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Uncommon images near the Common

State Road at Main Street, Burlington, MA
LATE 1800s — State Road at Main Street, now known as Cambridge Street at Center Street. The triangular island is still there today. That little white-capped structure is the town scale, an important tool for pricing goods.


Sewall House Burlington MA

Sewall House reverse side Burlington MA
This house was near today’s Independence Drive off Lexington Street. It’s on the Burlington town seal.

Burlington MA town seal

Parsonage collapse 1957, Burlington MA
1956 — The parsonage of Rev. Sidney King, Church of Christ (now the UCC),  was being moved from Center Street to the corner of Bedford Street and Church Lane when the carrier hit a rut and lost the house. Goodbye house, and almost all of Rev. King’s possessions. Thank you to Mike Tredeau for the image. Here’s another from the town archives:

Parsonage collapse during move, 1956


Main Street Burlington, MA
Main Street is now Center Street. The houses were replaced by municipal buildings that now face the Common.

Main Street postcard reverse side, Burlington MA


Pearsons estate on the common, Burlington, MA
The Pearsons estate (misspelled on the photo), on the corner of Bedford Street and Cambridge Street (known as State Road back then). The house is plotted on this 1875 map.

Burlington "center" in 1875.


General Store, early 1900s Burlington MA

Post card early 1900s Burlington MA
See the little wagon parked out front? That was the town’s first school bus, nicknamed the “barge.” The reverse side of this postcard seems to describe a mini-scandal about town funding for the barge. A replica of that barge is inside the Burlington Museum on Bedford Street near Simonds Park.

First Town Hall, Burlington MA
Burlington’s first Town Hall, where the Simonds Park little league field is today.


1902 Town Hall fire Burlington MA
And there goes Town Hall, up in flames in 1902. Notice the response from the fire department. You don’t see any response? That’s because Burlington had no fire department. The woman in the foreground is near today’s Burlington Museum.


Burlington MA town pond on today's common
In the early 1900s, the area near today’s bandstand was the Town Pond, which offered winter skating and spring peepers. The pond is still evident in this aerial shot from 1957.


July 2019. It's still the town pond sometimes.
And sometimes it’s STILL the town pond, though not on purpose.


9 thoughts on “Uncommon images near the Common Leave a comment

  1. We moved to Burlington in 1955 when I was 3. I recognize a lot of these buildings/locations. And definitely recall the pond I didn’t know was there when it filled with water! They filled it in, burying the trees halfway up their trunks, but I think it still was wet and boggy sometimes. We crossed the road and played softball on Fridays on the triangle across from the Union School where I went for 6th grade. I knew it was an old building but didn’t realize it was built in 1897!

  2. back in 1963 and 1964 used to play little league baseball on the baseball field that was there.

  3. Any future renovation of the Common should include restoration of the pond as a water feature. The bandstand and dance pads could stand in as islands. How cool would that be?

  4. Where did you get the image of the Barge in front of the General Store? I’ve just seen that exact card for sale on Ebay, same writing on the back, everything the same.

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