “Providence Pike.”