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

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. Parker “Sully” Sullivan ran the place, followed by the Duncan sisters.


Wildwood Elementary School. This is now Wildwood Park.


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


Early Dale Pharmacy ad


Burlington Footwear


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


3 thoughts on “1955–60 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(????)

  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

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