The Temple building today is home to a business (photo: Google Street View)

Temple Shaare Tefilah – 935 Washington Street

Although this building is located about a quarter of a mile north of Dean Street, it was an important place for many of South Norwood’s Jewish population. In 1908, seventeen Jewish families purchased a Torah and organized this temple. Initially they did not have a building of their own to hold meetings, and for sixteen years they met in a variety of locals homes. In 1924, they purchased a plot of land on Washington Street, across from the Norwood Press, and they built a temple. Early on the parishioners gave the religious services, but by the 1940s, Rabbi Joshua Wolgomoth became their religious leader. By 1966, the congregation had grown to over 175 families, and a new larger temple was built on Nichols Street. The building was sold and ever since it has been the site of several businesses.

Domino’s Pizza Building – 1023 Washington Street

Originally this was Maloof’s Market – a grocery & candy store. The 1930 census shows Elias and Effie Maloof owned a grocery store, and that they were living above it, and Norwood business directories confirm this. Elias passed away in 1949. By the mid 1940s this was known as The South End Market and was run by Charles “Chuckie” Elias. In the 1960s through the 1980s the Columbia Sub Shop called this building home. Today this shop has a Domino’s Pizza there.

Saad Building – 1024 Washington Street (at corner of Dean & Washington)

The Saad Building. (photo LLKearney)

George Jacob Saad was a carpenter, a builder, who has family still in the trades here. Saad built this building with retail space on first floor and residential space on second and third floors. One of the first stores to rent retail space the Saad building was Mal’s Department Store. They were here for several years before they moved to Rte 1. The Saad Family also built triple-decker next door at 18 Dean Street

Home of Thompson/Robbins/Abdallah/Donahue – 1027 Washington Street

It is possible this house dates back to the late 1700s, and is one of the original 14 houses located in South Norwood before this stretch of Washington Street was developed. It was part of a large estate. Originally the house was owned Robert and Sally (Rhoads) Thompson, who had a tannery on site. John Robbins bought the property from Mrs. Sally Thompson in the 1860s. He sold off a large portion, which became part of Swedeville. John Abdallah was next owner of property. At the time it came into Abdallah’s hands, it was still a sizable piece of property, which Abdallah took advantage of as he developed it, thus, helping to build South Norwood.

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(Note behind Domino’s is the “old Washington Street.” Washington Street was moved to put in the railroad over pass in 1897 to help cut down on fatal pedestrian accidents.  Up old Washington St was (or is) the home of John Robbins, who helped to develop Chapel Street The Abdallah’s bought the old Thompson/Robbins home and much of the land on this side of Washington St. The home is still in the Abdallah family. Further up the Old Washington Street was a train depot. It should also be noted that down Dean Street, before the railroad bridge was the home of George Morrill (now gone))

The old Sansone Building can be seen today on the upper level of this building (photo: LLKearney)

Whip-poor-will Café – 1029 Washington Street

            A Lunchroom (1943 Business Directory)

Sansone Building – 1032 to 1050 Washington Street

The several store fronts that replace the Sansone Building (photo: LLKearney)

This was an incredibly large building as it stretched along Washington Street for an entire block – from corner of Dean Street all the way to Sturtevant Avenue. It was developed and owned by Charlie Sansone. It had apartments on the upper levels and commercial space at street level. Over the years businesses included a tailor, a cigar shop, in 1942 Boston Shoe was located here, in 1923 Peter Lacarno had a bakery, and in 1943 Salvatore Gulla operated his Grocery & Provisions business. Unfortunately a terrible fire destroyed most of this building, but a small portion is still visible. It is hiding behind and on top of the building constructed to replace what was lost.

Norfolk County Athletic Association – 1037 Washington Street (building now gone)

Nick Abdallah poses with a horse pulled truck…but behind him is the Prager Cafe building, now gone. (Norwood Historical Society collection)

This building was located between the Abdallah’s house and South End Hardware. The building is now gone, but it appears to be a single story building that housed several shops. One was Prager’s Press Café, which was a Lunchroom in the 1920s and was operated by Morris Prager. Also at this location was the Norfolk County Athletic Club in the 1940s. It was more of a speakeasy, but it had a Bowling Ally and poolroom. It was owned and operated by Joseph Shapiro.  The proprietors were given advance notice of liquor raids and would hustle the booze out the back door and hide it in the woods near the railroad tracks.

They Shared building with….

A & P Grocery Store – 1037 Washington Street

The Atlantic & Pacific Grocery Store was a national grocery chain. This particular store was located at this site for many years as it is listed in many Norwood Business Directories.

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DiMartzo & Poce Barbers – 1036 Washington St (corner of Dean & Washington)

Andrew Poce and his brother in law DiMarzo had a barbershop there. It was the second store from corner.

