A little bit of local color

Busy week.

While I was waiting for the Memorial Day parade to start, I became intrigued by this house.

It’s directly across from Norcross Park on North Street. While I was taking this picture, I caught the eye of the woman who was sitting on the front stoop and she immediately came over to chat. Her name was Mildred Naylor, and she came over with the most intriguing opening line:

“This house doesn’t belong here. They moved it here many years ago.”

Well! That must have been quite the sight. The house, she said, was built in 1848, “I’m not quite sure where it was originally, maybe in the center of town,” and it was owned for many years by two Warren sisters.

“They had to take in boarders,” Mildred said. “They had education, so they couldn’t find anyone to marry them.”

I LOVED this woman.

The porches — one on each side of the house — were added by her husband, she said, a veteran who died unexpectedly while they were traveling in Europe. He always marched in the Memorial Day parade, she said wistfully.

The lions, she added, one on each side as well, were added “to make sure no one falls over the drop-off.”

North Street, by the way, isn’t the original name.

“It was originally Old Connecticut Path,” she said. “The stone used to be up by the street, but we decided to move it. Kids kept tipping it over.”

She also knew something interesting about her next door neighbors.

“That’s a Sears and Roebuck house,” she said.

That’s pretty cool. Sears used to sell kits to build homes from — more than 75,000 Sears kit homes were built between 1908 and 1940. Can you imagine just ordering your house through the mail?

I asked her if it was noisy living across from Norcross Park — after all, it’s Little League season and “mini-Fenway” is a favorite of our local baseball players. She had nothing but praise for the park’s improvements.

“There was a school there at one point, but they tore it down and now there’s the park,” she said. “Before they put the Fenway field in, they really didn’t have much parking so the street would get crowded. It’s been nice having it there. I know the children like it a lot.”

Mildred doesn’t have a computer (“I tried to learn one time at the Senior Center but they went so fast. I’m going to have to try that again.”), so I’m going to print this out and mail it to her the old-fashioned way. Thank you!


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