The W. Everett Furniture Manufactory. (Norwood Historical Society collection)

This intersection has lots going on as far as Norwood History goes. Directly in front of us is the site of Norwood Hospital. Currently, the hospital, which was flooded and damaged in June of 2020, is in the process of being rebuilt with an opening scheduled for spring of 2024.  That piece of land was once the site of the Everett Furniture factory, one of the first industries in South Dedham.  The furniture maker Jabez Boyden made furniture for his general store on a site near the Neponset River. In 1821 his employee and apprentice Willard Everett bought the business and moved it to this location on Washington Street, known back then as the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike. In 1865 the factory was destroyed by fire and Everett moved the business to Boston. He employed skilled German furniture makers and produced what was said to be some of the very first extension tables in the area. This furniture was highly valued and sold to wealthy people all over the United States and Europe.

The original Civic building (Norwood Historical Society collection)

From Winter St to Hoyle Street was the Norwood Civic Association, and Winter Street was open to Broadway and the Norwood Train Station. (my father’s family had a house at 21 Winter St, across from the playing fields of the Civic from 1917 until we sold it to the Norwood Hospital for expansion in the 70’s) The Civic Association was started by George F Willett in a progressive and future looking move to unite the various immigrant and local residents to form a more cohesive community. The buildings of the Civic Association contained an Auditorium, gymnasium, swimming pool, billiard room, bowling alley, social hall, meeting rooms, and recreation and playing fields along with four clay tennis courts. It was the center of much of the social life of the immigrant and working-class community outside the churches. In 1924 and 1930 fires extensively damaged many of the buildings. After the 1930 fire he sold the remaining buildings and fields and tennis courts to the town. The reaming building was the clubhouse that contained meeting rooms, the pool and social hall. In 1969 a large gymnasium was added and in 1981 the town sold the property to the Norwood Hospital who demolished the buildings. The Civic Center is now located in the center of town on the site of the Norwood Armory. The tennis courts were eventually replaced at the Endean /Coakley Middle School in South Norwood; however, the indoor swimming pool has never been replaced.

The Old Guild Junior High. Today is the Guild Medical Building. (photo by LLKearney)

Across Washington St is the Guild medical building. This was Norwood’s first Junior/Senior High School built in 1919. In 1921 an additional wing was added but it was only a temporary fix to the overcrowding. In 1926 a separate Senior High School was built on Nichols Street. In 2011 that building was demolished, and the current High School was erected on the site. The Guild School served as Norwood’s Junior High school until the early 70’s. when it then became an elementary school until fire damaged one wing. It was eventually sold and refurbished as the current medical /doctors building.

The Old Corner House (Norwood Historical Society collection)

To the left of Hospital main entrance.  Norwood’s first hospital was located to the left of the “old” hospital administration Building which was located next to the present post office.  It was a private health facility owned and run by Dr. Eben Norton. In 1913 George Willett purchased this facility. He moved a large house known as the Corner House which he had purchased with the Civic Association lands, from the corner of Washington and Hoyle Street to be joined to Dr. Norton’s health facility and the first Norwood Hospital was formed. It had 23 beds, an operating room, and dental and eye clinics. Within five years’ time it proved to be inadequate for the needs of the growing town and during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic the Civic Association buildings were used for the overflow of patients. In December of 1918 a group of concerned citizens Herbert Plimpton, Walter Tilton, James Hartshorn, Francis Foley, Alfred Ambrose, and R. Russell Williamson formed the Norwood Hospital Corporation. They immediately made plans to build a larger facility and the facility was completed in 1926. The original building was demolished in 2022 to facilitate the building of the hospital to replace the hospital damaged by the flooding.  During the next 25 years additional buildings and facilities were added. In 1981 they purchased the Civic lands and expanded.

To Learn more see these articles from This Day in Norwood

Norwood Civic Association to Open Today

Norwood Civic: Solving Many Social Problems

Corner House to Open

Emergency Hospital Open

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