South Dedham officially became Norwood when it was incorporated in 1872 However, long before it was incorporated Norwood was a growing town and busy stopping point for travelers from Boston going south to Wrentham, and on to Providence; and coming from those destinations to Boston. At that time there was no Town Square or even business district just a Hodgepodge of small streets, shops, and residences on or around Market Street (now Central St). The main building, Village Hall, built in 1860, was a huge building with stores on ground level and a large meeting hall on the second level. It was in the Village Hall where South Dedham residents voted to become a separate town, called Norwood. It stood on the corner of Washington and East Cottage St. where the Folan Block is now. In 1915, George Willett purchased the building and moved it to the corner of Broadway and Nahatan st. where the small strip mall stands today. It continued to serve as the Village Hall for many years and then became the home of the Boston Piano Company, the Norwood Messenger, and the Ambrose Press. It burned down in an enormous fire in 1964. The streets around the “Hook” consisted of a village tailor (where St. Catherine’s now stands), a general store (further along what is now Washington St and which later moved to the Boyden Block), Tinker’s Drugstore, and a hotel that had many names over the years, including the Paul Elli’s Tavern, Tiot Tavern, Norwood Hotel, and Norwood House.
Today Norwood’s Town Square serves as the main focal point of Norwood’s downtown. Border by the Memorial Town Hall, the Norwood Theater, the Civic Center, restaurants, and churches, it is a hub for community activity all year long.
The Town Square, is indeed a prominent feature of Norwood’s downtown area. It is surrounded by four major town roads. Each of these roads contain many important local landmarks, thus adding to the vibrancy of downtown Norwood.