Skip to content


Nielsen's Bicycle Shop
Neilsen’s Bike Shop, 24 Cambridge St., grand opening day. Story here.


Spruce Hill Day Camp, Burlington, MA
Spruce Hill Day Camp was run out of the former Frothingham Mansion when the Rupprecht family owned it. It’s now 3 Theresa Ave., and the driveway to the home is now Spruce Hill Road, off Lexington Street. This ad is from 1947.


This is Francis Wyman Road c.1930, near today’s Manning Road.

Manning Farm, Burlington MA c. 1930

Here’s a good Winnmere aerial. It’s the Given farm property in the late 1940s, with annotations. Photo provided by Ron Given and marked up with his help.

IMG_0085Given farm marked up



This is the corner of Cambridge St. (Route 3A) and Wilmington Road (Route 62), currently the home of a bustling Mobil station and Carli Convenience. The building in the background is the North School, which still stands today at the corner of Chestnut Ave. and Wilmington Road, painted red and purple at the moment. The first two pics are 1930. Second pair is late 1950s.



Syd Corday at Rexall, Burlington MA
Syd Corday at Rexall, which he co-owned, c. 1958. Photo credit: Howard Corday, Syd’s son. This plaza was razed in 2018 to make way for the Shoppes at Simonds Park development.


The Turkey Whist poster refers to St. Mary’s Mission on the corner of Winn and Center Streets. It later became St. Margaret Parish and moved to its current location. Full Saint Margaret’s story here.


That’s Kay Motors on the left, run by “Old Honest Dennis,” also known as Dennis Wager. It’s long gone. But the adjacent white house lives on!


Millie’s Variety was on the corner of Cambridge St. and Four Acre Drive, before the latter existed. Photo credit: Stan Anderson Jr., whose parents owned the place.

Millie's Variety store Burlington MA

They also owned the gas station across the street, where Sister Thrift is now:

Stan's Friendly Service Burlington MA



Late 1940s: Gulf station near current location of Burlington House of Pizza, Cambridge St Burlington MA
Gulf station near current location of Burlington House of Pizza, Cambridge St Burlington MA, late 1940s. This was operated by Elmer “Hal” Gourney. He lived at 14 Lexington St., now part of the Temple Shalom property. He later sold it to John DuCett, who expanded it to the town’s first hardware store. Photo credit: Eugene Knowles
DuCett's with cider jugs, Burlington MA
DuCett’s Hardware, with cider jugs out front. Full story here.


Frothingham mansion, built in 1853. Its current address is 3 Theresa Ave. That’s the high school on the right, in the color photo. Photo credits: Dayle Caterino.

Frothingham mansion, now 3 Theresa Ave., built in 1853. Photo credit: Dayle Caterino

3 Theresa Ave today, Burlington MA


Bank Promotion 1954
Bank promotion, c 1954. Front row: Eileen Quinlan, Elsie Lovejoy, Dorothy MacKay, Dayle Rupprecht, Charlotte Wright, Marion Knight. Middle row: Mary Stewart, Dorothy Queen, Nancy Sherwood, Arlene Johnson, Avrille Nielson, Eleanor Sloan. Back row: Pamela Hines, Nancy Murphy, Barbara Jean Hogan, Jean McIntire, Susan Scanlon, Mary Rock, Claudia Turnquist, Patricia Hines. Leaders: Mrs. Rupprecht and Mrs. Hogan.

Lantern Lane, 1954. Photo credit: Dianne Ballon. Story here.

Lantern Lane aerial 1954

1957 ads:


Town Hall: 1915 to 1969


Burlington Public Library c. 1951
Burlington Public Library c. 1951

Route 128 construction. This is looking north, just after the Middlesex Turnpike exit. That’s the big plunge and then uphill sweep to the Cambridge St. exits. Full story here.

Route 128 Burlington 1950


This is Olson Farm, which became Veterans Playground at the corner of Wilmington Road and Westwood Street. Photo credit: Carl Olson. Full story here.



Mack’s Place, Cambridge St. at Bedford Street, 1930s. Run by Mack MacInnes, who lived in the store with his wife.

