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What is the history of Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
"Southbridge, a post-village in Southbridge township, Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 32 miles E. of Springfield. It is on a branch of the New York & New England Railroad, 70 miles W.S.W. of Boston. It contains about 6 churches, a national bank, a savings-bank, a high school, a newspaper office, and manufactures of cotton prints, delaines, calicoes, carriages, shoe-knives, boots, &c. The township contains Globe Village. Pop. in 1890, 7655."

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott

Southbridge includes: Brookside, Dennison District, Globe, Hooker District, Lensdale, Morse District, Sandersdale (Saundersdale), and Shuttleville.
netronline.com/ mass_lookup.htm

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  • About Southbridge, Massachusetts
    Southbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
    The area was initially inhabited by the Nipmuck and Mohegan tribes, with the Quinebaug River dividing thei...Read MORE...


  • John Winthrop, Jr. purchased a tract of land around 1638 in what was to become Southbridge. It was purchased for mining ore for graphic deposits.

    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996

  • 1730 - Southbridge is settled

    Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates

  • In 1732 (Southbridge), Moses Marcy built a saw mill and a few years later, a grist mill.

    Street Corners of Southbridge,

  • By 1775, small businesses like coopering and carpentry were started in Southbridge. The town reached a population of about 400 inhabitants and a school and a meeting house were erected.

    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996

  • By 1814, some textile mills were built in the Globe section of Southbridge, and downstream, in an area known as Centre Village, the business district began to establish itself.

    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996

  • February 15, 1816, Southbridge was officially recognized as a town. Population 830.
    The first town meeting was held several weeks later, March 6, 1816, which included the election of five selectmen. They included Capt. Gershom Plimpto...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Harrington Cutlery Company
    1818 Cutlers
    Manufacturers "Dexter" Knives and Blades
    established June 18, 1818 by Henry Harrington
  • 1826 - William Beecher comes to Southbridge
    In 1826 William Beecher, a jeweler and watchmaker, settles in Southbridge, a small town on the Massachusetts / Connecticut border. He is part of a rel...Read MORE...


  • News 1830 - Water Snakes
    Mr. Ephraim Wheelock, of Southbridge, Mass. while mowing, came in contact with a large water snake, measuring 3 feet 9 inches. After killing it, he c...Read MORE...


  • 1833 - Manufacturing of Spectacles Begins
    Within seven years of his arrival in Southbridge, William Beecher opens a shop above his jewelry store to manufacture spectacles. Business prospers. B...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Hamilton Woolen Mills, postmarked 1910

    "Located in the Globe Village section of Southbridge, the company incorporated in 1831, with a capital of $200,000, The company started a newsletter, called "The Hamiltonian", the first issue was published... Read MORE...

  • 1845 - SOUTHBRIDGE. [Pop. 2,031.Inc. 1816.]
    Southbridge was composed of portions of Sturbridge, Charlton, and Dudley.

    The Quinebaug passes across the township, and affords abundance o...Read MORE...


  • 1848 - Southbridge
    SOUTHBRIDGE was originally a part of Sturbridge, Chariton, and Dudley. It was incorporated as a town in 1814. The first church was organized here in 1...Read MORE...


  • French Canadian Emigration to the United States 1840-1930
    Source:
    Marianopolis College
    faculty.marianopolis.edu/ c.belanger/ quebechistory/ readings/ leaving.htm


    "...the emigration of French Canadians ...Read MORE...


  • 1854 - Southbridge
    Southbridge, a post-village in Worcester co., Massachusetts, near Quinnebaug river, 60 miles S. W. from Boston, contains 2 or 3 churches, and 1 bank. ...Read MORE...


  • 1862 - Robert Cole Takes Over
    Southbridge, Massachusetts - William Beecher, prominent spectacle maker, retires in 1862 and Robert Cole takes over the firm... George Wells, a school...Read MORE...


  • News 1863 - Fire
    A fire in Southbridge, Mass., on Saturday morning, destroyed the Baptist church, the Tammany Hall Building, the Amidon brick block, and Dr. Hartwell's...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Hotel Columbia, postmarked 1910
    Built in 1867, by Leonard Cutler. Purchased by Thomas F. Murphy in 1904.
    "This hotel has forty rooms and a restaurant for its guests, and is a leading hostelry of Southbridge." www.digitalcommonwealth.org

  • 1869 - American Optical is Formed
    Southbridge, Massachusetts - The merging of two competing spectacle making companies results in the formation of the American Optical Company.
    (massmoments.org)

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Main American Optical Co. Factory, Southbridge, Mass.

