Friday, October 27, 2017

Danvers visit

I want to share some photos and impressions from a recent visit to Danvers.
Ferncroft Pond, where I used to skate

My time was limited (spare hours around the edges of a conference October 18-20, 2017, at the DoubleTree Inn), but I thoroughly enjoyed brief excursions in the glorious fall weather.

With me for two days was a friend unfamiliar with Danvers, so I served as her tour-guide, showing her special places in the landscape of my childhood.

Some call this "Grandmother's Rock" 
The rocky outcrop just beyond the stonewall in the photo above is a familiar landmark on Nichols Street, an enduring remnant of the old "Locust Lawn" property: 35 acres of pastureland, woods, ski trails and sliding hills accessible to all the Nichols Street kids in the 1950's and 60's.

This house at 70 Nichols Street, just across the street from that rocky outcrop, was home to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hoberg and their four daughters. Janet, the eldest, was my age and we often played together. Mrs. Hoberg encouraged me when I was learning to sew. Janet and I spent hours in her sewing room making clothes for teddy bears and dolls. I sent this photo to Janet, who now lives in Florida.

Nichols Street, cut off by Rte 95, now ends not far north of the Hoberg house. Back in the 1940's it would have been possible to walk or drive north all the way to Ferncroft Road and the old ice pond. Nichols Street originally extended in a straight line towards the old Route 1, up and over the west side to Dale's Hill (a.k.a. Nichols Hill) and ending about where Ferncroft Road now begins. Today the drive from Nichols Street to Ferncroft Road is indirect, involving confusing loops of newer roads.

Even the south end of Nichols Street has been transformed. The little store I remember at the corner with Maple Street, where we bought penny candy, isn't at the corner anymore.
The store building, at 1 Nichols Street, seems intact; it didn't move, but the intersection of Nichols Street with Maple Street has shifted northward.  Here are a few photos. In a future post I'll write more about 1 Nichols Street.

The old candy store is now Nik's Giovanni's, selling pizza, kabobs, and soda. I did find a few small pieces of candy there, and bought some, just for nostalgia.

The old candy store is now Nik's Giovanni's
The address on the door of the store is still 1 Nichols Street, though the actual corner with Nichols Street is now many car lengths away.  On their brochure, they list "Route 62 Danvers, Across from Forest St" as well as their mailing address: 1 Nichols Street, Danvers, MA 01923.

Store at 1 Nichols Street

Rte 62 (Maple St) looking northwest from Nik's Giovani's. The entrance to
Nichols Street and Spring Street is now ahead on the right (where you see the truck's tail lights, and white sign). 
On the last day of my visit, I explored at my own whim, after a delicious breakfast at the New Brothers Restaurant and Deli in Danvers Square. I thank classmate Susan Kent Rogers for introducing me to that restaurant. We savored the good food and reminisced about various Danvers Square stores and experiences from long ago.

17th century house that once was on Spring Street.
I paused to take a photo of a VERY old house, now on Maple Street, but originally (before 1914) on Spring Street. I'm glad to see it protected by a new roof.

This 17th century house had been the home of my ancestor Sarah Warren Prince (later Osborne). She raised two sons, one of whom married into the Nichols family. I've been told of a family cemetery on Spring Street, but I was unable to locate it.

Next I drove oout Forest Street and explored the Endicott Park, walking along a lovely path in the woods. 

These stalls reminded me somewhat of the stalls in the old Locust Lawn barn.

Community gardens and fall foliage

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