A Forgotten Era of Everett Square

A print of Everett Square in 1895.

Everett Square 1895.

The city is showing its Victorian grandeur, with its steepled churches, cobblestone streets, wide sidewalks, large overhanging awnings, horse driven carriages and trolleys.

There is the absence of automobiles. It will be another decade before they appear and change the course of life for Everett residents and for mankind.

The pace of life is slower. The economy is driven by rising powerful industries. Broadway is populated with small specialty shops – the blacksmith, the butcher, the florist, the barber, the apothecary, the clothing shop, the savings bank and so many more.

The Everett of this era has the look and feel of the Victorian Era, an era most of us can’t even relate to except for the occasional home from this era that remains standing here for all of us to see and to admire.

Everything about the city in 1895 appears to be stately, solid, and the photograph itself shows the square as though it were frozen in time.

Imagine yourself standing in the square and facing North – Ferry Street is where the three story yellow brick building stands on the right side of Broadway. Norwood Street is between the brick three story Victorian and the three story light blue wooden structure flying the American flag – which by the way has only 44 stars.

The churches are apparent – Immaculate Conception on the right side of Broadway.

The steepled beauty across the street is the Congregational Church – which no longer has its steeple and which has been sided with vinyl with nearly all its pre-Victorian detail removed.

The fountain in the foreground of the photograph is something to marvel at. It is a horse fountain.

Notice, if you will, the poles carrying electric wires and the newer telephone poles and their lines.

Unseen in this photograph is the Parlin Library, opened in September of 1895. Also not visible is the old city hall.

At this time, Everett’s downtown represented America as it was before the major migration here of European immigrants, which began in earnest after the turn of the Century and went full blast until the doors were virtually closed in 1920.

Everett was transformed by that great migration.

The Italian people came here in larger numbers than any other and Everett existed as a virtual Italian community from the 1920’s up to today.

The city is changing dramatically at this point in its long history. The Italian community here remains strong but thousands of newcomers from Brazil and Eastern Europe have settled here as well as the Spanish speakers from a half dozen countries.

Everett is a Melting Pot city today.

In 1895, it was an old line Yankee kingdom of sorts.

What a difference 116 years makes in the life and times of a city.

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