Your Neighborhood Frozen In Time


Walnut Looking Toward Oakland St

Walnut Looking Toward Oakland St

Gearin at 5 Walnut St.

To the left at 11 Walnut was the Ayres, Ralph and Edith.

To the right was Dick Winn and wife Elaine.

Directly across the street was Henry Rundlet and his wife Gracie. As a child of about 6 years of age, Gracie was the first person I ever knew who past on. I still remember my mother telling us ,”Gracie died last night.”

Across the St to the right was the Chases. Prior to them were the Gulhangs. They had a few kids one named Donna and another Paul.

Across the st to the left across from the Ayres was Urban & Anna Knight. Urban’s sister Marion and husband William (Bill) Carver.

Ralph Ayres August 1973

Ralph Ayres August 1973

Mr Noyse was at the corner of California and Walnut.

Leo and Margaret Gagnon lived opposite Mr Noyse and to the right of the Goulds.

Opposite California were the Goulds. Bart and his wife were both school teachers and regularly filled in as substitute teachers at the Belleville School. They always drove Saabs. Bart was an incredible chess player and all the kids would line up to play him at the Barrel Of Fun Fair. Very nice people with a home filled with books!

To the left of the Gould were Dave Shepard and wife.

The only sea merchant home on the st was own by the Dodges.

The Souther’s home was at the far opposite end of Walnut St toward Woodland. Danny and Jimmy lived there with their mother.



Add your comments or send me your neighborhood with pics to add to this post!

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2008 and is filed under Neighborhood Time Capsule. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Your Neighborhood Frozen In Time”

  1. p. j. nichypor on February 21st, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    My neighborhood was the bottom portion of Franklin St. As I recall, the family names went like this; Starting at Water St and working up there was Alex Hanewicz, (sp?). Next up was Walt Kimber, ( I remember one of the sons burning ants on the sidewalk with the aid of lighter fluid as an accelerant ). Opposite was Jake Checkoway and then the Eatons. Back across the street just up from Walt Kimber’s house was a big open area with no houses, just walt’s huge yard. Skip back to the other side and just up from the Eatons was a tiny “duplex” that housed Ben and Jane Colomiki, (sp?). Ben’s father lived in the other half of the small house and kept a beautiful green Chevy parked out front. Just up from them on that side was another large yard extending up the street to the Robetaille’s(sp?) house. Back across the street was the duplex that housed the Tobin’s, including my Godfather, “Uncle Dizz”… His father-in-law lived on the side of the house closer to Water St. ,( years later, his Mother lived there…). The next duplex was our house. My Aunt, “Chochie” Mary, lived on one side at #15, we resided at #17. Next up from us, yet another duplex that housed old Mr. Donahue(sp?) on one side and his daughter Mildred Tillby and her son Ronald, on the other. Mr Donahue worked for years as a caretaker at Oak Hill Cemetery. We had him over for dinner one Sunday in the early sixties and I remember being quite impressed with his having about half of his right index finger. I can only assume he had an accident with a power mower at his job… One of two African-American families on our street lived opposite Mr. D’s. the first of these was the Roberts’s. Isaac, or “Ike” Roberts was an old time Jazz musician who played a mean “Sax”. I recall being impressed with his stories of playing in the presence of greats such as Count Basie and I think, Cab Calloway to name a couple. Up from Ike was a large single family house occupied by an old Polish or Russian man we called Mr. Gregkle(sp?). He had as most of us did in those days, fruit trees in his yard. One day when I was walking past his fence, he called “Boy, hey boy”… to me. I walked over to that side of the street and was handed some of the nicest peaches I had ever seen. I said thanx and ran on home to give them to my Mother. On The other side was an old unpainted house that housed an unseen older couple. The famed Madeline Lunt used to pull up in front of that house once a week and the woman who resided there would get into that old cab and be spirited away to some unknown location for part of the day and be returned in the same conveyance later on. There was a massive bush of Japanese Bamboo in front, as the house was one of the few on the entire street not built right on the sidewalk. This bush came to be known as “Bee’s Nest Charlie” as it was alive with thousands of bees every summer. This was also the only remaining “Ice” customer left on Franklin St. The Ice truck would deliver big blocks of ice on a regular basis, much to the thrill of the neighborhood kids who would beg a chunk of ice from the delivery driver. Next door were the Avants, our second African American family. they lived in what was known for years as the “New House”. This came about in the early sixties when the original house on that spot was fenced in one summer and torn down. it was always a thrill to peek through the gaps in the fence to see the demolition going on. I was impressed to see a bathtub, suspended in air by just the plumbing… in its place, a single level “Ranch” style house with picture windows was built there and is still there today. Next up was Don Murphy’s Grandmother’s house. later to be passed on to Dennis, Don’s older brother. It wa some-how always a family member’s house, be it cousins or closer relatives in the Murphy family. A garage or shop was next door to the Murphy house and was occupied by a man we kids referred to as the “Painter”… He gained “Boo Radley” status by chasing us out of that yard on numerous occasions. Next to that was the home of the Hodgdons. The two youngest daughters were Rose-Ann and Rose-Mary, they were twins and came to be referred to as “Twinnie” so as not to confuse us. Mr. Hodgdon, “Charlie”, worked for years at Fowle’s on State St. as the “Magazine Guy”. Back across the street was the Rickers and next up the Thurlows. I had a childhood crush on Pam Thurlow. She was a couple of years older than me, had freckles and was, at least in my view, a Godess… next to the Thurlows was another of the Murphy clan’s houses. It was a and still is a tiny structure with no logical shape to it. It has housed a Murphy family member since i can remember. Next door lived Eleanor Sargent. My friend Beth lived there during the summer. I’ll assume that Eleanor was her Grandmother or Aunt as Beth’s last name was Sargent too. I never had any romantic inclinations toward Beth, we were just good friends and had been, starting in the early Brown School days. We were playing on my back steps one summer afternoon. i had just gotten a new toy. it was a “Blister-pack” loaded with toy hardware store items and was aptly called a toy “Hardware Store”. Beth was playing with one of the cheaply made plastic pieces, ( a watering can as I recall…) and the handle broke off. I don’t remember if I had let out a yell of disapproval or if she did, but next thing I know, Beth jumps up and bolts from the yard… My mother came to the door to investigate, only to find me in shock, having seen Beth’s overly hasty retreat from what had been up to that point, a fun play day… I don’t think I saw much of my friend after that. We even went up to the Sargent’s house to let her know all would be okay, to no avail… Next up was the only Federalist style house on our street. It was a narrow house and painted gray. I can’t for the life of me remember the last name of the family who lived there. I can recall how mean the Mother was to the son and the daughter. Last house on that side was a beat up two story structure. With-in, for years resided a large “Lower Income” family. The mother of the several children was usually quite vociferous about her observations of the goings on about that part of the street. Nothing, it seems , escaped her “Busy” eye. The night of the “Great Black-out, in 1965 caused quite a stir with her, as she was observed by the entire neighborhood, running in circles at the corner of Franklin and Purchase streets, exclaiming that we were in fact under alien invasion… Back mover to the other side was my friend Carlton Brown’s house. The good as well as some of the not so good time I had there growing up are too numerous to write about in one sitting. Suffice it to say that I was deeply saddened to learn of his Mother’s passing this past summer and had a reunion of sorts with my old friend. We talked of some of the events in the old neighborhood. Last hose on the corner was Jubert’s. This was a heavily modified structure in that it had been converted into a corner store. Not to be confused with what are now called “Convenience Stores”. This was in fact a full service grocery store with a candy counter a vegetable cooler, dry goods, canned goods, and most impressive of all, a butcher shop in the rear. Art Jubert or one of the family employees would gladly retrieve a large portion of beef in order to custom cut what ever the customer desired. All at reasonable prices too… One other unique feature of this store was the Post Office located in the front corner of the store-front… One could buy stamps, mail letters, etc. and get those letters post-marked by Art, the honest to God Post Master in that corner of his store that was an official U.S. Post office… I believe that just like any other old store location in and about Newburyport, you can still find old discarded and fossilized chewing gum embedded in the sidewalks in front of these former corner grocery stores… Ah, the memories….

