Decision Of A Town Meeting—Old Home Week and Other Matters Considered

Washington Street at the foot of Vernon Street, looking North toward “The Hook”. Today’s Town Common is located approximately where the trees and building are at the far end of this photo on the right-hand side.

The special town meeting held last Monday evening to consider Old Home Week and other matters was fairly well attended and though there was considerable discussion it was quite a harmonious gathering, every appropriation asked for being granted. Town Clerk John F. Kiley called the meeting to order and read the warrant. When the nomination of a moderator was in order there was a sudden lull in the proceedings. For a moment or two, no one appeared to have a name to propose. Then the name of Francis O. Winslow was suggested and Mr. Winslow was elected moderator forthwith. Mr. Winslow expressed his thanks for the honor as an unexpected and pleasant welcome home.

The town without much debate accepted the widening of Walpole Street as laid out by the selectmen. Chairman Fisher explained that it was due to the Norfolk & Bristol Street railway putting in a new turnout in the Winslow neighborhood. The widening would occasion no expense to the town.

When Article 3, concerning the widening of Neponset Street, was reached and an appropriation of §150 asked for, it looked for a few moments as if there would be a tilt between Mr. Halloran and Mr. Fisher over Norwood, Canton & Sharon Street railway matters, and their history; but Mr. Halloran evidently thought the game hardly worth the candle and the appropriation went through after a brief discussion.

Town Treasurer Charles T. Wheelock offered an amendment to one of the articles that the money borrowed be paid by taxation in 1904, and this rule was adopted for nearly all the articles carrying appropriations with them.

The sum of §500 was appropriated for removing the ledge and grading Pine Street after some questions had been asked by George W. Cushing and George F. Willett, and after it had been explained that nothing had been done by the town to the street after it had been completed and accepted, some sixteen or eighteen years ago. The street leads out of Prospect Street and has hitherto come to a dead end, its ledgy terminal being a danger to travelers and a menace of damage suits against the town. The proposed improvement appeared to be very necessary.

The first important episode of the evening came in the discussion of the “Hook Square” matter. H. F. Walker proposed the name “Norwood Square” for the junction of Washington and Market streets, and later on made a very good speech for his motion, which was seconded by William U. Louden. James A. Hartshorn said in view of the fact that Rev. Mr. Eddy, who had proposed the name “Sumner Square,” was not present he would try and say something in favor of the name which embalmed the memory of an old resident, Joseph Sumner, and of an interesting incident connected with him. The Norwood Business Association had officially decided that the best name was Sumner Square and to recommend it to the town.

Related:  This Day In Norwood History-August 19, 1905-Town Clerk’s Notice To Physicians, Midwives, Parents

James A. Halloran, Esq., president of the Business Association, in seconding Mr. Walker’s motion to call the place “Norwood Square,” cast some doubt on the name “Sumner Square” having been the name really endorsed by a majority of the members of the association. The report imide by Rev. Mr. Eddy recommending the name “Sumner Square,” was adopted at a late hour when most of the members of the association had gone home. The names “Market Square” and “Norwood Square,” had been brought up at a town meeting at which no definite action was taken on them. According to Mr. Halloran’s view it was quite as fair to call “Norwood Square” the choice of the Business Association as “Sumner Square.” He believed that at a fully attended meeting of the association “Norwood Square” would have the preference.

H. Frank Walker thought “Norwood Square” the only really desirable name which could be selected. The name “Sumner Square” would apply much better to another section of the town where many of the Sumners formerly lived, and where there was already a Sumner Street. There was a square or common in this section which could quite properly be called “Sumner Square.” Mr. Walker related the anecdote of Rev. Edwin Thompson’s buying the rum of Uncle Joe Sumner and pouring it into the street. If they were seeking for the name of someone who had sold liquor in the square the speaker would state that there was a quantity of cider which had been seized and confiscated by the police and which even now was stored, in the square, they might as well give to the square the name of someone who had sold cider as to adopt the name “Sumner Square.”

Mr. Walker wanted a name given to the square which we are all proud of, which we all can and should be proud of—the name Norwood. We don’t like to speak too loud and to seem too boastful, but we like our town and are proud of it. People going through the town and coming through its busiest sections would be apt to ask, What place is this? If they hear the conductor on the electric call out “Norwood Square,” they would know where they were at. (Laughter.)

