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1900 to 1999

Home  >  Boards & Committees  >  Historical Commission  >  Historical Timeline  >  Period of 1900 to 1999

1900

The American Felt Company of Boston, MA was taxed $30,000 for machinery and the real estate at City Mills, as listed below in 1905.

1901

Town meeting discussed reimbursing the Norfolk Brass Band for wiring the band stand.

1902

Town meeting concurred on change in boundary line between Norfolk and Medfield and Foxborough.

1903

The pupils of the Center Intermediate School collected $2.25 for a beginning purchase of 6 books for the Gertrude A. Bly school library. Within a year the collection had grown to 53 volumes.

1904

Norfolk Fire Department consists of 2 Hook and Ladder trucks and one chemical wagon, well equipped with fire buckets, force pumps and suitable tools for fighting forest fires and carry 30 chemical extinguishers. The chemical wagon carried twenty 10 quart cans of water.

1905

The American Felt Company of Boston, MA was taxed $30,000 for machinery, houses consisting of 17 tenements, tree barns and 10 stock houses besides the store, at City Mills.

Town meeting discussed erecting a band stand; fire escapes for the Town House and Centre School and paying a yearly salary to members of the Fire Department.

1906

Town meeting discussed employing a school physician.

1907

Town meeting discussed making a contract with the Edison Company for street lighting.

1908

Town meeting discussed purchasing a piano for the Town House.

1909

The Pondville Chapel (Cressy Memorial) was built of natural field rock and dedicated as a memorial to Oliver Sawyer Cressy (1835–1900), husband of Harriet L. Pond. The daughter of General Lucas Pond.

Norfolk Woolen Company has a plant operating at Stony Brook.

J. F. Wall & Son, makers of building papers, operate a mill near Highland Lake.

Town meeting discussed appropriating money to destroy the elm tree beetles and putting a sidewalk in front of the church and school house.

1910

The American Felt Company of Boston, MA was taxed $42,000 for machinery. The old mill and machinery was taxed for $21,300, the new mill and machinery for $17,200, at City Mills.

Town meeting discussed appropriating $100 for the completion of the state road at City Mills.

1911

Town meeting discussed appropriating $160 for the salary of a domestic science and cooking teacher and appropriating $25 to install an approved heating and ventilation system in the Centre School.

1912

A textile strike took place in Lawrence. It brought nationwide attention to the poor working conditions in textile factories.

Town meeting voted to appoint a Citizens Advisory Board and to appoint a town Finance Committee to attend to town business and voted to reconsider the new heating plant at the Centre School to see what could be done in way of repairs.

1913

Town meeting discussed posting street signs.

1914

William Swett tore down the stone store on his property that was built by Eli Richardson in 1819. Mr. Swett wanted to extend his front yard (of the Richardson House) down to the road with an unobstructed view.

World War I begins.

1915

The American Felt Company of Boston, MA was taxed $67,000 for machinery. The old mill was taxed for $48,000, the new mill for $70,000 besides the former buildings, at City Mills. The dam was estimated at $10,000 and the mill site and water rights for $72,000.

Town meeting discussed building a high school.

1916

On October 1st, the Highland Lake train station moved from near Campbell's house location to Seekonk St.

Town meeting discussed installing a well and watering trough at the junction of Seekonk and Avery Streets.

1917

The United States entered World War I - The Yankee (26th) Division of Massachusetts was the first National guard unit to reach the battlefields in France.

Town meeting discussed installing a water supply in the Centre School house.

Town meeting discussed purchasing a motor truck for fighting forest fires.

1918

Town meeting discussed a memorial for soldiers and sailors of the World War: abandoning Myrtle St. from the junction of Dean St. to the Millis line; leasing the Baptist Church (Grange Hall) for the use of a Public Library and purchasing a public dump.

1919

World War I ends.

A Welcome Home celebration for returning World War I veterans was held on the grounds of the Town Hall.

The mayor of Boston refused to let the city's police form a union. Around three fourths of the police force went on strike. Governor Calvin Coolidge had to send in the National Guard to end the strike.

Town meeting discussed purchasing a power sprayer and a stone crusher.

1920

The American Felt Company of Boston, MA was taxed $312,400 for the City Mills plant.

