1889 Dedham Directory Part 2

Reading through the 1889 Dedham Directory gives you a pretty good picture of life in Shiretown in the late 19th century. The population at the time was 6,641, including those living in West Dedham who would become residents of Westwood in 1897 when that town seceded. Dedham also had about twice the land area that it does now.

For a small town, it offered just about everything you needed for your home, your business, and your social life. All of the following products were produced in town in 1889: boots, cabinets, chocolate, carriages, cigars, dresses, harnesses, slippers, suspenders, soap, tools, watches, and whips. The directory lists 10 blacksmiths, 6 boarding houses, 5 hotels, 2 ice dealers, 17 grocers, 7 physicians and surgeons, 4 lawyers, 17 dressmakers and 1 dentist. Remarkably, this town of under 10,000 residents had 7 post offices! Almost all of these were located inside railroad depots or grocers.
The listing of residents includes occupations as well as addresses. In 1889, a great number of Dedhamites either worked in the mills or for the Old Colony Railroad.


Those are pretty big raisins! Walnut Hill was the name given to the area surrounding the intersection of High St. and Walnut St. in East Dedham.


Penniman Square was the name given to the intersection of Mt. Vernon St.and Auburn St. (Whiting Avenue)

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5 Comments on “1889 Dedham Directory Part 2”

  1. susan Says:

    Was that Intel ad in the 1889 directory??

    • Jim Parr Says:

      Well, the tower definitely came down in 1954, so your pic was taken prior to that. Any idea who took it? Thanks agian for sending it, I don’t know if I replied to you earlier. I had a pretty busy summer and didn’t get to the blog much.

  2. Jim Parr Says:

    Not sure; I think Dedham’s most advanced technology in 1889 was the big raisins.

  3. james v. horrigan Says:

    this reminds me of a piece i wrote for commonwealth magazine a few years ago, a review of a book called “Goods for Sale,” by Chaim Rosenberg,

    http://www.commonwealthmagazine.org/Voices/Two-Bits/2007/Summer/Once-upon-a-time-practically-everything-was-made-in-Massachusetts.aspx


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