    "The name 'American Optical Co.' dates back to a meeting on Feb. 26, 1869, of members of two neighboring Southbridge firms, Robert H. Cole & Co. and H.C. Ammidown & Co. They met to combine... Read MORE...

  • Blacksmith Shop in Westville
    "The Blacksmith shop, located between the bridge and the river bend, was operated by Mr. Charles Anger, maternal grandfather of the large Laliberte fa...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA

    Charles Anger's blacksmith shop in the Westville section of Southbridge
  • 1879 - George Wells accumulates AO stock
    George Wells has accumulates a majority share in the stock of the American Optical Company. Wells builds the A.O. into the largest optical company in ...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    C. C. C.
    Connecticut Clothing Co.
    Bates & Lindsey
    Putnam, Conn.
    Southbridge, Mass.
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    1882 ad
    J. & W. Booth
    Furniture & Coffin Warerooms
    Paints of all kinds
    paper Hangings, Curtain Fixtures, Frames, &c.
    Alden's Block, Globe Village

    1882 Massachusetts City Directory - Webster and Southbridge (MA)
  • News 1883 - Bound to Get Away
    BOSTON, June 22. - J. P. Olds was arrested at Southbridge to-day on a charge of stealing large quantities of gold from the American Optical Company. O...Read MORE...


  • News 1884 - FIRE RECORD. AT SOUTHBRIDGE.
    Worcester, August 9. - The Columbian mill at Southbridge, with a boarding house and tenement, burned this morning. The mill had 9,000 spindles and emp...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Town Hall & High School, Elm Street, postmarked 1910, built in 1888
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    The Journal, Southbridge, MA, Thurs. June 7, 1888
  • News 1889 - Early to Bed
    Southbridge goes to bed early as a rule. A stranger in town always notices how quiet the streets are after 9 p.m. Ten o'clock usually finds scarcely a...Read MORE...


  • News 1889 - Largest Spectacle Factory in the World
    Southbridge, Mass., has the largest spectacle factory in the world. More than 3/ 4 of the gold spectacles and eyeglasses made in this country are made ...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts 1890
    Southbridge is a prosperous and important manufacturing town lying in the southwesterly part of Worcester County, 27 miles from the city of Worcester,...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Westville section of Southbridge

    "...The principal part of the population and of the property is the Village of Westville, situated in a bend of the Quinnebaug River, near the bridge, marked A., on the subjoined plan. The distance from this... Read MORE...

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Elm Street
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Main Street
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    View of South Main Street
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Town Hall (built in 1888) and Congregational Church
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Bank Building, Main Street, postmarked 1906, razed January 3, 1975

    "Constructed of brick with brownstone trimmings, located on Main Street, the Southbridge Savings and the Southbridge National Banks are adjacent to the YMCA building (razed... Read MORE...

  • News 1894 - DEADLY RAILROAD CROSSING. TWO KILLED OUTRIGHT AND MANY ARE INJURED.
    WORCESTER HAS ANOTHER ARGUMENT AGAINST THE GRADE CROSSING.

    Worcester, Mass., Nov. 30. - The most horrible accident which ever occurred in Southbrid...Read MORE...


  • 1894 - Gedeon Gregoire establishes a shoe repairing shop in Southbridge
    Gedeon Gregoire... came to Southbridge and started a shoe repair shop. In 1923, business had grown. His sons Joseph & Roland joined the frim and the p...Read MORE...


  • 1895 - Southbridge
    Southbridge, a post-village in Southbridge township, Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 32 miles E. of Springfield. It is on a branch...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Hamilton Street
  • News 1899 - $2,000,000 for Southbridge People?
    SOUTHBRIDGE, MASS., March 17. - It is believed here that the family of Mrs Lucier, mother of Michael Lucier, of Southbridge, has fallen heir to $2,000...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Fire Department Headquarters, Elm Street, built in 1899, postmarked 1905

    "The building for the Centre companies is in process of erection on Elm street and will cost upwards of $25,000, including land. The uniformed members of the department and... Read MORE...