Town meeting discussed fixing a license fee for slaughtering and discussed the transport of high school pupils by motor truck.

1921

Town meeting discussed enlarging the Town Hall.

1922

On March 19th, Abby Frances Day died. She had begun a scrapbook of Norfolk events in 1870.

On Dec 5th, the Norfolk Town Hall burned to the ground shortly after 3:00 AM. The contents of the clerk's safe survived.

1923

Town meeting discussed building a new Town Hall; establishing a town forest, purchasing a motor-driven fire truck, sanitation in the Centre School and the transportation of pupils to Centre School by motor bus.

On April 19th, the Weber Duck Inn opened on the new State road Route 1 (now Route 1A).

1924

Town meeting discussed completion of the Miller St. bridge and purchasing a ton dump truck.

1925

A new fire fighting combination pumping and chemical engine apparatus had been purchased for a cost of $5,975.

Town meeting discussed changing the name of East St. to Marshall St.; installation of electric lights in the school buildings and the laying out and rebuilding Pond St. from North St. to Dedham St.

1926

City Mills train wreck. No injuries.

Land purchased on Main St. from Mrs. Edna Thompson Hubbard to build new fire station.

Town meeting discussed purchasing a truck and road roller.

1927

Pondville Hospital opens.

1929

The greatest Depression in the history of the United States begins. Massachusetts sets up its own employment-relief program.

Town meeting discussed furniture and heating for the police station and the purchase of a forest fire truck and equipment for it.

1930

Beginning employment of a District Nurse.

Town meeting discussed insurance of firemen, the purchase of a new hose for the Fire Department, the purchase of a snow plow and the trimming of trees by the road side.

Urge of early employment of married men and other dependents for work on the roads.

In the 1930s William Swett's expansive front yard was used to host at least one Norfolk Day celebration.

1933

The old road from Medfield to the plantations is still clearly traceable through Warelands Woods and Fales properties. It was named Avery Street in the late 18th century, in honor of the Reverend David Avery, a chaplain in General Washington's army and first minister of the north Parish (Norfolk) of Wrentham, whose home was there. It is now known as Boardman St.

1934

Bertha Fales wrote "A History of Norfolk".

Leon Pini left the Weber Duck Inn to start running the Lafayette House in Foxborough.

Norfolk prison building finished.

1935

William Swett sells the home built by Eli Richardson in City Mills in 1819, to the wreckers. There are reports that the house was re-constructed as the Pond House - this has yet to be confirmed or denied. The Richardson house and stone store are no longer on site but Eli Richardson's 1819 barn still remains overlooking the City Mills Pond.

1938

The Great Hurricane of '38 hit Massachusetts killing hundreds of people and causing millions of dollars in property damage.

1939

Eva Day died. Daughter of Abby Francis Day.

World War II begins.

1942

The National Bank of Wrentham started foreclosure proceedings on the Weber Duck Inn.

1945

World War II ends.

Norfolk’s population approximately 1600.

1950

The Cornelius Murphy house, on the current site of Daley's Sunoco station, was razed.

The Korean Engagement begins.

Bertha Fales, author of "A History of Norfolk" dies at age 83, in Wrentham, MA.

Norfolk Central School, later known as the A. J. Freeman School opens.

Norfolk’s population approximately 2000.

1952

Land purchased for a well field for future Town use at Gold Street. (see 1980)

1953

1st addition added to the Norfolk Central School.

1957

The state legislature prohibited segregation in public housing.

1959

The United States Navy launched its first nuclear surface ship from Quincy.

1960

Several polio clinics were held during the year due to the threat of an epidemic in Rhode Island. The response was very good with a large percentage receiving their full quota of three shots.

The Little League field house was erected.

The boys and girls of Norfolk have earned, and justly so, a reputation for being an orderly, responsible, well-behaved group - H. Olive Day from Norfolk’s Central School Report.
 
Norfolk’s population approximately 2678.

1961

The John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts became president of the United States.

Several polio clinics were held during 1961 and it is hoped that oral vaccine will take its place in the future.

A new Town Garage was built - Highway Department service should be better during storms.

We requst that you dump in the designated areas at the town dump - not in the traveled road or turn arounds.

