In over forty years, between 1880 and 1920 over four million Italians began arriving in The United States, may coming from the poor agricultural towns located in Mezzogiorno region (the “boot” area). Those that came to Boston settled in the North End. As early as 1905, Italian immigrants were settling in South Norwood. Like the Syrians, Lithuanians and Polish, they found employment in Norwood’s factories. When New Pond was constructed in 1913, the builders relied heavily on Italian physical labor build the dikes, that hold back the waters of Hawes and Bubbling Brooks.
As the Italian newcomers established themselves into the community of South Norwood, they too formed business and organizations that supported and catered to Italians. In the 1920s Norwood’s Italians formed a benefit society, which later became the Italian-American Lodge 1235, and in 1933 the Norwood Italian Ladies Lodge was formed. The women of this organization to were devoted to fundraising for worthy causes. In June 1949, the Italian Social Club on Washington Street was incorporated. With its main purpose was “to unite all people on Italian descent, to encourage Italian culture, to assist social welfare ad to organize institutions of charity.” In the early 1930s, may Italian families who had been attending church services at St. Catherine’s became increasingly upset with how they felt the other members of the congregation had been treating them. They left the church and formed their own church, the “Assemblia Cristiano” or the Italian Christian Assembly (Church). Originally meeting in local homes, they bought the old Swedish Lutheran Church on Cedar Street in 1939, which was a short walking distance from South Norwood. 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.”