George W. Cushing did not know much about Mr. Sumner, but thought it not well to keep a man in memory simply because he had sold liquor.

Albert Guild thought the name “Norwood Square” a little misleading. It was hard to tell where the business centre of the town would be as the years went by. He moved that the square be called “The Hook.”

Related:  This Week In Norwood History-May 2

Michael Murphy thought “Norwood Square” a very inadequate name, and believed the name “Market Square” would be far more appropriate.

James M. Folan and W. T. Whedon favored the name “Norwood Square.”

Francis Hill, socialist candidate for selectman last spring, and who is a sort of leader and spokesman for the Socialist party, moved that the name selected be one in which we as free Americans might all take pride. He moved that we name the square “Independence Square,” in honor of the glorious Fourth of July, which occurs next Saturday.

James C. Murphy of Walnut Avenue thought if the watering trough were moved to a new location in the centre of the square it should be and probably would be in the near future that a very proper and pretty name would suggest itself. He moved the name he “Fountain Square.”

Moderator Winslow thought it might be well to take up each name separately and vote on it. The result of the voting was as follows:

Fountain Square, 3

Independence Square, 1

Market Square, 0

The Hook, 2

Sumner Square, 8

Norwood Square, 75

Those voting for the name “The Hook,” were Messrs. Albert Guild and Francis E. Corbett.

The name “Norwood Square” was then adopted unanimously, and the moderator declared it the official name.

The name of the square at the junction of Washington, Walpole, and Guild Streets was decided on very quickly. On motion of Milton H. Howard, seconded by George W. Cushing, it was decided to call it.“Guild Corner.”

Under Article 7 the proposition made by the Norwood Business Association that §350 be appropriated for the purchase of suitable apparatus and to defray the cost of spraying the trees of the town for the extermination of the elm beetle, was presented in a brief speech by James M. Folan. The appropriation was voted on with very little discussion.

The important issue of the evening, the matter of an appropriation for an Old Home Week observance then came before the meeting. James A. Hartshorn, on behalf of the Norwood Old Home Week Association, presented the matter to the voters with an appropriate accompanying motion and resolution.

Mr. Hartshorn stated that last year the Norwood Business Association had made a great success of an Old Home Day observance and those who had attended had felt well repaid for doing so in the pleasure they had found in meeting old friends and renewing old associations. But last year there had been some misunderstanding on the part of the townspeople as to the meaning and scope of the celebration. Some old residents had not quite understood that they would be welcome at the gathering. This year it was proposed to make the affair a general one for the town.

An Old Home Week Association had been formed and the necessary steps would be taken to make the affair a general one for all residents, new and old. Last year the amount necessary for the celebration had been raised by subscription. The total expense had been about §240. This year, in order to accommodate those who wished to participate, it had been decided that it would be a good scheme to erect a tent. There would doubtless be other expenses larger than those of last year and the association had felt justified in asking of the town an appropriation of §350. H. F. Walker seconded Mr. Hartshorn’s motion for this appropriation.

Related:  Reid Bros. Cleaners To Open New Plant Here This Thursday-This Day In Norwood History-September 23, 1964

George W. Cushing and Francis Hill asked some questions and raised some possible objections which were answered by James A. Hartshorn, James A. Halloran, James M. Folan, W. T. Whedon, and others. Mr. Cushing wanted to know if it would not be better to have a celebration once in five years instead of annually, and Mr. Hill wanted to know if the manufacturing establishments were to give their employees a holiday on Home Day.

Mr. Halloran replied that a half-holiday at least would be asked for by the association and that everything would be done to make the celebration one of the whole town without regard to social, political, or religious differences. Several speakers also answered Mr. Cushing’s questions and objections. The meeting voted unanimously in favor of the Old Home Week appropriation.

The town voted §300 for a heating plant in Engine House No. 1, §70 for a new hydrant near the Everett school property, §300 for steel cells for the town lockup, §150 for a fire alarm box at Water street, §700 for the grading of Railroad avenue and §600 for graveling Endicott street, a street much used by tannery teams and employees, which leads from Walpole street to Winslow avenue.

After disposing of fourteen articles and granting everything asked for in the warrant the meeting adjourned.


Origin of Norwood Names-James R. Savage Educational Center

James Savage held various titles throughout his life, including superintendent, principal, vice principal, veteran, and coach, and left a lasting impact on the educational community. He and passed away on Friday, October 25, 2013 at the age of 84. The…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.