  • By 1900, Southbridge had a population of 10,000, with an estimated 6,000 of French-Canadian ancestry.

    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Marcy Street School
    (built around 1898, demolished July 1962)

    "Marcy Street Grammar School, located in the heart of the Centre Village. The front entrance of the Victorian brick facade is shown. The building has a Queen Anne style turret,... Read MORE...

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Chapin Street
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Elm Street
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    July 4th Celebration on Main Street (around 1900)
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Main Street Looking South
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Union Church, Hamilton Street

    "The Evangelical Free "Union" Church was organized in 1854. The agent, executives of the Hamilton Woolen Company and other Globe Village businessmen initiated the construction project. As a consequence, it was often... Read MORE...

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Main Street, looking W. Southbridge, Mass.
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Residence of Channing M. Wells. This home was originally built by Moses Plimpton. Channing Wells was one of the owners of the American Optical Company.
  • News 1904 - Town Stricken With Diphtheria
    Southbridge, Mass., Oct. 24. - An epidemic of diphtheria prevails in Southbridge to an extent that alarms the members of the board of health, who will...Read MORE...


  • 1906
    Southbridge, a banking post-village in Southbridge township (town), Worcester co., Mass on the Quinebaug River, about 32 miles E. of Springfield, and ...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Southbridge, Mass., Post Office Square, looking West - 1907
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    American Optical Co. Works, Southbridge, Mass. - 1909
    A portion of the American Optical Company Plant, Lensdale, Southbridge, Mass.
  • News 1910 - BANK TREASURER NOT FOUND.; Shortage in Southbridge Savings Bank Believed to be About $100,000.
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass, Jan. 22. - John A Hall, the Treasurer of the Southbridge Sayings Bank, which was closed yesterday by an injunction after the discover...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    St. Mary's Church
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Residence of Joel Cheney Wells

    On the north side of Main Street were the side-by-side residences of George Washington Wells, founder of American Optical; and his son Joel Cheney (J.C.) Wells. This house no longer exists. It has been replaced by... Read MORE...

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Main Street View - Baptist Church
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Birds Eye View
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Central Mills Dam
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Main Street, 1910
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    View from Page Hill (Paige Hill)
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Southbridge from Page Hill (Paige Hill)
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Railroad Station
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Railroad Station, built 1910
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    American Optical Co. - 1910
  • 1911 - Southbridge
    "SOUTHBRIDGE, a township of Worcester county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on the Quinabaug river (which here falls 165 ft.), about 20 m. S.S.W. of Worceste...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Eglise Notre Dame
    (Notre Dame Church) (1912)
  • News 1913 - REVIVE GRAND TRUNK WORK. Construction of Southern New England Line to be Resumed.
    Special to the New York Times.

    SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 22 - Work is to be resumed immediately on the Southern New England Railway, the Grand Trun...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Brochu Academy
  • 1916 - Southbridge
    "Southbridge, a banking post-village in Southbridge township (town), Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 32 miles E. of Springfield, a...Read MORE...


  • News 1918 - Help Wanted
    Help Wanted - Help Wanted in Southbridge, Mass., to work in Hamilton Woolen Co., established nearly 100 years, employing 2,000 hands. Easy work, stea...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    High School
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Home of J. E. Paige
    39 Elm Street
    At one time this house was owned by United States Representative Calvin De Witt Paige, (1848-1930).
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Southbridge National Bank

    "Southbridge National Bank built in 1930, by F. X. Laliberte & Co., of Southbridge. Stone plaque over door inscribed 1929. Located on the south side of Main Street between Elm and Everett streets. Four majestic columns... Read MORE...

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    The Harrington Memorial Hospital

    "Built during the Depression, the Harrington Memorial Hospital was opened on Labor Day, September 7, 1931. The first facility had 34 adult beds and 6 children's cribs. The brick structure was constructed by local... Read MORE...