Mack's Place, Cambridge St. at Bedford Street, 1930s

Lexington Street kids 1955. Photo credit Dorothy MacKay Greene
Lexington Street kids, c. 1955. This spot is now Benson Way, off Lexington Street near Stony Brook Road. From left: Ralph Enos, unknown, Bobby Perry, unknown standing girl, Patty Tyler (striped shirt), Joyce Bevis, Ronnie Bevis, Marvin Fay (sticking tongue out), Gail Sherwood, unknown, Lorry Enos, Bobby Barns (striped shirt), David Enos.


Here’s Little League in Burlington in its inaugural year, 1952, on opening day. That’s sponsor Ernie Marvin on the top left of the Marvin Brothers photo. He’s the namesake of Marvin Field on South Bedford Street. The four original Little League teams were sponsored by the Marvin Brothers foundry, Piper Brothers real estate, Dom’s Atlantic gas station and Aero Screw, a company on Wilmington Road near the Cambridge Street junction.







Lots to see here. That’s the “old” Memorial Elementary School when it was brand new, 1954. There’s no neighborhood behind it yet. Saint Margaret’s church is the little building on the fork of Winn Street and Center Street, on the extreme right. It hadn’t moved to its current location yet. Peach Orchard Road appears to cross Winn Street and keeping going into the hills, but you can see the hilly portion is overgrown from lack of use. It’s gone now. And across the street from the new Memorial School is Kerrigan Farm, before the town put a school there. Kerrigan Farm story here.

1954 Memorial School aerial, Burlington, MA



Maple Knoll Farm truck, Burlington MA
Marie Seminatore, future Memorial School librarian, in her Maple Knoll Farm truck. Notice the ancient phone number. Full story here.


Teacher Jane Skelton behind Memorial School c. 1955, Burlington MA
Teacher Jane Skelton behind Memorial School c. 1955. Photo credit: Sherri Crocker


Julia Connors, mother of 10, and the town's first school nurse
Julia Connors (right), mother of 10, was the town’s first school nurse. She’s the namesake of Julia Connors Drive off Peach Orchard Road.


Beverly Fay's dance school, early 1950s, Burlington MA
Beverly Fay’s dance school, early 1950s. From left — Unknown, unknown, unknown, Priscilla McGinnis, unknown, Carol Cronin, Joan Gelineau, Bernice Graham, Jean Gerossie, Joan Merriam, Bobby Jean Graham. Standing opposite is teacher Beverly Fay. Photo credit: Carol Skelton.


Circle J. Ranch Burlington MA
Circle J. Ranch, on the corner of Adams Street and Middlesex Turnpike, was named after Jon Graham. Children could go on pony rides there. Now it’s the Burger King location. More like this here.


Tali (left) and Clare Burns, Burlington MA
Tali (left) and Clare Burns in their yard. That’s Kent Cottage, the lonely stone structure across from the sprawling Network Drive commercial campus on Middlesex Turnpike near Bedford. It may look dead nowadays, but it’s in full swing here.


Dale Pharmacy 1957
Dale Pharmacy in 1957. It’s now Raja & Rana’s Indian Market. Photo Credit: Dale Cascio


Classic mid-century Burlington home — 18 College Road


You’ll notice some strange phone numbers on this page. Before the area codes and exchanges of today, Burlington’s predominant phone prefix was “BU” in the 1950s and “BR,” or “Browning,” in the 1960s. When the phone companies dropped the letters and went strictly numeric, some users decried the loss of personality. An all-numeric phone number seemed cold, impersonal.

You’ll also notice some advertisements without street numbers. They were superfluous information. The town was so sparse that everyone knew where every store was located. Houses didn’t receive numbers in earnest until the late 1950s, when the population grew to the point where ambulances needed specifics. In 1957, the town started a new residential numbering process for freshly-built neighborhoods with plot plans. The first fully-numbered streets were Florence Road, Crawford Road, Sylvester Road, Frances Road, Foster Road, Bradford Road, Luther Road, Alma Road and Sunset Drive.

VFW building Burlington, MA
VFW building when it was simply “the Peterson house.” It was moved backward to its current location at 5 Edwards Rd. and then sold to the VFW. Photo credit: Fred Keene


Burlington Diner, located where the Prime Energy station is now, on Cambridge St. The black and white photo is 1956. Color one looks to be earlier. This was part of the DuCett mini-empire. Story here.



Wildwood Elementary School. This is now Wildwood Park.



St. Margaret Parish, construction and grand opening, late 1950s.



