In 1901 the Norwood Literary Society voted “that an effort should be made to form a Norwood Historical Society, while we people among us to tell its history, and give us relics of the past.” An attempt was made that year, but failed and it was not until February, 1907, that such a Society was formed and duly incorporated. On February 14th of that year a charter was granted to the following members: Milton H. Howard, Emily Curtis Fisher, Walter J. Berwick, Frank E. Bartley, Maria E. Colburn, Marcia M. Winslow, Nellie M. Babcock, Charles F. Smith, Clara W. Berwick, David A. Ellis.
The first regular meeting was held in the home of Nellie M. Babcock, at which time Milton H. Howard was elected President, an office he held until his death in December, 1931. David A. Ellis was elected Vice President, holding that office until October 1910, at which time W. T. Whedon was elected to fill the vacancy and held that office until the death of President Howard, when he was elected President, holding the office until he resigned on January, 1937. Walter J. Berwick was elected Secretary, holding that office until his death in 1910, at which time Nellie M. Babcock Gillooly was elected to fill the vacancy and held that office until January, 1933.
The Society struggled along and held the charter, but not much interest was aroused until Mr. Fred Holland Day gave incentive to the Society by the terms of his will. By the efforts of Mr. Whedon, Mr. Upham and Mr. Atwood, a group of professional and businessmen were interested in the possibilities offered in the Day will, and with the able assistance of Mr. W. F. Tilton and others, in financing it for one year, in Juno. 1934, the Society bought DAY House from the trustees of the Lewis and Anna M. Day Home. In June 1935, money was received from the Joseph Day Trust, and the Society was able to pay off the notes, and on December 18, 1935, the mortgage was burned and the Society stood free from debt.
While the balance of the Joseph Day Trust fund is invested, the income from it, together with dues and other revenue is insufficient to pay running expenses and the repairs inevitable in property of this kind. Already the heating system has had to be revamped, and there are plumbing repairs, painting jobs, and remodeling of the barn and house, itself, which the Society hopes to accomplish in the years to come, to make the property more suitable for the Society’s needs, and to fill a larger place in the life of the Community.
In order to make it possible for friends of the Society to contribute to the cause, a “Mite Box” has been installed in the entrance hall at DAY House, and contributions, large or small, will be welcomed.
It is also possible for friends of the Society to help by taking out a Life Membership in the Society or leaving a remembrance in their will, as a named trust.
At the present time there is only, one charter member living and active in the society. She is Mrs. Nellie M. B. Gillooly.
Our older members are fast passing on and it is quite necessary we acquire, new, young members and more sources of income.
This society is one of the oldest incorporated bodies in Norwood and holds in its keeping the real story of South Dedham and Norwood.
Officers for 1947 are: Emily F. Skolfield. President; Harold W. Gay. Vice President; Clarissa G. Maier, Recording Secretary; Nellie M. B. Gillooly, Corresponding Secretary, and Walter F Foss, Treasurer.
The Board of Governors is Harold L. Alden. William G Upham. W W. Everett, Anna B. Upham, May W. Atwood Rachel Ellis.