A Seaview Kid Goes Shopping

In the 40s, Marshfield did not offer much but basic shopping. The A&P, First National, Wherrity’s drug store and soda fountain, Feinberg’s clothing store, and a general store here and there.

Feinberg’s Clothing Store on Ocean St.

There were traveling vendors — Hathaway’s Bakery Bread, a black and white Chevy panel truck, Smitty was the breadman. There were drawers that would roll out to get the donuts and pastries.

Smitty’s Bread truck. c. ’40’s

         The White Brothers milk truck would stop at our house. Herby delivered the milk bottles with the bulb in the top where the cream would settle, a cardboard disc pressed into the top.

There was a meat vendor and a fish vendor but I can’t remember them by name.

A short drive to Scituate gave my folks much more to choose from. A much larger A&P, an Italian delicatessen. My Mom would buy a wedge of parmesan cheese that would be shredded on our pasta dinner. A 5&10 that I couldn’t get enough of. Welch’s Hardware Store, where my Dad always had to get something.

The Welch Co. Front St. Scituate.          A 1893 George Welch ad.


My Dad & I would get our hair cut at Larry’s Barber Shop. We would stop at the Quincy Gas Station at the beginning of Front Street to get a dollar’s worth of gas — I think gas was under 15 cents a gallon — that would take the old Chevy and Dad to the Greenbush Train Station all week.

Other shopping trips would be to Rockland, Brockton or Quincy. The Rockland trips were to the Thom McAn shoe store and to Woolworth’s 5&10 cent store.

When in season,  baby chickens. Yes, chickens, — the baby chicks would be in a long high box on the counter with light bulbs hanging down to keep the chicks warm.

Dad would have to lift me up to pick out the most lively ones. I remember some were dyed pink. There was no way to tell which were hens or roosters. Dad always wanted 6 to 8 hens and 4 roosters. The roosters were  slaughtered   for the holidays. Many times we got more roosters than hens, so therefore, we just had more holidays.

Brockton was a favorite city for my folks to shop. Both parents were born and brought up there. Sears and Roebuck was the first stop. To park in the rear, you would drive through an opening between two buildings with a large structure above, a rather unusual entrance that intrigued me. This store always had plenty of bikes for me to drool over.

After my folks finished shopping, there was always a stop at the Swedish Bakery on the corner. I will never forget the smell of the freshly baked goods. My Mom would have to buy two loaves of Swedish rye, one for the ride home and one for home. Also a package of knackebrod, a Swedish crisp bread. It came in a paper package sealed up on the bottom, so we always opened it from the bottom. Out came a thin, round, greyish brown, cracker-like bread with a hole in the center. It could be broken into pieces easily. I have not seen this round version for years.

Dad said the hole in the middle was to hang it on a pole in the old bakeries. You could buy as many pieces as you wished and the baker would wrap it with brown paper off a large roll, then he would tie it with string. The last Swedish bakery I remember was in Hanover. I do miss that smell then tearing that round loaf of rye open, and eating it dry-raw.

by Ray Freden
Marshfield resident 70 years, Seaview resident 60 years.

3 Replies to “A Seaview Kid Goes Shopping”

  1. Laughing at the “we would buy more roosters, therefore have more holidays”. I really enjoy the pictures you post with your stories, Ray! It makes me feel like I can picture the 40s, it seems like you have very happy/fond memories. But I can’t help but wonder why they would dye the chicks pink?! Jenna, RN

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