  • News 1934 - SOUTHBRIDGE DIRECTORS VOTE TO LIQUIDATE MILL
    MEANS THAT 1,000 WOOLEN WORKERS MUST FIND JOBS ELSEWHERE

    Boston, Dec. 19 - (AP) - The board of directors of the Hamilton Woolen Co. of Southbridge ...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    High and Grammar Schools
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Post Office
  • News 1938 - New Mask Invented - His Face Is Dirty
    His Face Is Dirty - Seeking to combat silicosis, lung malady suffered by those who work in dust, researchers for the American Optical Company of South...Read MORE...


  • 1939 - When World War II broke out, Southbridge had a population of 16,801.

    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Southbridge Tool Company, Charlton Street, Southbridge, MA - 1941 - Edgar Tremblay, Archie Gagnon, Joseph Seremet
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    A Portion of the American Optical Company Plant, Lensdale, Southbridge, Mass.
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    American Optical Company, Southbridge, Mass.
  • News 1945 - Maker of Bomb Very Depressed
    Maker of Bomb Very Depressed - Southbridge, Mass. August 17 (UP) - A scientist who helped develop the atomic bomb said today, with permission of the W...Read MORE...


  • 1945 - Radio Phone for Pocket Use to Be On Market Soon
    "Radio Phone for Pocket Use to Be On Market Soon -- Southbridge, Mass., August 23 (UP) - A pocket-size radio telephone for civilian use, which will co...Read MORE...


  • News 1946 - Women See Colors Better
    Women See Colors Better - Southbridge, Mass (UP) - The American Optical Co., studying the incidence of color blindness, discovered that 90 percent of ...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Southbridge Tool Company, Curtis Street, Southbridge, MA - 1949 (approx. 5,000 sq ft of space)
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Ad for Southbridge Tool Company
  • News 1951 - New Goggles
    American Optical Co. of Southbridge, Mass. has a new airtight industrial goggle for use in working with gas fumes or smoke. The headband of the goggle...Read MORE...


  • News 1951 - New Machine Take Blood Directly from Veins for Red Cross
    New Machine Take Blood Directly from Veins for Red Cross - Southbridge, Mass. - (UP) - A new miracle machine that takes blood directly from your veins...Read MORE...


  • 1955 - WESO On the Air
    March 20 - Radio Station WESO goes on the air for a first time. Announcers and newscasters are Bob Binet, John Bunnewith, Joe Capillo, Esther Costa, B...Read MORE...


  • 1958 - Ames Worsted Textile Company
    Milton and Irving Gilman open their first store in the Ames Worsted Textile Co. mill in Southbridge. This is the start of Ames Department Stores, whic...Read MORE...


  • News 1961 - Keeping Out Noise
    Southbridge, Mass. (UPI) - A new plastic, anti-noise ear plug for military and commercial aviation purposes has been developed by American Optical Co....Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    American Optical Company
  • News 1975 - Ames Has Grand Opening At New Amenia Store
    From a humble beginning in an old factory building in 1958 to a modern new store in Amenia to serve the residents of the Harlem Valley area, Ames Disc...Read MORE...


  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Gregoire's
    Hamilton Street, Southbridge
  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    United Lens Company
    Worcester Street, Southbridge
  • News 1980 - Making Eyes
    In the days of old, someone who lost an eye wore an eye patch. That was replaced by getting a glass eye: now, American Optical of Southbridge, Mass. u...Read MORE...


  • THE BACK ROAD (About the AO Tunnel) by Joe Capillo
    Over the years, hundreds of thousands have walked its darken underground paths across the Quinebaug River.

    The AO service tunnel was a Wells family...Read MORE...


  • 2002 - Out of Business
    Ames Department stores, which began in Southbridge in 1958, goes out of business

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
    Bicentennial celebration, May 14, 2016


Old Photos, Pictures, Advertisements and Postcards from Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA


Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Harrington Cutlery Company
1818 Cutlers
Manufacturers "Dexter" Knives and Blades
established June 18, 1818 by Henry Harrington

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Hamilton Woolen Mills, postmarked 1910

"Located in the Globe Village section of Southbridge, the company incorporated in 1831, with a capital of $200,000, The company started a newsletter, called "The Hamiltonian", the first issue was published... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Hotel Columbia, postmarked 1910
Built in 1867, by Leonard Cutler. Purchased by Thomas F. Murphy in 1904.
"This hotel has forty rooms and a restaurant for its guests, and is a leading hostelry of Southbridge." www.digitalcommonwealth.org

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Main American Optical Co. Factory, Southbridge, Mass.