Norfolk Police engaged in combat revolver training - as one Norfolk Police officer was found to have never fired his service revolver in over ten years.

1962

An addition to the Library was completed that more than doubles the previous floor space and a completely new heating system and toilet facilities were installed.

The Federated Church had a very serious fire - the building was saved from total loss by the prompt and efficient answering of the alarms by the all call fireman of the Norfolk Fire Department.

The special Town Meeting approved the School Building Committee’s appropriation plan of $356,000 to create an addition to the Norfolk Central School.

1963

John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, TX by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Segregation in private housing became illegal in Massachusetts.

Chief of Police Johnston reports that since the erection of the speed limit signs, the incidents of speeding have dropped to almost nil on our two main thoroughfares - Main Street and Route 115.

The board of Health ran three Oral Sabin Polio Vaccine Clinics.

1964

"This was a year filled with excitement; what with national and local elections, space advancement, supersonic planes, electronic improvements and most of important the "Cold War" is still cold." – A. Bruce Wood from Norfolk’s Civil Defense Agency Report

Main Street was widened and a sidewalk was constructed from town center to St. Jude’s Church.

The Town voted to purchase a street sweeper to alleviate the unsightly and dangerous accumulation of sand along the edges of our streets.

It was concluded that the Norfolk Airport was never officially abandoned and as such was entitled to continue operation as a non-conforming business.

A 2nd addition was added to the Norfolk Central School.

1965

The Norfolk Historical Committee was appointed.

Natural gas mains were installed on Everett Street by the Brockton-Taunton Gas Co. - the beginning of another service to the Town of Norfolk.

A Town Swimming Pond was excavated and filled with water for recreation, outings, picnics, etc.

The sidewalk was completed from town center to the intersection of Main and Seekonk Streets.

The Girl Scounts planted honeysuckle on roadside slopes and banks to control erosion and effect beautification.

The Master Plan Report for the Town of Norfolk was completed predicting that the town could reach a population of 4,000 by 1980. (see 1970)

1966

The new Norfolk Fire Station opens on 117 Main Street. The old fire station has been renovated for use as town offices.

The new Norfolk Police Station opens. The old police station has been turned over too the Welfare Board for their offices.

Despite opposition, Norfolk’s new swimming pond was used extensively during the summer and although there were rumors that it was polluted the Board of Health certified that it was not.

The Highway Department delivered sand to the Mirror Lake Beach.

Main Street became dangerously slippery after it was oiled, a second application of tar and sand stone cover had to be applied to correct it.

1967

The lowering of Kingsbury Pond, ostensibly by a well operated by the Town of Franklin and the damage resulting therefrom that affected both the assets and the character of the Town, the beauty of the beach and the pond was the most pressing issue effecting the town in this year.

1968

The town hall exterior underwent a face lift to give it a more colonial appearance.

Over 400 tons of sand were added to the Town swimming pond beach area as well as the addition of picnic tables.

1969

Land purchased at the request of the Norfolk School Committee for the new elementary school site.

A sidewalk was constructed from the center of town about one half mile southerly on North Street - the Town of Norfolk thanked the loyal resident who donated the money for this project and "his faith in the future of the town which this gift demonstrates".

1970

The 1965 Master Plan Report for the Town of Norfolk predicted that the town could reach a population of 4,000 by 1980 - that figure was reached this year.

Town Hall renovations completed.

All burning of dumps discontinued in the state.

The Lord and Jealous Co. was still operating at City Mills.

More and more people are asking that the picturesque, winding narrow country roads be renovated for safer travel for the 1970 automobile. Dangerous curves need to be straightened, hills, ledges and trees which obstruct the driver’s view have to be removed.

Norfolk celebrates its 100th anniversary with a parade and celebrations - the Centennial Committee conducted the events in line with their charge from the Board of Selectman to "put on a celebration, that is, one in good taste and not costing all outdoors".

The Centennial School addition to the A.J. Freeman school opens.

Norfolk Historical Commission re-established.

Dr. Philip White was appointed to the permanent post of Town Historian - a post established by vote at a special town meeting.

1971

Norfolk’s population approx. 4005.

"The days of the obnoxious smelling Town Dump may soon be a not so fond memory" - as the Highway Department is striving to put the State’s "Regulations for the Disposal of Solid Wastes by Sanitary Landfill" into operation.

