Monday, February 12, 2018


The F. W. Woolworth Company (Woolworth’s) first came to Middleborough in 1911, establishing a store in the American Building on South Main Street as Middleborough’s first chain department store. Increasing business prompted the company to have a building built to its own specifications on Center Street in 1927-28 (the building most recently occupied by Reedy's Archery), replacing the James Soule House which had originally stood on the site. This new building was built the same year that Woolworth’s principal Middleborough competitor W. T. Grant arrived in town. 

The building was purpose built for Woolworth's to that company's specifications by Arthur Shactman of Brookline, the owner of the property in 1927-28. Woolworth's proposed leasing the building for a period of 20 years commencing May 1, 1928 and ending May 1, 1948, with an annual rent of $3,600 for the first 10 years and $3,900 for the remaining years. In return, Woolworth's required the building to be "the same in workmanship and materials as the premises now occupied by the lessee at 297-297A Harvard Street, Brookline, Massachusetts." Specifications for the building were incorporated directly into the lease between Shactman and Woolworth's.
Woolworth’s occupied the southern store in the multi-store building. (The northern store in the block was occupied initially by the Park Cafe). In 1948, Woolworth's expanded to occupy the entire building and remodelled thoroughly in 1957.

Woolworth's closed its Middleborough store on December 24, 1971.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Winter Scene, c. 1923

A 1920s blizzard has tied up hapless motorists on South Main Street. The sole landmark recognizable today is the Central Congregational Church, the steeple of which can be seen plastered with snow. The buildings on the left have all since been replaced by what is now the Rockland Trust Company. At the time the building at the far left housed Williams' Specialty Shop, a business conducted by Harold Williams (later of Williams' Trading Post). The view is looking from the Four Corners.