"The name 'American Optical Co.' dates back to a meeting on Feb. 26, 1869, of members of two neighboring Southbridge firms, Robert H. Cole & Co. and H.C. Ammidown & Co. They met to combine... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest

Charles Anger's blacksmith shop in the Westville section of Southbridge

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
C. C. C.
Connecticut Clothing Co.
Bates & Lindsey
Putnam, Conn.
Southbridge, Mass.

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
1882 ad
J. & W. Booth
Furniture & Coffin Warerooms
Paints of all kinds
paper Hangings, Curtain Fixtures, Frames, &c.
Alden's Block, Globe Village

1882 Massachusetts City Directory - Webster and Southbridge (MA)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
The Journal, Southbridge, MA, Thurs. June 7, 1888

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Town Hall & High School, Elm Street, postmarked 1910, built in 1888

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Westville section of Southbridge

"...The principal part of the population and of the property is the Village of Westville, situated in a bend of the Quinnebaug River, near the bridge, marked A., on the subjoined plan. The distance from this... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Elm Street

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Main Street

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
View of South Main Street

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Town Hall (built in 1888) and Congregational Church

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Bank Building, Main Street, postmarked 1906, razed January 3, 1975

"Constructed of brick with brownstone trimmings, located on Main Street, the Southbridge Savings and the Southbridge National Banks are adjacent to the YMCA building (razed... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Hamilton Street

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Fire Department Headquarters, Elm Street, built in 1899, postmarked 1905

"The building for the Centre companies is in process of erection on Elm street and will cost upwards of $25,000, including land. The uniformed members of the department and... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Main Street, looking W. Southbridge, Mass.

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Marcy Street School
(built around 1898, demolished July 1962)

"Marcy Street Grammar School, located in the heart of the Centre Village. The front entrance of the Victorian brick facade is shown. The building has a Queen Anne style turret,... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Chapin Street

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Elm Street

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
July 4th Celebration on Main Street (around 1900)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Main Street Looking South

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Union Church, Hamilton Street

"The Evangelical Free "Union" Church was organized in 1854. The agent, executives of the Hamilton Woolen Company and other Globe Village businessmen initiated the construction project. As a consequence, it was often... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Residence of Channing M. Wells. This home was originally built by Moses Plimpton. Channing Wells was one of the owners of the American Optical Company.

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Southbridge, Mass., Post Office Square, looking West - 1907

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
American Optical Co. Works, Southbridge, Mass. - 1909
A portion of the American Optical Company Plant, Lensdale, Southbridge, Mass.

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
American Optical Co. - 1910

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
St. Mary's Church

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Residence of Joel Cheney Wells

On the north side of Main Street were the side-by-side residences of George Washington Wells, founder of American Optical; and his son Joel Cheney (J.C.) Wells. This house no longer exists. It has been replaced by... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Main Street View - Baptist Church

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Birds Eye View

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Central Mills Dam

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Main Street, 1910

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
View from Page Hill (Paige Hill)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Southbridge from Page Hill (Paige Hill)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Railroad Station

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Railroad Station, built 1910

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Eglise Notre Dame
(Notre Dame Church) (1912)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Brochu Academy

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
High School

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Home of J. E. Paige
39 Elm Street
At one time this house was owned by United States Representative Calvin De Witt Paige, (1848-1930).

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Southbridge National Bank

"Southbridge National Bank built in 1930, by F. X. Laliberte & Co., of Southbridge. Stone plaque over door inscribed 1929. Located on the south side of Main Street between Elm and Everett streets. Four majestic columns... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
The Harrington Memorial Hospital

"Built during the Depression, the Harrington Memorial Hospital was opened on Labor Day, September 7, 1931. The first facility had 34 adult beds and 6 children's cribs. The brick structure was constructed by local... Read MORE...

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
High and Grammar Schools

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Post Office

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Southbridge Tool Company, Charlton Street, Southbridge, MA - 1941 - Edgar Tremblay, Archie Gagnon, Joseph Seremet

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
A Portion of the American Optical Company Plant, Lensdale, Southbridge, Mass.

