Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:00 am

Rozzie Square was cooler in the 60's. It didn't have the gourmet four-star restaurants and wine conniseur shops like it has now, but it was more family oriented. The Rialto Theatre had a matinee plus two flicks per night weekdays and continuous on the weekends next to where Vicky has the Rialto Barber Shop, Park Snowes was a nice department store that was the suburban version of Jordan Marsh. That was on Corinth next to where Village Market is now. BFD Engine 45 was where the library is now. (The library was where the RMV is now.) Both streetcars and trackless trolleys came straight up Washington Street, only the Charles River cars taking the turn onto South Street. The famous "Queen Mary" was assigned the Charles River route for a while. Diane's Bakery had excellent pastry (better than the North End), Roslindale Taxi had a cab stand outside the train station frequented by R$DC "Buddliners". And one of the best pizzas around could be had on South coming down towards Wash - an old Italian family made their square sliced version which was absolutely delicious. Need I not forget A&W Root Beer, along with Surman's clothing store, grocery stores, banks. You could find Type 5's on Cummins Highway at Wash as well as 4's and PCC's as well as TT's on both Wash and South- all getting their power from the sub-station humming along on Cummins. Nobody locked their doors until the late 60's because there was little crime.
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:33 pm

That's the Rozzie I remember too, and it was Roslindale SQUARE, not Village. And this from a West Roxbury boy. One of my fond memories was riding the CHARLES RIVER Type 4s and Type 5s up Washington Street to the South Street switch. Just before the switch they kept the power on, with brakes on too, to activated an electrical contact up on the trolley wire that controlled the track switch. If you were up with the motorman (no women drivers in those days) you could hear the hiss of the brakes and a strong motor hum at the same time, then watch the track switch move. Then brakes were released and we powered up to a stop in front of the Rialto.

Heading toward Forest Hills, the streetcar would make a left turn out of Corinth Street onto Washington and would slam noisily over the tracks and switches at Cummins Highway. Then, after a stop beside the Municipal Building, it was pretty smooth sailing (humming?) down Washington Street to Forest Hills because there were so few cars and trucks on the road in those days.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby MarkB » Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:00 pm

If you listen to current Roslindale 'activists,' the Square was a $hith@le until they came along and improved it. Funny thing - I lived on Roslindale ave through much of the 80s, and saw nothing wrong with the Square then. There was a time during the 70s when there was drug dealing there, like a lot of places in the city. Other than that short period, there was no desperate need for public meetings to decide what should be allowed to happen in the district.
MarkB
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 11:16 am

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:53 pm

MarkB wrote:If you listen to current Roslindale 'activists,' the Square was a $hith@le until they came along and improved it. Funny thing - I lived on Roslindale ave through much of the 80s, and saw nothing wrong with the Square then. There was a time during the 70s when there was drug dealing there, like a lot of places in the city. Other than that short period, there was no desperate need for public meetings to decide what should be allowed to happen in the district.

That was a result of the heroin trade gaining an outpost in the Square without BPD being ahead of the curve. Rozzie had been such a sleepy town that it wasn't taken seriously until it got out of hand. We have various intelligence gathering methods now that weren't around then also- computerization of data, Gang Unit, etc. The area was getting tarnished, no doubt about it, lifelong Rozzie residents were moving to Dedham, partly due to crime, partly due to Judge W. Arthur Garrity's flawed decision on busing, property rates went down. Then, the Greeks came in and bought a lot of the property, their families returned, and the police department finally got wise and started to really fight the problem with information gathering, property seizures (we had a DARE Corvette !), as well as delivering the message to the Governor and his judges that this wasn't going to be tolerated any longer. As a result, the creepy crawlers started getting put away. It took awhile (I bought a beautiful home in '85 for $99G that's now worth $1/2M+) but it finally came back. It's got a different personality now, different from both the 50's and 70's, but very liveable and all the while under the potential 600v of the famous Sub-Station !
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:41 pm

I agree with you, 3rd rail. Rozzie was doing fine up until the busing crisis. My parents used to shop at Parke Snow all the time, and I rented a tux a few times at Cummins on Poplar Street. The streetcars ran noisily down Corinth Street with the soumd echoing off the buildings. Many years later when I rode the St. Charles line in New Orleans and the streetcar ran down the street-running single track between commercial buildings approaching Canal St., I was immediately reminded of the noisy ride down Corinth Street.

BTW, the whole time I lived in the area and traveled by streetcar and bus, I never saw a streetcar go left off Belgrade Ave. onto Corinth Street. Did you ever see or hear of that loop track being used?

Two of the few businesses still around that I remember from 60 years ago are Puritan Cream and the Davis cemetery monument place beside it on Washington Street near Forest Hills. And what was the name of the restaurant right near there that is a catering business today? Hatoff's is still going strong, but moved long ago down nearer Green Street.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:11 am

I'm jealous ! I'm junior to yourself, highgreen in that I was born the year in which trackless trolleys replaced the streetcars coming out of the Arborway. I guess that is why, to this day, TT's are my favorite vehicle. I have no memory, unfortunately, of the streetcars up here, but would love to hear more of your recollections of them. I often imagine seeing the Queen Mary gliding by on its Charles River route as well as 5's standing in the middle of the street on Cummins Highway at Wash waiting to start up for the return trip to Forest Hills. I used to love to ride my bike under the dark underground lair at Wash/Walk Hill directly underneath the El's Tower H. It was often a place for a found treasure, discarded by work crews many years prior on the El or Surface Lines.

