View looking down Cedar Street today. (photo LLKearney)

In 1888, George Winslow & George Peterson laid out Cedar Street, Quincy Avenue, and the lower portion of Savin Avenue, creating 38 house lots. What is interesting about these plans is that Winslow and Peterson created a plan for a neighborhood. Where before so many early house lots in Norwood were small lots along a main road, such as Chapel Street. It is highly likely Winslow and Peterson thought these lots might be attractive to workers of the nearby tanneries and car shops, to build their homes. By 1900, most of these house lots had been sold and developed. The 1900 census shows that the bulk of the houses on these streets were owner occupied, and that these owners came from Sweden, Germany and Canada.

8 & 12 Cedar Street – The Homes of (#8) John Peterson & (#12) Nils August Peterson

The two homes of the Peterson brothers. (photo LLKearney)

Brothers, John and August arrived in the United States in April of 1887 from Misterhult, Sweden. It is possible they came directly to Norwood, as John A Peterson of Davis Street also came from Misterhult – he could have been a relative or an acquaintance. Their parents were Nels Peter Peterson and Sara Lisa Johnson. John Peter Peterson was born in 1855 and his brother Nils August was born in 1863. In 1892, they were some of the first people to purchase home lots on what was to become Cedar Street. By 1900 they not only had built their homes and moved into them, but both brothers had married and had several children by then. When they first came to Norwood, they found jobs in the tannery and by 1910, they worked for the Morrill Ink Works. The brothers lived on Cedar Street into the late 1920s.

On April 2, 1898, in the home of Nils August Peterson the first Lutheran services were held. Rev. C. F. Johansson of the Emmanuel Church in Boston led the service, and many Swedeville neighbors attended these services. By the following week the group had officially organized and incorporated the church. That fall they bought land on Cedar Street and by the following April, they dedicated their new church building.

Swedish Lutheran Church (1899-1939) – 15 Cedar Street

The Swedish Lutheran Church, today a private home (photo LLKearney)

Initially the Swedish Lutherans worship in a local hall along with Swedish Baptists and Swedish Congregationalists. By the late 1890s each group looked to establish their own physical church. On April 30, 1899 the members of the Swedish Lutheran Church dedicated their new church building, and August Peterson, Axel Carlson and Carl Johnson served as the first trustees. Early on the church was served by a series of “vice-pastors,” but in 1903 Rev. Elof Peterson became their first minister. Over the next forty years, six other ministers served this church located on Cedar Street. In 1939 they built a new larger church on the corner of Berwick Street and Gardner Road. The new church was renamed the Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Norwood, and focused on strengthening its Sunday School, worship services, as well as its social-cultural programs.

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The church building was acquired in 1939 by a group of Italian Pentecostal Christians, known as “Assemblia Cristiano.”  They had been gathering in Norwood for services since 1931 in a variety of meeting halls and churches. With the purchase of a church building, the organization was formally incorporated as the “Italian Christian Church.” Initially most of their congregants were of Italian descent, but as South Norwood became more and more multi-cultural, the church changed its name in 1968 to the “Christian Church of Norwood,” to reflect the ethnic diversity of its members. The congregation met here for forty years before they moved to a new site on Walpole Street. Today they are known as “The Church of the Living Waters.”

The Italian Christian Church, formerly the Swedish Lutheran Church, circa 1965. (Norwood Historical Society collection)

In the mid-1970s twenty families first gathered in Cambridge to celebrate the holiday Paryushana Parva, which commemorates the Mahavira, the founder of Jainism. By 1981, the group had grown large enough and with the inspiration of a spiritual leader they bought the old Swedish Lutheran Church on Cedar Street in July of 1981 from the Christian Church of Norwood. They inaugurated their new temple on September 6, 1981, becoming the first Jain Derasar (“temple”) in the United States. The temple boasted on its main floor a well-lit and colorful hall with a marble alter, and a library. In the basement they had a women’s prayer room, and large room for social gatherings, complete with a kitchen. This site served the Jain community for almost thirty years, moving to a new location on Nichols Street in 2010.

Today, 15 Cedar Street is a private home.

The Corner of Cedar Street and Quincy Avenue

Corner of Quincy Avenue and Cedar Street (photo LLKearney)

In 1918 the awful effects of the Spanish Flu Influenza epidemic hit Norwood. The first two people to die from the illness were residents of Swedeville. At the very end of Quincy Street is #17.  In the late 1910s, living here in a rented apartment was Frank Herman Lammi. He married Maria Johannah Summinen on January 14, 1914 in Boston, and daughter, Lahja Marie soon joined the family. In September of 1918 Maria (Summinen) Lammi, took ill with flu like symptoms. She was sent to Mass General Hospital in Boston for care. It was here she died on the 18th. Her body was returned to Norwood for burial at Highland Cemetery. After which, Frank soon left Norwood, as he does not appear in any records. The second Norwood native causality of the Spanish Flu was Carl Carlson. He lived with his parents on Cedar Street. At the time he took ill he was stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey, preparing to serve with the American forces in World War I.

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37 Cedar Street – The Home of Sven P. Carlson

37 Cedar Street today, once the Carlson home. (photo LLKearney)

Sven Peter Carlson arrived in Boston in the Fall/Winter of 1896, with his wife Hannah (Johnson) Carlson and two year old son Carl from Misterhult, Sweden and they were heading to Norwood. By 1900, the US Federal Census shows us he was the owner of this house, and his family continued to own the home for over forty years. Sven found work in the paper mill. He and his wife had two more children after they arrived in Norwood, a son John Severen (1897-1963) and Harry (1900-1900). Hannah died in 1900 and Sven never remarried. Their son Carl was one of the first Norwoodians to die of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. He had enlisted to serve in World War I and was stationed at Camp Dix in New Jersey, when he took ill and died on September 22. His body was returned to Norwood and is buried in the family plot at Highland Cemetery.

This home remained in the Carlson Family, as Sven & Hannah’s son John became the next owner. He lived there with his first wife, Helen M. Cunningham (1894-1944) this couple did not have any children. John married a second time to Ligia J. Radzwill (1913-2001). John & Ligia did not have children either. The family home was sold some time in the late 1990s, after Ligia suffered a stroke and could no longer maintain the home.

48 Cedar Street – The First Home of Guido Stuntzner

48 Cedar Street today, once the Stuntzner home. (photo LLKearney).

Guido Albert Stuntzner was a self-motivated Norwood businessman who was highly determined to do well in this country.   He was born July 9, 1876 in Germany, arrived in the United States on August 11, 1888, and married Amelia “Emelie” L Reimer January 4, 1899 in Boston. They became the parents of four children, one who died in infancy. Guido Stuntzner died April 27, 1964 in Norwood. This Cedar Street house was his first home he owned in Norwood. However, he was living here on Cedar Street as early as 1897, (in #18) and was working as a cigar manufacturer. In 1900 he owned the property at #48 Cedar Street, and indicated in the census, he was a grocer. An advertisement in a 1900 Business directory indicates he was operating his store out of this Cedar Street address, but by 1903, his store was located at #2 Chapel Street, a place that later became his home. By 1918, his grocery store, “The Central Store,” was located in the Talbot block on Washington Street. By 1924, his home was located at 30 Bullard Street, a large rambling home, and by then he was the president of Norwood Buick Co, a business he maintained at 10 Cottage Street. When Stuntzer died, was a well-respected Norwood businessman, having served as director of three Norwood banks and as a trustee of the hospital.

Related:  This Day in Norwood History-September 30, 1913-Police Chief Lavers Suspended, Refuses to Open Safe

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