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
American Optical Company, Southbridge, Mass.

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Southbridge Tool Company, Curtis Street, Southbridge, MA - 1949 (approx. 5,000 sq ft of space)

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
Ad for Southbridge Tool Company

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
Pinterest
American Optical Company

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Gregoire's
Hamilton Street, Southbridge

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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United Lens Company
Worcester Street, Southbridge

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Bicentennial celebration, May 14, 2016
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History and News of Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA

Add History/News
  • About Southbridge, Massachusetts
    Southbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
    The area was initially inhabited by the Nipmuck and Mohegan tribes, with the Quinebaug River dividing... Read MORE...

  • John Winthrop, Jr. purchased a tract of land around 1638 in what was to become Southbridge. It was purchased for mining ore for graphic deposits.
    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996
  • 1730 - Southbridge is settled
    Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
  • In 1732 (Southbridge), Moses Marcy built a saw mill and a few years later, a grist mill.
    Street Corners of Southbridge,
  • By 1775, small businesses like coopering and carpentry were started in Southbridge. The town reached a population of about 400 inhabitants and a school and a meeting house were erected.
    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996
  • By 1814, some textile mills were built in the Globe section of Southbridge, and downstream, in an area known as Centre Village, the business district began to establish itself.
    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996
  • February 15, 1816, Southbridge was officially recognized as a town. Population 830.
    The first town meeting was held several weeks later, March 6, 1816, which included the election of five selectmen. They included Capt. Gershom... Read MORE...

  • 1826 - William Beecher comes to Southbridge
    In 1826 William Beecher, a jeweler and watchmaker, settles in Southbridge, a small town on the Massachusetts / Connecticut border. He is part of a... Read MORE...

  • News  1830 - Water Snakes
    Mr. Ephraim Wheelock, of Southbridge, Mass. while mowing, came in contact with a large water snake, measuring 3 feet 9 inches. After killing it, he... Read MORE...

  • 1833 - Manufacturing of Spectacles Begins
    Within seven years of his arrival in Southbridge, William Beecher opens a shop above his jewelry store to manufacture spectacles. Business prospers.... Read MORE...

  • 1845 - SOUTHBRIDGE. [Pop. 2,031.Inc. 1816.]
    Southbridge was composed of portions of Sturbridge, Charlton, and Dudley.

    The Quinebaug passes across the township, and affords abundance... Read MORE...

  • 1848 - Southbridge
    SOUTHBRIDGE was originally a part of Sturbridge, Chariton, and Dudley. It was incorporated as a town in 1814. The first church was organized here in... Read MORE...

  • French Canadian Emigration to the United States 1840-1930
    Source:
    Marianopolis College
    faculty.marianopolis.edu/ c.belanger/ quebechistory/ readings/ leaving.htm


    "...the emigration of French Canadians ... Read MORE...

  • 1854 - Southbridge
    Southbridge, a post-village in Worcester co., Massachusetts, near Quinnebaug river, 60 miles S. W. from Boston, contains 2 or 3 churches, and 1 bank. ... Read MORE...

  • 1862 - Robert Cole Takes Over
    Southbridge, Massachusetts - William Beecher, prominent spectacle maker, retires in 1862 and Robert Cole takes over the firm... George Wells, a... Read MORE...

  • News  1863 - Fire
    A fire in Southbridge, Mass., on Saturday morning, destroyed the Baptist church, the Tammany Hall Building, the Amidon brick block, and Dr.... Read MORE...

  • 1869 - American Optical is Formed
    Southbridge, Massachusetts - The merging of two competing spectacle making companies results in the formation of the American Optical Company. (massmoments.org)
  • Blacksmith Shop in Westville
    "The Blacksmith shop, located between the bridge and the river bend, was operated by Mr. Charles Anger, maternal grandfather of the large Laliberte... Read MORE...

  • 1879 - George Wells accumulates AO stock
    George Wells has accumulates a majority share in the stock of the American Optical Company. Wells builds the A.O. into the largest optical company in ... Read MORE...

  • News  1883 - Bound to Get Away
    BOSTON, June 22. - J. P. Olds was arrested at Southbridge to-day on a charge of stealing large quantities of gold from the American Optical Company.... Read MORE...

