That was lovely evening.
Thank you Walpole Historical Society and all volunteers who made this happen.
A new book from the Walpole Historical Society about the history of Lewis Avenue ( available at the society Saturdays 1-4)
Lewis Avenue, Walpole Massachusetts 1875-1925; a history of a neighborhood By Betsey Dexter Dyer
Lewis Avenue was the first suburban style subdivision in Walpole. In 1875, it was laid out as a straight avenue with sidewalks and a tree canopy and squared off house lots of identical size. The owner of the subdivision was Willard Lewis, whose mill The Lewis Cotton Batting Company was one of the largest employers in town. Immediately, Lewis set aside two lots for his two children and soon after speculators were buying and selling the rest of the lots and building homes. Over its first fifty years Lewis Avenue was a place of firsts: one of the first streets to have electricity, home telephones, piped water and sewage.
The research for this book on Lewis Avenue uncovered several major themes in the development of the neighborhood. It was one of the first middle class Irish neighborhoods with several important residents for the building of Blessed Sacrament Church. Lewis Avenue was a “merchant’s row”. Being very close to Walpole Centre, it was a convenient walking commute for the owners and managers of many downtown stores. There were also homes of many of the middle managers of local mills including the Lewis Cotton Batting Mill which eventually became the Kendall Company. Willard Irving Lewis, heir to the Lewis mill lived in the neighborhood all his life.
Not only are there detailed chapters for each house and its residents, over a fifty year period, but also some surprising digressions. These include some analyses of Walpole’s first home mail delivery, first police chiefs, and the building of the Walpole public library at the corner of Lewis Avenue and Common Street. The latter required that one Lewis Avenue house be put on rollers and moved down the street.
The architecture and design of several homes on Lewis Avenue are described in depth including one that is the first concrete house in Walpole and another that is an early work of the architect J. Williams Beal who designed the Town House and some other iconic places in town. The designer of Bird Park, John Nolen seems to have been an influence on the development of a riverside lot in the neighborhood. The Watson family, known for its candy store, had its origins on a chicken farm just over the river on Lewis Avenue.
There is even a lengthy (and the author hopes entertaining) appendix that delves into the question of why a nearby home on Common Street is sometimes called “the spite house”!
The book is available for $20 at the Walpole Historical Society 33 West Street on Saturdays 1-4
Hello, i recently visited the Lewis house (Walpole Historical Societies headquarters ;O) and I think I fell in love.
I will be back!
I encourage others to visit as well:
You have a real treasure at Walpole Historical Society!
The name is Anne Marie Lepage.
Thank you so much for the amazing tour we (members of Sharon Historical Society) experienced today.
Does anyone have any ties to the former Karol's cafe on rte 1 in walpole? I found a piece of memorabilia and would like the family to have it.
Any help identifying the people would be appreciated. Willing to donate the photos to the historical society, or the families.
Would you have any photos of Ganawatte Farm that was located in South Walpole? (Off of Pine Street - on the "other side" of Route 1)
Fales Foundry was operating in the 1800s and 1900s on property beside Glenwood Ave. to make gray cast iron castings. It was understood that at the end of the day some of the workers made casting of their own. These included cast iron fire place andirons in the form of an eagle with holes for eyes. In these holes marbles were placed so that the eyes could glow from the burning logs.
It would be appreciated by the Walpole Historical Society to learn about these. If anyone knows about them we could be contacted by letter or photo. The Society is located at 20 West St. Walpole, MA 02081 Attention: K.West
I received my certificate in the mail today of my supplemental membership to the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) by descent from Daniel Rhoads who was born 1752 in Stoughtonham and died 1830 in Walpole. He was married to his wife Lydia in the town of Sharon. I am descended from their first born son, Reuben. If there are any other descendants of Daniel & Lydia Rhoads who are interested in joining the SAR or DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), I would be happy to share the details of my verified lineage.
I also contributed a short biography that I wrote about him to the SAR website:
Stop by the Historical Society TODAY from 12-4 for our first ever craft fair!!! We have a wide variety of jewelry, decorations, accessories, trinkets, sweets, and more that are sure to help you get your holiday shopping done!! Come visit us at 33 west street and help us make our first craft fair an awesome one!!
The clock tower in East Walpole needs to be restored!
Anyone happen to know what this was used for?