Burlington Footwear



Mercury Cleaners, roughly where Papa Gino’s is now, at the corner of Cambridge St. and Terry Ave.



Nu-Joman auction house, corner of Winn and Cambridge Streets.


21 thoughts on “1920-1960 Leave a comment

  1. I remember Herman Graham’s turkey farm which was just up the road from where i grew up on So. Bedford Rd. Judith Marshall. I used to work plucking turkey feathers in the fall, to ready fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving.

  2. I grew up in Burlington as a member of a very large family. I can remember at a very young age visiting a turkey farm on Mountain road at Thanksgiving time, to pick out our turkey(sometimes 2 turkeys, to feed a family of 16!!) I believe it was Smiths(????)

    • Noreen,
      Hi!! This is Janet Russo now Hauser from Winnmere Avenue. Too many years have passed. I am enjoying the many memories here on this site. Hope all is well. I will leave my email if you want to get in touch. I am living in NY state.

  3. I worked in the IGA and went into Boston to train to work in the Dorthy Muriel bakery. Loved my job there. George and Burt were the best to work for.x

  4. I remember Grahams turkey farm on South Bedford st, and a Sherwood Marshall living across the strre. I lived on Muller road. GOUVEIA’S

    • Sherwood Marshall was my uncle. I remember Grahams farm down the road where there was a horse barn, how times have changed there!

      • hi tracy, thanks for your comment on past days……………..we would often hike up the road to the graham horse farm………a lot of empty land………there was a martin family as well,down the road………………gosh,that was a long time ago………….carl johnson,bhs,54

  5. Do you have any information on the Wood Tavern. It was built some time in the late 1700’s

  6. tom………………the name wood tavern rings a bell somewhere…………..where was it located………….carl Johnson, bhs, 1954

  7. I was looking at this page and saw the group of “brownies” in front of a sign about a bank. It is labeled bank promotion. Actually I believe it was just an accident that the sign was behind us. I think that it was taken in 1954 and is a picture that was in the Woburn paper. We were at the train station in Woburn on our way to Boston to see the circus. I have the same picture but it has a short blurb underneath it explaining how the $13 (I think that is the correct amount) that we made for selling girl scout cookies helped pay for the trip. At that time a box cost 30 cents. I’m in Texas now and the picture is in Massachusetts or I would check that I have the amount of money correct.

  8. I love the photo of the Graham farm on Stony Brook Road. The field in the middle distance was later developed as Michelle Drive and Fred Street. I would later grow up in that neighborhood. The gray barn in the middle distance was part of the Phelan property. Patrick, John and Margaret Phelan, brothers and sister, lived in the house on the hill above the barn, facing South Bedford Street. When my family moved to town in 1966, that old house was still standing, overlooking our backyard. Old Patrick Phelan was still alive then; he would die within a few years and the house and barn were demolished, and seven houses eventually built on the property…..

  9. I grew up in Burlington. Born in 1971. Really enjoyed seeing how it looked in its early years. Also, I never knew phone #’s started with letters, haha. I wonder if that was how other towns phone #’s were. Thanks for sharing these photos.

  10. always enjoy these old photos………… this 86 year old,they sure bring back memories…………….the givens property,on mountain road had a small,swampy pond,which made a wonderful skating place back when winers were freezing cold……………where the church is now at the corner with winn st, was the old johnson mansion…………………….painted a dark red in 1950, i attended the estate auction there when it was sold,and later demolished……………………………the johnson family of woburn was a hisoric woburn family, edward johnson ,being one of woburns founders ………………his heirs had rose greenhouses on the street to central square woburn, where many winmere boys worked………………………………..they paid well compared to the kerrigan and crawford farms…………..carl johnson,

  11. Do you have any pictures or info on the Breen farm/family where Burlington High School is ?? Thank you

  12. My father was born and lived in Tewksbury but his first job in the 1920’s was at Bornstein’s sand and gravel pit. I would love to know where that particular gravel pit was located.

    • morning alan, lived in burlington most of my youth…….grad,bhs,54……the only known areas of sandpits were up near the Middlesex Turnpike………the pits went through several owners but were eventually leveled to accomodate the Burlington Mall of the 50s. I suspect bornstein was one of the early quarriers up t here……………..carl johnson,

Leave a Reply