Approximately 47% of the homes in Norfolk are now served with town water.

A new law that makes it illegal to burn in the open was put into force.

1972

The students of Norfolk for the first time are enjoying the benefits of a hot lunch program.

Lights were installed at the town tennis courts.

1973

Norfolk vs. Franklin battled in the courts as to the rights of Kingsbury Pond. Norfolk lost the case.

Park Street Bridge closed for eight months because of bad timber.

It was voted not to light the Town Common at Christmas and to shut off all unnecessary lights in town due to the energy shortage.

"The town is bursting at its seams in some areas" - Board of Selectmen

1974

The Board of Selectmen vigorously objected to a solid waste management proposal promulgated by the Norfolk County Commissioners for a sanitary landfill operation and an incinerator to be located in Norfolk as other towns should not "expect to place every type of state and county institution within the boundaries of our town".

Town Meeting approved the name Harold E. Campbell Town Forest for the 42 acre conservation area near the center of town.

1975

Hearings begun on the application of Camger Chemical, Inc. of Franklin, MA to open a paint manufacturing plant in the old Lord and Jealous Mill on Main Street.

Horace Hamlin presented the town with an oil painting of the old Town Hall that used to stand on the Town Hill until it burned down.

The Housing Authorities Hillcrest Village project to establish 64 units for the elderly was completed and fully occupied.

Norfolk Historical Commission reactivated after several years of retirement - historical inventory of buildings begun.

1976

1776–1976 USA Bicentennial Year and the Town of Norfolk’s Bicentennial Parade and town wide celebrations.

Main Street Bridge in City Mills became undermined and an emergency appropriation of funds was appropriated for the highway Department to correct the situation.

Arthur R. Keenan, Norfolk Fire Department Lieutenant and EMT commended by the town for saving the life of a man choking on a piece of food in a restaurant in Andover, MA.

The first taxi cab company in Norfolk was established.

1977

The Bicentennial Park was opened on the 8 acres formally known as the Buckley Land.

The Warelands on Boardman Street was appointed by the National Park Service to the National Register of Historic Places.

1978

Highway Department moved to a new Highway Garage on Medway Branch.

With the Northeast’s worst blizzard in history in February, Norfolk received 44 inches of snow with drifts up to eight feet. Traffic was stopped and schools were closed for six days and cross country skiers on main roads were a common site.

Mrs. Emily Jacques donated a schoolhouse clock from the old Diamond Street School in working order to the Historical Commission.

1979

MBTA completed the long awaited renovation of the Railroad Station in the center of Town, the Lions Club painted the old station building a colonial red that really complimented the MBTA’s restoration project.

The Conservation Commission initiated the purchase of a six acre parcel of land at City Mills which includes Comey’s Pond.

1980

Norfolk’s Water Department’s new well on Gold Street placed into operation giving Norfolk its own water supply for the first time in its history. (see 1952)

Norfolk’s Water Department adopts a computer system for billing.

1981

Pondville Hospital sold to Norwood Hospital changing it from a state owned and operated facility to a private non profit organization.

Freedom Trail and Liberty Lane street names were selected in a street naming contest by pupils at the Freeman Centennial School to honor the hostages returned from Iran.

Mann's Store - formally known as Mann's Tavern and more recently the site of St. Jude's Rectory - a spot where George Washington and a guard of soldiers spent the night in 1775, when it was then known as The Tavern of Josiah Ware, was demolished to make way for the Country Crossing buildings - the site of the current Sovereign Bank.

New dam constructed at Mirror Lake.

Pickwick’s Pub was destroyed by fire.

The Eagle Brook Saloon opens on 258 Dedham Street.

Norfolk’s population approximately 5643.

Thelma Ravinski, of the Norfolk Historical Commission begins interviewing and recording long time Norfolk residents which would result in the publication of "Norfolk Stories, Recollections of Our Century".

1982

MBTA installed rubberized grade crossings in the center of town and on Seekonk Street to minimize the noise.

Sanitary Landfill Committee institutes a sticker program which decreases traffic as out of towners have been prohibited from using the landfill.

1983

Norfolk Historical Commission begins recording oral history of the Town for future publication.