  • News  1884 - FIRE RECORD. AT SOUTHBRIDGE.
    Worcester, August 9. - The Columbian mill at Southbridge, with a boarding house and tenement, burned this morning. The mill had 9,000 spindles and... Read MORE...

  • News  1889 - Largest Spectacle Factory in the World
    Southbridge, Mass., has the largest spectacle factory in the world. More than 3/ 4 of the gold spectacles and eyeglasses made in this country are made ... Read MORE...

  • News  1889 - Early to Bed
    Southbridge goes to bed early as a rule. A stranger in town always notices how quiet the streets are after 9 p.m. Ten o'clock usually finds scarcely... Read MORE...

  • Southbridge, Massachusetts 1890
    Southbridge is a prosperous and important manufacturing town lying in the southwesterly part of Worcester County, 27 miles from the city of... Read MORE...

  • 1894 - Gedeon Gregoire establishes a shoe repairing shop in Southbridge
    Gedeon Gregoire... came to Southbridge and started a shoe repair shop. In 1923, business had grown. His sons Joseph & Roland joined the frim and the... Read MORE...

  • News  1894 - DEADLY RAILROAD CROSSING. TWO KILLED OUTRIGHT AND MANY ARE INJURED.
    WORCESTER HAS ANOTHER ARGUMENT AGAINST THE GRADE CROSSING.

    Worcester, Mass., Nov. 30. - The most horrible accident which ever occurred in... Read MORE...

  • 1895 - Southbridge
    Southbridge, a post-village in Southbridge township, Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 32 miles E. of Springfield. It is on a... Read MORE...

  • News  1899 - $2,000,000 for Southbridge People?
    SOUTHBRIDGE, MASS., March 17. - It is believed here that the family of Mrs Lucier, mother of Michael Lucier, of Southbridge, has fallen heir to... Read MORE...

  • By 1900, Southbridge had a population of 10,000, with an estimated 6,000 of French-Canadian ancestry.
    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996
  • News  1904 - Town Stricken With Diphtheria
    Southbridge, Mass., Oct. 24. - An epidemic of diphtheria prevails in Southbridge to an extent that alarms the members of the board of health, who... Read MORE...

  • 1906
    Southbridge, a banking post-village in Southbridge township (town), Worcester co., Mass on the Quinebaug River, about 32 miles E. of Springfield, and ... Read MORE...

  • News  1910 - BANK TREASURER NOT FOUND.; Shortage in Southbridge Savings Bank Believed to be About $100,000.
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass, Jan. 22. - John A Hall, the Treasurer of the Southbridge Sayings Bank, which was closed yesterday by an injunction after the... Read MORE...

  • 1911 - Southbridge
    "SOUTHBRIDGE, a township of Worcester county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on the Quinabaug river (which here falls 165 ft.), about 20 m. S.S.W. of... Read MORE...

  • News  1913 - REVIVE GRAND TRUNK WORK. Construction of Southern New England Line to be Resumed.
    Special to the New York Times.

    SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 22 - Work is to be resumed immediately on the Southern New England Railway, the Grand... Read MORE...

  • 1916 - Southbridge
    "Southbridge, a banking post-village in Southbridge township (town), Worcester co., Mass., on the Quinebaug River, about 32 miles E. of Springfield,... Read MORE...

  • News  1918 - Help Wanted
    Help Wanted - Help Wanted in Southbridge, Mass., to work in Hamilton Woolen Co., established nearly 100 years, employing 2,000 hands. Easy work,... Read MORE...

  • News  1934 - SOUTHBRIDGE DIRECTORS VOTE TO LIQUIDATE MILL
    MEANS THAT 1,000 WOOLEN WORKERS MUST FIND JOBS ELSEWHERE

    Boston, Dec. 19 - (AP) - The board of directors of the Hamilton Woolen Co. of Southbridge ... Read MORE...

  • News  1938 - New Mask Invented - His Face Is Dirty
    His Face Is Dirty - Seeking to combat silicosis, lung malady suffered by those who work in dust, researchers for the American Optical Company of... Read MORE...

