Wednesday, August 19, 2009

View from Middleborough Town Hall No. 4, c. 1902

This view from the top of Middleborough Town Hall clearly shows Union Street in the foreground. In the center is a light-colored frame building with dark trim - the original Union Street School (1875). Throughout its history, the schoolhouse was never held in high public esteem. It was demolished to make way for a replacement (1937), following which lumber from this building is believed to have been used to construct the bleachers at Battis Field. To the right of the school is the French Gothic style Church of Our Saviour (1897) by noted Boston architect Ralph Adams Cram. Above the nave of the church is seen the Leonard & Barrows shoe manufactory (the U-shaped flat-roofed building with water tower and smokestack) which stood on the corner of Center and Pearl Streets and was later occupied by Plymouth Shoe. The most notable feature in the picture, however, is the Forest Street standpipe which interrupts the horizon line at the center of the picture. Constructed in 1884-85 on the highest point of land in the center of town, the standpipe provided a store for the community's water which was pumped from the well at the East Grove Street pumping station. The standpipe was a local landmark until 1915 when it was replaced by the concrete water tower on Barden Hill. At that time, the Forest Street standpipe was disassembled and sold for scrap, reportedly being made into barrels for sugar cane syrup in Puerto Rico.


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