(Courtesy Dedham Historical Society)
The Dedham Historical Society is asking residents to pore through basements and pick through attics to find artifacts from the town's three main business districts that could become part of a new museum exhibition set to open in the fall.
“Take a Walk through Dedham’s Historic Squares” will focus on businesses in Dedham Square, East Dedham Square, and Oakdale Square, according to society executive director Vicky Kruckeberg.
Through the decades, these three squares have hosted businesses ranging from food markets and department stores, to pharmacies, barber shops, candy stores, and auto dealers and repair shops, she said.
“This exhibit will have something for everyone,” Kruckeberg promised. “I’m sure many people have kept mementos of these business districts, and we welcome all inquiries and contributions to the exhibit.”
Of particular interest are signs, advertisements, packaging, and promotional items from the 19th Century to today, she said. And, what would be wonderful would be to lay hands on mementos from once-familiar business establishments that were displaced by more modern 20th-Century redevelopment, she said.
In addition to items that are contributed from residents and others, the society plans to exhibit many items from its own collection, including postcards, photos, and newspaper articles about the three squares, Kruckeberg said. Featured will be an early to mid-20th Century outdoor wooden sign from the Dedham Women’s Exchange for their Contentment Tea Room once located on High Street.
Contentment was the original name for the town of Dedham.
Those with historical items relating to any of the three business districts should contact the Kruckeberg at the Dedham Historical Society at either 781-326-1385 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kruckeberg said there is still time to see the museum’s current exhibit, “150 Years of the Dedham Historical Society,” whiuch will close in September.
Commemorating the society’s 150th Anniversary in 2009, the exhibit features a variety of historical artifacts from a Civil War drum to a "Dehamopoly" game. .
The museum in Dedham Square is open Tuesday-Friday, noon – 4 pm, and even-dated Saturdays, from 1-4 pm.
Admission is free for members. Non-members pay $2 for adults and $1 for children.
Michele Morgan Bolton can be reached at email@example.com.