The short turn at Belgrade/Corinth, I would imagine, would be only used for disabled cars to return to the Arborway, as the area beyond the Square was heavily patronized. A number of club halls existed back then (as they still do) and charters were quite popular at the time, so I can see a charter or two coming up a few times as a chartered shuttle from Forest Hills, but those instances and the break-downs probably would be just about it. The area did have a lot of long forgotten businesses. The 4040 Club, Barnstead Distillery, Dianes Bakery, Arboretum Rd. blacksmith are a few that come to mind. I think that you're talking about Richards which then became the Reid Brothers Laundary which became Gourmet Caterers. (I grew up accross the street next to the Tollgate Bridge and Doherty Lumber yard.) Perhaps you knew my grandparents, aunts, uncles, mom - the Colemans ?
Attachments
3001.jpg
3001.jpg (57.76 KiB) Viewed 1142 times
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby Teamdriver » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:14 am

I would say Judge Garrity did more harm to the concept of neighborhood in Boston than any other force in his day. And Rail is right, horse maybe comes in second.
User avatar
Teamdriver
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:18 pm

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:43 am

That's a great shot of an early PCC at the Charles River Loop, a picture I have never seen before. Note the Type 5 ready to head back to Forest Hills and Arborway. Although there was actually one PCC named Queen Mary, as kids we tended to call all the originals Queen Mary, as in "there goes a Queen Mary". It was quite a treat to ride on one with its leatherette bus style seating. I have heard there was a speed restriction for PCCs on Belgrade Ave. Apparently because of the nice straight and level track, "let's see what she can do" was tempting. Was this true?

And, yes, there usually seemed to be a Type 5 waiting in the middle of Cummins Highway for the return trip up and over the steep grade to Hyde Park Ave. on the way to Forest Hills. I believe that was the first trolley route in the area to get the ax. The destination was CUMMINS HWY AND WASHINGTON ST. (although it may have read slightly different on the roll sign). It was the only local route I never rode.

In your neighborhood, 3rdrail, you had a mystery that intrigued me and several other trolley fans I know. Coming out of Forest Hills station on the CHARLES RIVER or DEDHAM LINE car, just before the right turn under the railroad bridge, there was a mysterious track that went straight ahead into a dark hole. It was blocked by a locked gate, and we always wondered what evil lurked in that tunnel. I understand now (thanks to the Internet) that it went under the elevated repair shops, probably to deliver supplies . Am I right or wrong about that? I never saw a trolley go in there.

We actually looked forward, in 1952 (I think) to the trackless trolleys. The last Type 5s ran under double wire in prep for the coming TTs. The first time I boarded a TT it seemed quite novel that they pulled right to the curb and we didn't have to walk out into the middle of the street. But with their rough jolting ride, the novelty soon wore off.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:51 am

Whoops! Guess you already mentioned the mysterious tunnel. What treasures did you find in there?
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:26 pm

A series of "drop in" informal sessions to discuss the plans, proposals, progress and schedules for the Rozzie Substation redevelopment will be held at the Roslindale Village Main Streets office at 2 Corinth Street. All interested folks (including you rail and trolley fans) are invited to attend any of the following sessions: Dec 20, Jan 8, and Jan 10, all 5:30pm - 7:30pm and Jan 5, 10:00am - 1:00pm. A new Indian restaurant will be providing snacks. I plan to attend at least one session.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:00 pm

Image
That area back there was directly under the El's Tower H and the Forest Hills Shops. Tower H was actually accessed there through a set of stairs and at the time of the photo it was also used as a convenient parking spot for the T workers. The El began to meet the altitude of the rising Hyde Park Ave. next to it, so the further that you went in, the more enclosed it became. It would have been a claustrophobics worst nightmare ! I suspect that surplus and disgarded supplies sometimes went throgh a hole in the El winding up there and I also think that the El probably used the area to store work cars at one point. I found a nice piece of running rail, perfect for handling and display, at about 8" in length one day just poking it's nose up to the ground surface begging me to take it home and rescue it. I obliged and it amazes me still how agile a 12 year old is when I recall the balancing act that the heavy rail and I played on the cross-bar of my bicycle. And, to keep us on track here, the Rozzie sub-station provided all the sub-current for this area used for traction motors south of Forest Hills all the way to the Dedham line. Under the El, especially around 4-5 AM, you could hear the 600v-DC running through it's cable and rail above as a powerful "hum". I would imagine that the sub-station must have given off a similiar, probably more pronounced "hum".
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby highgreen215 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:00 pm

Thanks, a great read. In streetcar days the track going in appeared like it was actually used occasionally. But I didn't realize how open the area was - I guess the years dull the recall somewhat.
highgreen215
 
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:43 pm
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

Re: Back to the Drawing Board for Rozzie Sub-Station

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:39 am

I remember it as a cavernous, forboding, creepy place myself. I think that my camera's lens and it's light meter have both adjusted for width and light. I know that as a practical matter, riding into the "cave", you couldn't see what you were riding into as it was very dark, even in the middle of day. I always thought that it would have been a great "on location" area for a crime or even horror movie ! The area is all changed now. Hard to believe that if you were to stand where I was taking this photo now, you'd be in the Forest Hills Station employee parking lot just south of the entrance ramp from Washington St. at the southern end of the station.
~Paul Joyce~
[i]Moderator: Toy Trains, Model Railroading, Outdoor and Live Steam

Paul Joyce passed away in August, 2013. We honor his memory and his devotion at railroad.net.
User avatar
3rdrail
 
Posts: 5641
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:10 pm
Location: Boston

Previous

Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests