Monday, March 19, 2012

Public Telephone Booth at the Publick House, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Marash Girl's earliest memories of  public telephone booths (those little wooden and glass havens of privacy in the midst of chaos) was from her years in Kindergarten when she and her two best friends (names now forgotten) would meet privately after school in the telephone booth on the corner of Walnut and Bowers Streets (before Marash Girl arrived at her father's store, Newtonville Electrical Co., Inc., 84 Bowers Street, in Newtonville, Massachusetts, the corner store in Uncle Vartan's brick store and apartment complex opposite the Newtonville Train Station -- yes, there was a beautiful stone train station on Bowers Street in Newtonville!)

Public telephones today?   in this day and age, where else would you find public telephones, much less a public telephone in a booth, but at the Publick House (Sturbidge, Massachusetts)  (See Marash Girl's post on New Year' Day at the Publick House.)  Here's the rub.  To the left of the Public Telephone Booth is none other than . . . an ATM machine!  Can you see the M on the left of the telephone booth in the photo at the beginning of this post?
Please share are your memories of public telephone booths.


  1. Putting a telephone booth beside an ATM machine is quite handy, don't you think? Communication is one of the important things, and most of the time, we need it instantly. A phone booth beside the teller machine is good for emergency situations like if you ran out of credits on your mobile phone. After all, you only need a couple of coins and to make a call. Imagine if several public facilities have those two situated together at the same time.

  2. Elizabeth Lytle Rohrer, Athens, GAApril 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    My very earliest memory -- a cold December day in 1948 -- centers upon the railroad station on Bowers Street which you mention in your discussion of phone booths. My mother had just received a telegram announcing my grandmother's imminent arrival from Colorado via 'the New England States,' a long-distance train of the New York Central Railroad. Mother had been expecting Grandmother the next day and the telegram sent her into a frenzy. We lived in Newton Highlands, the train was due in less than half an hour and I, age two, was bed with the mumps. Mother rushed me out of bed and into my snowsuit and quickly drove to Walnut Street in Newtonville. The commercial area of Newtonville was bustling that morning and we had difficulty finding a parking place. As we got out of the car, we heard the train pulling into the station. I distinctly remember the frigid winter air cutting at my already-sore throat as Mother ran toward the station with me in her arms. I visited the Newtonville railroad station a number of times in childhood... and even disembarked from a train there when I arrived home from Ohio for Christmas during my freshman year in college. It was demolished a few years thereafter. I do agree with you -- it was a beautiful stone ediface; it is one of the iconic images from my childhood in Newton. And I remember Newtonville Electrical; I went there once or twice with my father when I was very young.

    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful memories of Newtonville and the train station. I have several other stories related to the Newtonville train station which I hope to tell one day in this blog.. Would love to have you record more of your memories of early Newton. I have written 52 posts on Newton (click on index to the right). By the way, there is a large photograph of the Newtonville Train Station on the train level of Back Bay Station! It's worth a trip in to see it!

    2. Elizabeth Lytle and I are friends but I didn't move to Newton Hlds until I was in 2nd grade. (1953) I never used the RR until I used to catch it at Back Bay Station during the Christmas rush in the 70's. I used to taked the MBTA into Arlington St when I was working on Newbury St. But getting home from there at Holiday time with shoppers, Christmas trees, and regular commuters was ridiculous! So I used to walk over to BB Stn and take the Framingham train to Newtonville for $.85 where my dad would either drive down from the Highlands and pick me up or would leave my car at the Masonic Temple parking lot for me to drive home. So many things were destroyed by the building of the MassPike!