Nathan Chipman Cobbler Shop – 1038 Washington St. (in 1940s)

Chipman repaired shoes and leather goods at this site in the early 1940s, but by 1943 the shop was called the South Norwood Electric Shoe Repair.

South End Hardware – 1043-1047 Washington Street

The South End Hardware, today Nick’s Package Store. (photo: LLKearney)

John Abdallah came to Norwood in 1912 and established this store. It was named after Boston’s South End. This store was one of South Norwood’s mainstays and was an integral part of the community. It was often thought of as the “Town Hall of South Norwood.” In the 1930s, South End Hardware was the biggest hardware store in Norfolk County. It had a branch of the Post Office, but when the Abdallah’s was granted a liquor license, they had to close this Post Office branch, as it was illegal to sell alcohol in a post office. When John Abdallah retired, his son Nicholas took over the business. Over the years, Nick was known as “The Mayor of South Norwood.”

First National Grocery Store – 1050 Washington Street

The First National Grocery Store was a local grocery chain. It had a location in South Norwood, for over twenty years and was directly across the street from the A&P. It is listed in 1923 & 1942 Norwood Business Directories.

Empty Lot next to South End Hardware – 1053 Washington Street

The building that was here for many years had two stores at street level and four apartments on the upper level(s). It was torn down in the late 1990s/early 2000s and today is an empty lot. However, over the years there were several business that rented space here. Some included:

  • A Touch of Italy/Salem Foods,
    • Beauty Shop
    • Beverly Flynn’s candy shop
    • Mrs. Hunter’s Gift shop.  
    • Norwood Tool and Industrial Supply (Kennedy’s)
    • Roseanne’s Bakery – The Silvestris (Alphonse & Mary) who lived on Tremont Street owned it. Their Bismarcks were wonderful too. Everything was made in a wonderful manner. Remembered for their Chocolate Cookies and doughnuts.
    • Trianon Café – had been established by 1935 when Hunter Baltimore Rye Whisky took out an advertisement in the Boston Herald listing the Trianon as a place one could get their whisky. It was listed under “Restaurants” in 1943 Business Directory. The Café was known as a dive where a murder occurred in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Local papers carried stories on break-ins, bar fights and complaints made by South Norwood residents regarding this bar. The restaurant had several owners over the forty years it existed.  Joanne Kelly was the last owner in 1972 when she sold it to the Begleys.
    • Headquarter’s Café – took over the restaurant space when the Trianon Café closed its Doors in 1972. Frank & Shirley Begley owned this restaurant for eight years, selling it to Kenneth and June Pouillon in 1980.
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Italian Social Club – 1056 Washington Street

Italian Social Club. (photo: LLKearney)

The Italian Social Club was incorporated in June of 1949. Its purpose was “to unite all people on Italian descent, to encourage Italian culture, to assist social welfare and to organize institutions of charity.” They have often hosted blood pressure clinics for the people of Norwood.

The Polish Co-operative Grocery Store – 1057 Washington Street.

The Polish Cooperative Grocery Store operated at this site in the 1920s. It was managed by Charles Prochonowicz in 1924 and John Uservitch, and was the favorite place for South Norwood Poles to shop for their groceries.  Today, the building is gone and it is only an empty lot next to Nick’s.

Block of Independent Stores (photo: LLKearney)

Pearlman Drugstore – (1060) Washington Street (at corner of Sturtevant & Washington)

Pearlman Drugstore at the corner of Sturtevant and Washington. The local people used to go for sodas, ice cream and perhaps prescriptions. You could a big bar of Hersey’s chocolate. Lots of chocolates, standup scales.

Block of Independent Stores – 1066 & 1068 Washington Street (at corner of Stuvasant)

This has long been a block of independent stores – a barbershop, a tailor, and Kenny’s Clothing Store, where just a few shops that occupied the stores here.  In 1923 the South Norwood Market was here. Until recently it had been the home of Nick’s Restaurant and Beijing Kitchen. Today the Golden Bull occupies one of the stores.

The old Independent Furniture Store building. Today the home of a barber and a nail salon. (photo: LLKearney)

Independent Furniture – 1076 Washington Street

Independent Furniture was owned and operated by Benny Koznick. His furniture Store was at this location for many years. At one time this building was occupied by spaghetti factory. Residents recall lining up to buy spaghetti by the case. Later Polish bakery called Starlight the made a heavy black bread here. Today it is the “Happy Nails” salon and Sam & Chris’ Barber shop share the building.

Gas Station – 1081 Washington Street (corner of Oolah and Washington)

Gas station…back in the day (Norwood Historical Society)

Opened in the mid 1900’s this service/gas station not only took care of your automobile needs, but was also a popular place for South Norwood kids to hang out. The station is long gone, but the buildings are still standing…vacant.

Gas station…today. (photo: LLKearney)

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