  • 1939 - When World War II broke out, Southbridge had a population of 16,801.
    Street Corners of Southbridge, "The Way We Were" by Joe Capillo, 1996
  • News  1945 - Maker of Bomb Very Depressed
    Maker of Bomb Very Depressed - Southbridge, Mass. August 17 (UP) - A scientist who helped develop the atomic bomb said today, with permission of the... Read MORE...

  • 1945 - Radio Phone for Pocket Use to Be On Market Soon
    "Radio Phone for Pocket Use to Be On Market Soon -- Southbridge, Mass., August 23 (UP) - A pocket-size radio telephone for civilian use, which will... Read MORE...

  • News  1946 - Women See Colors Better
    Women See Colors Better - Southbridge, Mass (UP) - The American Optical Co., studying the incidence of color blindness, discovered that 90 percent of ... Read MORE...

  • News  1951 - New Goggles
    American Optical Co. of Southbridge, Mass. has a new airtight industrial goggle for use in working with gas fumes or smoke. The headband of the... Read MORE...

  • News  1951 - New Machine Take Blood Directly from Veins for Red Cross
    New Machine Take Blood Directly from Veins for Red Cross - Southbridge, Mass. - (UP) - A new miracle machine that takes blood directly from your... Read MORE...

  • 1955 - WESO On the Air
    March 20 - Radio Station WESO goes on the air for a first time. Announcers and newscasters are Bob Binet, John Bunnewith, Joe Capillo, Esther Costa,... Read MORE...

  • 1958 - Ames Worsted Textile Company
    Milton and Irving Gilman open their first store in the Ames Worsted Textile Co. mill in Southbridge. This is the start of Ames Department Stores,... Read MORE...

  • News  1961 - Keeping Out Noise
    Southbridge, Mass. (UPI) - A new plastic, anti-noise ear plug for military and commercial aviation purposes has been developed by American Optical... Read MORE...

  • News  1975 - Ames Has Grand Opening At New Amenia Store
    From a humble beginning in an old factory building in 1958 to a modern new store in Amenia to serve the residents of the Harlem Valley area, Ames... Read MORE...

  • News  1980 - Making Eyes
    In the days of old, someone who lost an eye wore an eye patch. That was replaced by getting a glass eye: now, American Optical of Southbridge, Mass.... Read MORE...

  • THE BACK ROAD (About the AO Tunnel) by Joe Capillo
    Over the years, hundreds of thousands have walked its darken underground paths across the Quinebaug River.

    The AO service tunnel was a Wells... Read MORE...

  • 2002 - Out of Business
    Ames Department stores, which began in Southbridge in 1958, goes out of business

Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA Genealogy

Ancestors Who Were Born in Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Ancestors Who Died in Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA

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Ancestors buried in Southbridge - Cemeteries in Southbridge, Massachusetts, USA

St. George’s Cemetery

Old Notre Dame/ St. Mary's/ Sacred Heart Cemetery

New Notre Dame Cemetery

Oak Ridge Cemetery

Genealogy Resources for Southbridge

"The Denison School District" author unknown, Southbridge, Massachusetts

Southbridge Evening News, Southbridge, MA

1949 Manning's Southbridge Directory

Southbridge Press, Southbridge, MA

Southbridge News, Southbridge, MA

1882 Massachusetts City Directory - Webster and Southbridge

1919 Massachusetts City Directory - Southbridge

Manning's Southbridge and Sturbridge (Massachusetts) Directory September 1931. Springfield, MA MA: H. A. Manning Co., 1931

1930 Massachusetts City Directory - Southbridge

1928 Massachusetts City Directory - Southbridge and Sturbridge

Index to Births, Marriages and Deaths in the Town of Southbridge, MA -- microfilm -- Jacob Edwards Library, Southbridge, MA

The Southbridge and Sturbridge Directory 1922. Salem Massachusetts: Henry M. Meek Publishing Co., 1922

Polk's Southbridge (Worcester County, Mass.) City Directory 1965

1936 Massachusetts City Directory - Southbridge

1929 Massachusetts City Directory - Southbridge

Southbridge, MA Marriages of 1834 to 1916 and MA Vital Records Southbridge 1883

"Histoire des Franco-Américains de Southbridge, Massachusetts" by Félix Gatineau, Framingham, MA: Lakeview Press, 1919


Updated: 10/10/2019 9:48:00 AM

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