This 1890’s photograph looks south on Washington Street from the top of the Universalist Church on the corner of Nahatan Street (now the United Church). On the east side of Washington street you can see Village Hall and the original site of the First Baptist Church, which was moved to Bond Street in 1951. In the distance behind the church is the Everett school, which stood approximately where the Norwood Post Office is today. Note the difference on the west side. Some twenty years after this photo was taken, as George Willett enacted his plan to create a business friendly downtown area, many of the prominent homes at the top right of this photo were moved further back onto Cottage, Vernon and Day streets to make way for retail business blocks. (Norwood Historical Society Collection)

East Walpole’s slight shadow of a scrimmage with Walpole Centre over the seeming swinishness of Walpole people in opposing East Walpole’s getting a small strip of electric road built into it, recalls many memories and suggests much philosophic thought. It is pretty clear that East Walpole and the centre of the town are likely to pull together or push against one another for a long time to come. Annexation to Norwood has been more than once talked of by East Walpole. The creation of a new town of East Walpole has been talked of not a little lately. Neither of the plans is likely to be considered seriously just at present, but the time may come when one or the other of these plans may be earnestly sought.

The possible creation of new towns suggests many memories and reflections. Twenty-five years ago the old parish of South Dedham was not of much more consequence than East Walpole is today. It had the tanneries, furniture manufactory and some other establishments, and rather better retail stores, and more of them than country villages are apt to have; but the car shops, the Press and other great industries were absent. To grow in the highest sense of the word, it needed the inspiration which comes of independent existence. It broke loose from old Dedham and its greater growth began. New stores, new churches, new buildings, increased wealth, improved railroad facilities, an electric railroad and other improvements have come in.

It is a question to some minds whether it is the best thing in the world to have a town grow rapidly—the best thing for the old time businessmen, we mean that it is a great thing for the masses of the people there can be no doubt, For the old- time businessmen the rapid growth of a town involves not a few sacrifices; it involves the probability, almost the certainty, that those who formed the town and grew up with it in its earlier struggle, will not reap great fortunes. Hence in a town like Norwood, men like those who formed the Norwood Business Association showed true patriotism and a spirit of selfeacriñce which should entitle them to the gratitude of the people of the town in which they live.

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To bring new industries into a town, to establish, for instance, a large-business plant which employs four hundred people or less, may look at first blush like a real benefit to a town and to the great mass of the people it is a benefit. But how about the people who subscribe money and give their time freely and cheerfully to bring new industries into town? Do they always reap great pecuniary rewards for themselves? The merchant who gave money to bring new industries into town finds that the increased population brings in new stores to compete with him; the property owner finds that the taxes are increased.

The rapid growth of a town has its advantages and its disadvantages. To the great mass of the people, the wage earners, the people who are, after all, the best people to pay their bills, the bone and sinew of a community’s life, the rapid growth of a town is a good thing. There is more business for the carpenter, the mechanic, the plumber, the laborer on the roads, the clerk, the farm laborer, the washerwoman, and the man who works by the day.

It is well for a town to grow, and to grow rapidly. It is well to have a general distribution of wealth. The rapid growth of a town involves some sacrifices, but the doer of good deeds can generally exercise a reasonable hope of reward, both in this world and the next.

The Norwood Advertiser