The dream of “home” that sustained so many soldiers during the long war years began to take tangible form when the war was finally over. The G. I. Bill of Rights put home ownership within the reach of many young family men.
More housing meant more people; conversely, the more people that came, the more housing that was built.
George Willett’s dream of Westover became a reality near the man-made pond that bears his name. The “baby boom” that followed the war meant that more schools had to be built and recreation facilities and services expanded.
The town attracted a mobile population, for cars were again plentiful, and major highways such as Route 1, placed both Boston and Providence within daily commuting distance.
In the 1950’s and 60s, Norwood experienced another great migration. People from Boston moved out to the suburbs, settled in Norwood, and bought homes here, but they continued to work in the city. Town gradually accepted and assimilated these new people as they had all the earlier immigrants.
In the 1970s, Norwood has entered the apartment age.
Townspeople are conscious of the need for delíbrate planning and care of the heritage, ecology, and economy.
The bus and the Buddliner have superseded the stagecoach and the steam locomotive. The tannery and the sawmill have gone the way of the hoopskirt factory, replaced by a number of light-manufacturing Industries, wholesalers, retailers, and laboratories more relevant to the present times.
The traditional industries that remain, the presses and the ink mill, for example, have had to modernize and grow to survive.
Aside from a few 18th-century houses, there are few historical relics in the town, people simply proceeded with the business of living.
They built few monuments and made no efforts at historic preservation until the beginning of this century.
Norwood is a hometown. This is a fact that people sometimes see so clearly only after leaving Norwood; then they want to come back, to come back home.
By Marguerite Krupp, Originally published in the 1972 Centennial Magazine
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