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I’m the one with the horrible outfit. Which one? Exactly.

Every town should have a site like this, just as every family should have a scrapbook and every school a yearbook. The alternative is allowing Father Time to erode and ultimately erase everything. Who wants that? Yet that’s exactly what happens in most towns. The people, the stores, the restaurants, churches, schools — they just lapse into the void. They’re throwaways.

Burlington can do better, but it requires teamwork. Please take the time and effort to dig up old Burlington images, even if they’re on 35mm slides, from your basements and attics. What function are they serving just languishing in a box somewhere? Zero. But they can serve a real purpose right here.

What purpose? Older residents will appreciate the nostalgia. Middle-agers will marvel at things they’ve heard about but never thought they’d see. Younger people, and recent Burlington arrivals, will see their town from a whole new perspective. It’s like going from 180-degree vision to a full 360. Everything gains a new dimension. The buildings, the people, the street names — they all start to come alive.

When knowledge is passed from one generation to another, a town transcends itself and becomes a culture instead. You can help build Burlington culture. If you don’t have pictures but do have a colorful Burlington story, even a short one, you’re welcome to submit it here. The more voices, the better this site becomes. I can be reached at 781-718-9872 or


Robert Fahey signature


Fr. John B. Kineen in 1976 Burlington MA
Me in 1976 with Fr. John B. Kineen, always barrel of laughs.


Robert Fahey diploma


My Salem State yearbook photo. Biker outfit came from Joker’s Wild in North Reading. Can’t see the black leather jacket with tassels everywhere. Oh well.


Robert Fahey Lechmere award


Oh the ironies of life. Look at my history grades:

Robert Fahey report card

43 thoughts on “About Leave a comment

  1. Hello! I ran across your site while looking for photos of Route 128. I’m writing a blog post for Archer Hotel Burlington with a mention of Route 128. Would it be possible for you to send me a high-res photo of the 1950s black and white photo of the newly built highway? The line “Photo courtesy of would accompany the photo, as well as a link to your site. Thank you!

  2. Bob, I am co -chair of the 4th of July Committee and we are interested in some vintage photo’s of years past. Would you be interested in making a page about our storied July 4th celebrations?

  3. Hi, do you have any photos for Meadowbrook School? I went there and would love to see some. Thanks. Great site!

  4. I love this site! I am so glad that you discovered our group on Facebook named “History, Memories & Photos of Woburn.” As you know, our group is a place for members to share experiences in Woburn and since Burlington was once part of Woburn, we do post photos and history related to Burlington as well. Again, I’m excited to fully explore this site and learn more about Burlington! Thank you.

  5. Hey Bob, even though we’ve sat across from each other many times closing a car deal, I had no idea you’re a former journalist and amateur historian. Fantastic site.

    I grew up in Arlington in the 60s and coming out to Burlington back then was sort of like going to New Hampshire — very rural but with lots of brand new construction happening. My band buddies and I used to come out to a new music store to pick up guitar strings, picks, drum sticks, and an occasional amplifier. I *think* the place was on 3A just past the Woburn line. Maybe across from where the Escadrille is? At the time, it was about the only building in a new development. Does this sound familiar to you? Can you ID the location or the name of the store?

  6. Great site. I grew up in Burlington. This brings back a lot of memories. Lived there from the 60’s to 1989. It’s really changed a lot. I remember when there was no traffic.

    • Talk about NO traffic! I remember ‘coasting’ down Winnmere & Glen Ave (I was too chicken to go down Harriet) and we would go right across Winn St. The town did try putting some sand at the bottom of the hills but we would go right through it!

      • Yes, Noreen. I remember that also.
        Winn Street had so little traffic in the early 50’s that our dog ‘Pal’ would wait at the bus stop from Woburn every day at 5 p.m. for my sister coming home from work. Would lie down and just wait by the side of the road.
        I also remember the ‘Nike’ military station at the top of the hill that was there in the 50’s. As young teenage girls we would get excited at seeing the handsome soldiers in their military uniforms!
        Janet Russo Hauser

  7. I am a newcomer, only in town for 8 years, but am haunted by the farms that were once around us. I have been taking care of Mary Cummings Park for some years, clearing trails, putting up signs, supplying maps, and monthly walks. Would love to connect with you.

  8. Some perspective and a quick quiz to post perhaps. You may know know some Robert but many won’t:
    (All from my grandfathers diary)

    1920 Burlington population
    ____ ? year Burlington students stopped going to high school in Lexington
    1938 number of working farms in town.
    1940 number of Burlington police

    Times change.

    Mark Graham Morrison

  9. Do you have anything on Ray’s Farm that was located on Cambridge Street
    Woburn/Burlington Line

    • I see records for an Earl W. Ray and Frances, Edith, Robert and Lizzie Ray. Do you know any descendants? I’d love to see a picture of the area before it was developed in the early 70s.

      • yes Earl Edith Robert I think Lizzie was the mother married to James Ray. I will look to see if i have any photos There was a farm
        Ray’s Farm real close to Neilson’s bicycle shop

        • Does Burlington High have an alumni association ? I have never heard of a school that didn’t have reunions . My wife
          who is suffering from Altzheimers is trying to relocate her roommate from U Mass . She’s looking for contact information
          for Aline MacDonnell class of 1964 .

  10. Do you have the ability to post videos? I have color videos of some Little League games circa 1959/1960. Many legendary Little League coaches and well known Burlingtonites as the appeared 60 years ago. No sound but the color and quality appear like they were taken this summer.

  11. Thank you for preserving Burlington in this way — I was amazed to see some of the earliest memories I have. Who would have thought there would still be images of Kemp’s and Hub Carriage Toy. Thank you so much for taking me back to the beginnings of my life.

  12. my father and his 10 siblings grew up in Burlington. i have an image of the Woburn Daily Times from 12DEC1942 with the headline ‘Burlington Boy Wounded in Hawahan Raid’, Private Lawrence Carey. I’d like to send it to you. I do not use Facebook.

  13. Bob,
    I have a story you may be interested in for your Burlington Retro blog. How can I get it to you?

  14. On your 1965-70 page, that is a pic of my grandfather, John Alicandro. He owned Town Grocery. Dude saw combat in WWII Phillipines and worked hard.

  15. Does anyone know how to contact a former teacher at Burlington High ?
    Maureen Woodward was my Italian teacher, and I have an old photo that she would get kick out of
    any help would be appreciated

  16. Thank you for this amazing site. I’m Avrille Nielsen’s daughter; my uncle was George Nielsen of the bike shop. Sometimes our last name was spelled Neilsen. My relatives went to Burlington High. They were Ralph, class of 1943; George, class of 1947; Caroline “Dolly”, class of 1948; Paul, class of 1957; and my mother Avrille, class of 1962. My cousin (Dolly’s daughter) and I are looking for pictures as the family pictures and history were lost in a fire. We would love to hear from anyone that knew our family, that can tell us stories, or send pictures. Thank you so much.

  17. julia connors,what a great woman and nurse……………..she once caught me skipping school playing in the woods off winn st, she asked me what i was doing out of school……..i said, “i was sick this morning”……….she said “you look fine now……get in,were going to school………..and we did”

  18. Hi! My grandfather owned Bell’s Studio. Very cool to see a picture of at least the outside of it. Thank you

    • I hit send too quick. Anyway, thanks for all the pics! Funny to see my dad and uncles yearbook photos as well

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