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Construction site releases ancient spirit

The Chandler Road neighborhood must say goodbye to this familiar curtain of trees and the footpath that has invited many generations of hikers into the woods.

Chandler Road at Ellery Lane, Burlington MA


Here’s Mill Pond Estates. It will be sandwiched between Chandler Road and the Mill Pond conservation area, like all real estate on that side of Chandler Road. Developers are clearing a new path downhill from the old one.

Mill Pond Estates plan, Burlington MA

Chandler Road new footpath to Mill Pond conservation area
Chandler Road’s new footpath to Mill Pond conservation area.

But never mind all that. Here’s the real news: Brad Cushman of 14 Red Coat Lane found this shopping bag in a pile of debris at the construction site.

Almy's shopping bag, Burlington MA


Notice the faint slogan, “You’re important to us.” That slogan caused a big argument, according to Robert Gorin, whose family owned the Almys chain. He says he butted heads with car dealer Peter Fuller about use of that slogan, each company claiming it as its own. Gorin finally told Fuller, “Fine, go ahead and use it. Everyone will think of us anyway.”

Almys closed in Burlington in the mid-1980s. So let’s do a quick calculation. Anyone have a calculator? Oh, here’s one.

Almy's Burlington MA

The bag is at least 35 years old. This should remove any doubt about the environmental impact of plastic shopping bags. They really do stick around. Keep that in mind when your biodegradable, earth-friendly paper bag breaks in the Shaw’s parking lot and your strawberries go rolling around the parking lot. Paper bags may be a pain, but plastic is the greater evil, for it never really dies . . .

So when you’re trick-or-treating this year, beware of the Ghost of Almys. It roams the land once again!


Almy, Bigelow & Washburn in Salem MA
Where the chain began: Almy, Bigelow & Washburn in Salem MA.

5 thoughts on “Construction site releases ancient spirit Leave a comment

  1. Late 60s … grandmother would take me to Almys for $0.10 match box cars … one every other week when she visited!!!!

  2. Thanks for the write up and cool pictures! Also, thanks for letting people know about plastic waste. I pick up litter in my town (Belmont), and have picked up hundreds of pounds of plastic in about a year and a half.

  3. Thanks for these pictures and write ups! It seems like only a few years ago my mom would bring my sister, brother and me to LeeWards for our arts and crafts!!

  4. sad, ……………….when will burlington stop cutting down its few wooded areas…………………they will strip mall and build on every area of town……………….good comments on the dangers of plastic……………down here in the pine barrens of south jersey, our sea turtles are ea ting the bags………………………….and dying……………………………write on

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