Norwood’s town square was once known locally as”The Hook”. The name came from the iron hook that hung in front of Paul Ellis’ tavern, shown here on the left. Norwood Town Common occupies the site today. On this day in Norwood history in 1903, the Norwood Business Association and Board of Trade proposed new names for the area, along with new names for the park near the present-day Post Office.


Also “Hook Square” Disturbs the Serenity of a Tame Board .of Trade Meeting

The Norwood Business Association and Board of Trade were disappointed in failing to secure any one of its expected out-of-town speakers for last Tuesday evening. The monthly meeting was made quite interesting, nevertheless, by the consideration of a number of live local questions. The earlier part of the evening was devoted to Ward Witcher of Malden, who gave a number of humorous specialties. Mr. Witchor is a pretty good storyteller, but his best thing was a short orignal poem on Norwood.

Milton H. Howard of the committee on transportation reported that, owing to the cold weather, there had been a delay on the part of the railroads in perfecting their arrangements for running tho Norfolk & Bristol and the Blue Hill cars to Railroad avenue.

James A. Halloran reported on a letter received from Congressman Samuel L. Powers on the coal question and expressed his regret that the letter had not appeared in both the local papers.
Frederic J. Rea reported on the elm beetle pest, and there was considerable discussion on this subject. On motion of Mr. Halloran, the committee was instructed to confer with the tree warden and report on the matter more definitely at the April meeting of the association. W. T. Whedon favored a town appropriation of $300 for spraying trees. After some consultation with Mr. Rea and Chairman of Selectmen Fisher it was thought that the April discussion of the subject might out the town in position, with the aid of the association, to act upon the matter intelligently and that at some special town meeting in April, May or Juno an article could be placed in the warrant concerning an appropriation for sprinkling trees or for their examination by an expert.

Hon. F. A. Fales took up what was on the whole the most important matter of the evening in a report from the committee on permanent homo. Mr. Fates stated that the committee did not consider the establishment of a permanent home feasible, but presented his views and those of the committee as to three possible plans. The first was to leave things as they are and hold monthly gatherings in Oddfellows hall, where they are now held. The second plan, which the committee seemed to have some slight* leaning towards, was to have the association engage a hall and suite of anterooms in one of the new blocks likely to be put up in Norwood within the next year or two. Such a hall could be well adapted to general association purposes, and might perhaps be rented to the Woman’s Club and the Literary Club, giving the association a little income, and might be less expensive and less difficult to take care of the a clubhouse. Mr. Fales thought the total expense of such a hall might be about $1000 a year, including $200 for a janitor. The third plan was that already talked of by the association, the establishment of a permanent home or clubhouse. Mr. Fales thought the probable total cost of this would be between $8,000 and $11,000. The interest on the amount invested would be about $1,060 a year if money were borrowed ¡ from the cooperative bank. The great questions were whether the society could afford to enter into the enterprise without increasing the amount of the present annual dues, and whether all the objects and purposes of an association of this kind could be better achieved in an establishment of the kind proposed.

Mr. Wheelock stated that the committee has been unable as yet to find any business association like the one in Norwood which had such a home or clubhouse as the one talked of. He had heard of one town where there was a clubhouse building, costing $6,500, which he thought might quite possibly be about the kind of a building the association would want.

It was decided that the committee should present their three plans in a printed form for the consideration of the association at its April meeting.

Rev. W.B.Eddy, in lieu of Hon. F.O. Winslow, who is on his way to Jerusalem and other points, waved aside Mr. Witcher, who was anxious to do another turn in Vaudeville, and spoke on the squares. The committee thought that one of the most important events that had ever happened in old South Dedham was the purchase by Rev. Edwin Thompson, out of his slender salary, of all the liquor owned by Joseph Sumner and the pouring of it into the street. Therefore, the committee thought, the name “Sumner Square” a proper one and far preferable to “Hook Square,” which name Mr. Eddy poked some fun at. The other square at Guild, Washington, and Walpole streets not being a “square” in the opinion of the committee the name “Guild Corner” was suggested.

Waldo Bigelow thought that as Rev. Edwin Thompson was the real hero of the Joseph Sumner episode it would be better to adopt the name “Thompson Square.”

H. F. Walker thought, and W. T. Whedon agreed with him, that the name “Norwood Square” was better than any that had been suggested.

The association voted by the fateful majority of thirteen to adopt the name of “Sumner Square”. The picturesque name of “Guild Corner”, suggestive of North Sharon, North Walpole, and other rural localities, also went through, and the town will be asked to endorse these names at its annual meeting.

As most of the members of the association had gone home and as the hour was late the proceedings were brought to a termination.

(Norwood Advertiser- February 6, 1903)