SELECTMEN SIT AS JUDGES.
NORWOOD. Nov 16—Village hall, which seats 600 people, was crowded by the largest and liveliest party of citizens who have been in it for many a day, last night, upon the occasion of the duly advertised hearing upon the petition of the Norfolk Central street railway company for a location of its tracks through and along Washington st, from the Dedham line to the Walpole line. The three selectmen, Frank A. Pales, Fred L. Fisher and Geo. H. Bateman, called the hearing a little before 8 o’clock.
Mr John R. Bullard of Dedham, one of the counsel fur the company, presented the case of the petitioners in brief, and was followed by the engineer, Mr Worthington of Dedham, with profile maps and an elaborate explanation thereof. The treasurer, Mr Thomas T. Robinson, then stated that the route which some of the business people of Norwood wishes them to take through West Dedham, was two and one-eighth miles by actual measurement farther than the direct Washington st route, for which they had petitioned, and that it would increase the running time between the two towns 10 or 12 minutes each way, and further that it would involve the necessity on the part of the railway company to make an additional gross earning of nearly $30,000. which increased gross earnings it would be commercially impossible to realize from the section known as West Dedham.
Mr J. Warren Talbot, one of the aged citizens of the town, said that he thought that the proposed electric road if it followed its intended course, would be very dangerous where it ran under the two railroad bridges; that it would frighten horses and be dangerous for teams and foot passengers. He said that he was in favor of an electric road for short-distance travel, but that be thought it would be very wrong and almost wicked to antagonize the N Y. N H & H corporation, which he thought intended to do so much in the way of local railroad facilities.
Mr Robinson explained that he did not think there was any danger at the bridges mentioned, but that the company would be perfectly willing to be compelled to come to a dead stop at each side of the bridges before passing under them, and further that the company would be willing to share with the town its portion of the expense of the abolishment of the grade crossing in the New England road at Winslow’s station, said share of expense being estimated at about $5000. This change of grade has been decreed by the supreme court, and Mr Feely, the town’s attorney, who obtained the decree, has given notice of his intention to move for an inforcement thereof, if work is not commenced thereunder at once.
Judge John C. Lane as chairman of a committee of the Norwood business association. consisting of himself, Messrs Geo. Hill. Lewis Day, J. M. Tolan, Waldo Bigelow, J. A. Hartshorn, Fred L. Fisher and Dr Norton, said (hat they had been authorized by the association to appear at this hearing and to report their conclusions thereat in advance of their formal report to the association. which could not. of course, be made until its next meeting. He said that his committee had voted in favor of the general proposition of an electric road, but that they favored the West Dedham route, and an approach to Norwood through Nahatan st or some other of the nearby parallel ones, and a detour from Washington st in the town, so as to approach near to the proposed new depot at the foot of Day st en route.
Henry B. Baker, who proved to be the extra dry wit of the evening, and who brought down the house every time he got up, favored the direct route asked for, and begged his fellow citizens not to block this desirable improvement for petty personal considerations.
Rev Geo. Hill then asked Mr Robinson if it would be necessary to cut the shade trees along Washington st so as to disfigure them. It was soon made plain that this would not be the case.
Waldo Bigelow favored the West Dedham route because It would give Norwood the benefit of West Dedham business instead of having it go to Dedham as it now does. He suggested a rather irregular route instead of the proposed one along Washington st.
Lawyer Sheldon favored granting the petition. Mr Barrett opposed the running of electric tracks through Washington st.