The Back Roads from Seaview, part 2

–> My Dad would sometimes take a different road on his way to shopping in Brockton on Saturday morning. My last blog took us by way of Pleasant Street. This time was up Summer Street [north].

Quite a number of years after the Railroad was discontinued through Marshfield, Summer Street and a bridge over the tracks remained. Not until after WW2 was Summer Street straightened and the bridge removed.
Looking north from the Summer St. Bridge.
The water tank can be seen just right of the barn roof.
Next on the left was a huge barn where the H. P. Hood Milk Company of Quincy bottled milk, and kept their trucks for the area’s deliveries. Milk trucks were parked all around the barn, and some employees lived on site.  Years later it became Torrey Little’s Auction Barn.
                                         This barn was onced used by the Hood Milk Co.
                             © 2014 R. A. Mitchell photo. Used with permission
Across Summer Street, A mansion built by the Trouant Family and converted into a hospital, [ South Shore Hospital] , In 1934 the abandon building burned to the ground. remnants of the foundation may be found today.
On the next corner was Josselyn’s Store, stashed full of penny candy. From the store you could see the water pipe over Summer Street that once carried water from Wales Pond on Pleasant Street to the tank alongside the tracks. The water was used to fill the steam locomotives.
The  East Marshfield Railroad Station’s name was changed to Marshfield Hills in October 1890.
                                      Looking south at the Marshfield Hills RR Station.
Partway up Prospect Street, looking back at the Railroad Station (left).
Stackhouse Pond and Walkers nail factory (right).
Summer Street bears off lower left. Note the street sign in the triangle.

 As we approached the top of Prospect Hill, stately homes lined both sides of Prospect Street.

                         Next to the Marshfield Hills Store was a blacksmith shop.
The G.A.R. Hall and Hills Fire Station on Old Main Street, looking west.


The four corners of the Hills, looking  up Main St. [now Old Main St.]                    

  L.Pleasant St., R. Highland St.

Prospect Street to Highland Street looks much the same as it did 70 years ago.
As we approached Main Street [Route 3A], the traffic lights changed to red. Not a car passed the duration of the red light. This was the only traffic light in the town.
We would continue down Highland Street with not much of interest to a seven year old. The next intersection was Valley and Oak Streets. This time Dad would take Oak Street. Quite a change of homes from Prospect and Highland Streets!
As we came to the intersection of Union And Oak Streets, my Dad slowed to a stop. There was a very loud noise unlike anything I had ever heard! There was a whirring-buzzing sound like a bumble bee buzzing around your head.
There were a few cars parked in the field, and people were standing in a group.
My Dad made the turn onto Union Street and as we passed slowly, I could see a post with a string and a small machine racing around in a circle.
“Dad, Dad, Whatzat?”
He replied “Racecars, I think.”
“Go back, Dad. Please go back!” I hollered.  
Mom piped up, “Bill, keep going. We’ll never get shopping!”
Going shopping and getting home was last thing on my mind.
A little bit further, Dad slowed, turned into a driveway, and went back, then turned onto Oak Street and into the field. I was out of the car and pulling Dad. Mom was hollering about getting too close! A miniature car was screaming around the track so fast it was just a blur!
                             Close to us was a bench with a car sitting on top.
I edged close to it and was dumbfounded. It looked like a real race car, only about the size of my Dad’s shoe.
I knew what a real midget race car looked like — my uncle Webster Clark built them in his barn in Humarock.
As I was admiring the mini race car, a man said, “Have you seen these before?”
I responded, “No-sir.”
He said, “These are miniature Indy cars.”
“Huh,” to myself.
He went on, “That’s a model airplane engine. I built this one, but you can buy kits like the one racing.”
“Oh, how much are they?” I asked.
“About one hundred dollars, and then lots of extras.”
Then silence from the track, a sputter, another sputter, then people clapping.
The man said, “Over 90 miles per hour! I’m up soon, see you again.”
Then I heard, “Bill, Bill, come-on.”      Mom was not happy.
A Tether Car Race Track.

 Onto Union Street, passing The Hatch Mill and pond.

The big barn at Tracy Hatch’s — they grew flowers in big greenhouses out back.
Another pond on the left. A cart path went around a pond up to Magoun’s Pond.
There was a clearing used as a picnic area. The box mill was long gone. The Magoun Brothers built a park around the pond as well as a miniature sawmill. The area was to be enjoyed by everyone interested.
 Just a short way on Union Street, Maryland Street would take us to Pembroke.
As we beared to the right, Lantz’s Chicken Farm was on the left. There was a large fenced in area along Union Street and Maryland Street. It formed a large triangle with low sheds inside for the chickens to roost. As we proceeded by, stray escapees ran up and down the fence line as well as in the street.
I remember saying to my Dad , “Let’s stop and catch one.”
“Just keep going, Bill” were the last words for a while!
Maryland Street turned into Water Street in Pembroke. A beautiful home was on the right — stone pillars on each end of the circular driveway that went through an overhang porch from the house. It too was made of stone, much like on a mansion. It had beautiful landscaping and overlooked the North River and a small island. It seemed to be used only in the summer. Another mystery to me.
Off to Brockton we went. I remained in the car, not going into Sears and Roebuck to look at bikes, no Swedish Bakery samples — I don’t remember anything except the buzz of those mini race cars.
My Dad found out more about the race cars the next day, from his friends at work. He learned that races took place at Holledge’s, on weekends. A big race was on Labor Day.
After a dump trip on the weekend, I would convince Dad to take a run to
Union Street to take a look for any racing. Only once that I remember was a single car screaming around the track.
Labor Day came and you couldn’t get near the place. Dad would have no part of staying. Little did I know that I would not see tether racing again for over four years.
On December 7th 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and we were at war — three days before my 7th birthday. Racing was over — most everything was over — it was pretty quiet around Seaview for the next four years.


I have never forgotten the impression those mini race cars made on me.
A mini race car owner doing a last minute check.

“If I ever thought I would remember so much of my youth, I would have paid more attention to details.”


Ray Freden , Marshfield 70 years.


April, 2015


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