Bids for a computer system for the Town were opened and several units installed.

A parking lot to provide better public access to the Campbell Town Forest was constructed off North Street.

The Norfolk Fire Department received delivery of their first 85’ Aerial Ladder Truck - "this has added a great deal of safety to the hazardous tasks of fire fighting".

1984

Bill filed with Legislature to accept Pondville Cemetery as a town cemetery.

The Tramp House was given to the Norfolk Historical Commission

Construction on a new Library building began.

Police Department four car garage constructed and opened.

Massachusetts Cablevision Systems, Inc. built the Town’s first cable system but due to technical difficulties it will not be on line until 1985.

1985

Roger McGuinn, founding member of The Byrds and one of the most influential bands in Rock 'N Roll history, plays at The Eagle Brook Saloon in Norfolk – twice.

Town Hall painted by inmates at Bay State Correctional Center.

The new expanded Library facilities opened.

The Tramp House was moved from beside the Library to its current spot very near its original location on Town Hill.

Norfolk Growth Study Commission established to project the impact of future growth on the Town.

Police and Fire Departments building expansion additions were completed.

Water Department completed the 1,000,000 gallon water tower standpipe, that will store a five day supply of water at adequate pressure to protect the town in the event of an emergency.

1986

The Town recycling and transfer station opened.

The Tramp house was painted by David Burns as part of his work towards becoming an Eagle Scout - an historic plaque was also mounted on the building.

Funding proposal for a new Town Hall to be built behind the Town Offices on Main Street for $1,708,000 was not approved.

Funding proposal to reshape, regrade and lower the Town Hill for $49,800 was not approved.

New high quality beach sand was used to inprove the Town Pond beach.

1987

Installation of water mains to expand water delivery to the Populatic Lake/Kingsbury Pond area was begun.

1988

Massachusetts celebrated its statehood bicentennial.

Wheelabrator Energy Corporation withdrew its proposal for a wood burning cogeneration plant near the intersection of Route 115 and Baltimore Street after vigorous opposition by Norfolk residents.

Opposition to the Massachusetts Resource Authority’s proposal to construct an ash, grit and screenings landfill on Department of Corrections land in Walpole but close to Norfolk vigorously opposed by residents and Town officials.

Philip White, Norfolk Town Historian died.

The Grange Hall was offered to the Town by the Grange Hall members.

The "Fay" (Ware) crypt located near the library will be preserved and the land contours around it will be restored by Mr. Musto.

The Norfolk Land Acquisition Committee was formed.

1989

The Bay State Correctional Center was changed from a minimum security facility to a medium security facility.

A four way stop for all vehicles was installed at the intersection of Main Street and Rockwood Road which although it has taken a little getting used to, it has decreased the number of "fender benders" at this site.

Inmates of MCI Norfolk installed a new roof on the Tramp House.

The Town Pond remained closed this year because of problems encountered last year due to lack of rainfall.

1990

Park Street Bridge closed by the Commonwealth of MA.

Norfolk Lions applied for and received a Beano License.

Downtown Revitalization Committee received a technical assistance grant to aid in revitalizing and beautifying the center of Town.

The town encompasses 15 square miles and has 9270 residents according to the 1990 census.

1994

The H. Olive Day School opens.

The new Norfolk Post Office opens at 208 Main Street.

1995

Norfolk Stories, Recollections of Our Century published by The Norfolk Historical Commission - the first ever oral recollections of our town's history.

The Town of Norfolk celebrates its 125th anniversary with parades and ceremonies.

The town bandstand that had graced Town Hill and weathered two World Wars was removed from it's proud location as work commenced on a new replacement destined like its predecessor to become a new town landmark.

Norfolk secures the deed for land in the town center behind Town Hill for a new town hall.

Substantial sewage discharge from a leak at the correctional facilities pollutes Highland Lake.

The 17 acre Kunde Conservation Forest at the rear of the H. Olive Day School is formally dedicated.

The ancient Ware Crypt next to the library is destroyed by some careless bulldozing by the Roadstar Construction Company - reconstruction will be in line with old photographs of the site.

1998

The new Norfolk Town Hall opens on Liberty Lane. Time capsule buried in front of the new Town Hall, to be opened in 50 years.