Firemen Save Old Village Hall After Short Battle

Building Was Town’s First Moving Picture Theatre

Circa 1900

One of the oldest landmarks in Norwood, Old Village Hall, was threatened by fire last night when flames started in the elevator motor high up in the old building. Firemen saved the building in a 10-minute battle.

The glow of the lire cast skyward through a skylight at the top of the elevator well was seen by a motorist, who reported the fire to the Norwood fire station. At 4:23 n still alarm called the firemen to the wooden-frame, three-story structure on Broadway at the corner of Nahatan street.

A second alarm. Box 351, was pulled in at the firehouse at 6:33 p m. The all-out sounded at 7:22 p.m.


Three fire department trucks, the ladder and two engine companies. responded to the blaze and were up in the top floor of the building in record time. The firemen, headed by Fire Chief Alonzo Earle, put two water lines into the building and carried in several hand extinguishers to battle the flames.

They found the fire threatening the building. The blaze was found burning around the 25-horsepower elevator lift motor at the top of the elevator well. Firemen put up ladders to the lop of the well and squelched the blaze with carbon dioxide extinguishers. As a safety precaution to prevent the fire from possibly starting up again. Chief Earle directed the firefighters to cover the motor and fire area with “foam”.

The building is one of the oldest in Norwood and for about half a century was located on Washington street at the corner of Cottage street. It was moved to its present location about 23 years ago when the Folan block was erected.

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The fire-threatened building. In the old days, was known as Old Village Hall. It has also been popularly known as the Boston Piano Supply and now it Is generally known as the Old Messenger Building.

The older generations in Norwood recall that It was in this old landmark where they saw the first moving picture. It was In the days of silent films when romantic girls and boys sat In the back row and the smaller youngsters sat down front to hiss at the villain.

It was in the block that many of the organizations held their meetings In bygone years. It is now used by Winslow Brothers and Smith tannery as a storage house.

December 3, 1942 – The Norwood Messenger