Historic Homes & Structures of 1900 to 2000
The Cressy Memorial Pondville Chapel
29 Valley Street
The chapel is built on one of the oldest settled spots in Norfolk. Daniel Pond from Dedham took a portion of the grant to Dedham to found a colony near the lakes in Wrentham. His son Ephraim, and a friend of John Fales - their wives were sisters, made their homes here. The chapel was built in 1909 by Dr. Oliver Cressy of Hamilton in memory of his son, Oliver Sawyer Cressy Jr. Dr. Cressy's wife, Harriet L. Pond, was a daughter of General Lucas Pond, who built the Pond Home in 1832.
It is a very unique building constructed of natural field rock in the Gothic Revival style with blue stone copings, stone buttresses and a roof of slate and metal. The interior was finished in hardwood with polished surfaces, windows of stained glass and an old English style fireplace. The building was built for use of the Pond Home for the Aged (now in Wrentham) and for the village of Pondville for Sunday services, social work and for use in conjunction with the Pondville Cemetery for funeral services and memorials. This quaint wayside chapel remained vacant for many years and most of the beautiful stained glass windows were destroyed by vandals during this time but it was renovated and converted into a private residence in the last quarter of the 20th century.
The Sharon Duck Inn
Dedham Street (Route 1A)
The single story Sharon Luncheonette was built by Charles Sharon circa 1924. Charles had been a foreman at the internationally famous Weber Duck Inn (pronounced Wee-ber) a short distance west on 1A (which burned to the ground in 1958). He left to operate his own restaurant and raised White Pekin Ducks, by the thousands. He specialized in selling duck dinners and dressed ducks in the restaurant. The building served as a restaurant under several changes in name and ownership - The Sharon Duck Inn, The Shady Nook Restaurant, Rooney's and Pickwick's Inn and Pub until it was destroyed by fire in 1981.
Firefighters were hampered because there was no town water at the intersection of of Routes 1A and 115. Walpole firefighters used two tank trucks with a total capacity of 1800 gallons to literally shuttle water from a hydrant nearly a mile away. The rear of the building which housed the kitchen (where the fire was thought to originate after closing at 2:00 AM), the main foyer and the bar room were destroyed. Relatively untouched by the fire but damaged by water and smoke was the dining room with its 20 foot high vaulted ceiling, rare irreplaceable cypress wood paneling and old duck decoys. The building was rebuilt and converted to a two story office building in 1987. Although it has lost much of its original design, charm and feeling, the new building was able to incorporate some of the remains of the former restaurant into the new structure where it now stands, duckless, as the single story portion of the building.
The Norfolk Town Pond
The Town Pond is located behind the Old Town Hall on Main Street. The winding, part dirt, part crushed stone pathway leading down to it begins at the backside of the parking lot. The area was dredged out in the 1970s, sand was brought in and it became the local swimming hole for Norfolk residents, for a decade or so. Swimming classes were also held here and and were very popular for a time. The area has since become overgrown and is no longer used for swimming or other beach activities but remains as a reminder of those hot summer days, in a time not that very long ago, when the speed of life certainly seemed more in tune with the natural flow of things in a very beautiful, little known, small agricultural community, just southwest of Boston.