  2. Rollie on September 12th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    WE had the “Murphy Street/Norman Ave” gang consisting of myself, my brother Ross, Glen Freeman and Paul York – oh the trouble we would get in. We had others who hung around with us – the Alkires (who visited their grandparents – the Shorts – on Norman Ave), Bobby Morrill, a dude named Gladstone and the Bishops from Low Street… what a time.

  3. Elly Lare on August 4th, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    The picture of a young boy riding a bicycle on Walnut St facing Oakland street. The darker house in the middle of the three houses shown is 11 Oakland St. This is where I grew up. My name is Eleanor (Fish) Lare. I was born there in 1946 and my parents were Virginia and John Fish. My brother, Jack as well. I have the best childhood memories that wnyone could of had. The Gildays lived in the house to the right of us and the Jewett and Terry family lived in the apartment house to the left. I remember the Ayres family as being so nice. But then EVERYONE in our neighborhood was amazing. Everyone knew everyone, no one ever locked their doors or windows and we stayed outside sitting on our doorsteps late during the summer. Those days are gone forever but nothing or anyone can take away the amazing memories.

  4. Shawn G - Moderator on August 8th, 2014 at 12:14 am

    We lived in the grey house 5 Walnut St to the right of the Ayres. Used to have lots of chestnut trees around the neighborhood until they died out in the late 70’s. Hello neighbor! Shawn Gearin

  5. Bill Plante on September 15th, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Looking for photos of Isaac ‘Ike’ Roberts and Walt Jackson, two seminal NBPT jazz musicians. I’ve been told Ike’s widow may still be alive and that Walt has a son, Bobby, who may still live in town.

    Would like to commemorate them in a celebration of Newburyport;’s musical scene set for October at the Firehouse.

    Any info appreciated.

    Bill Plante
    978 270 5442

  6. Bill Shaheen on August 22nd, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I may have a few pix of Ike in my archives……….will look for them soon.

    p.s. Ike’s nephew is Frank Cousins……..and one of Ike’s relatives was the Chief Justice of Liberia in West Africa…………

    Ike and I used to attend Frank Leary’s weekly ham radio get-together at Frank’s place of High Street……………

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