Whitney Web Page - Southbridge History & More
Southbridge, Massachusetts


"The Eye of the Commonwealth"
and birthplace of American Optical.


Looking Back at Southbridge's History
Happy 200th Anniversary to Southbridge
1816- 2016


Bill  Curran photo

Check out this tour of the Optical Heritage Museum at 12 Crane Street, video courtesy of Bill May (Southbridge Cable TV). Nice job!



Check out this Southbridge Business Partnership Jan 18th 2017 event video, hosted at the Optical Heritage Museum at 12 Crane St:



Also, this appeared 1/28/17 Norwich Bulletin article highlights the Museum:




Check out the newly established Southbridge Business Partnership Website and see the benefits of Joining!


Fires of Southbridge
Youtube video of 1987 Hamilton Woolen fire

Southbridge Images - "Then and Now"

Skating at "the Rez" - 1954 -
photos by Don Whitney in the 1950s
Views of Main Street

Recollections of Southbridge 

Famous People and their associations with Southbridge

My Top Ten List - Positive things about Southbridge

Check out the Optical Heritage Museum at 12 Crane Street in Southbridge!
Sponsored by Zeiss, open free of charge


Where did they bury the 1966 Southbridge Time capsule???

Recalling the Flood of August 19, 1955 - 60 years later -

Cable TV Broadcast of JEL Aug 10 2015  talk on 1955 Flood


  June 1, 2011 Tornado

  My Youtube video/audio of the 1955 Flood

My YouTube video/audio of the 1955 Flood

Recalling the Flood of August 19, 1955

More on the 1955 Flood on this Website

Remembering the Blizzard of 1978

Fires of Southbridge
Youtube video of 1987 Hamilton Woolen fire

Aftermath of the 1971 Maci Building Fire

Southbridge Floods( 1936, 1938 and  1955)

Check out my Southbridge 1960s movies/recollections YouTube Video

Blizzard of 1978 and 2013 compared in photos

Learn about the AO order for JFK glasses recieved on Nov 22, 1963!!!

The Optical Heritage Museum is Now Open by Appointment
Check out our Website or "Like us" on Facebook

My High School Class - SHS Class of 1969 at 45th Reunion celebration on Oct 11, 2014

How Southbridge got its name -
Reprint of Joe Capillo article

Southbridge, the Poll Parish and "Honest Town" Historic Names

Community Calendar (Submit your event)

In Memory of Mark Ashton

Why is the Oak Ridge Cemetary Entrance So Narrow?

Cohasse Country Club History

Interactive Maps of AO complex, Walking tours and Optical Related sites in Southbridge

 The Strand Theatre  (1926- 1965)

Harvey Wells Electronics

The Dennison District School - John Boniface

The Strand Theatre  (1926- 1965)

The HippadromeBowling Alley - The 'Hipp' by Al LaBelle

Southbridge Citizen's Celebrate the end of WWII.


Ames Department Store History

Notre Dame Church - the Building made of Tombstones

Notre Dame High School Reunions page- 1938-1968

Demolition of the old YMCA Building in 1975

Jump! Jerry, Jump!
Reprint of SeaverRice 1975 Southbridge News Article

Ames Department Store - Southbridge

How Districts of Southbridge got their names

History of Blanchard / Strand Theatre New
OSV filming of movie Hawaii - 1965 with Julie Andrews

Impressive Collection of Historic Southbridge photos on CWMars on-line digital Library
Southbridge Images courtesy of Jacob Edwards Library / Margaret Morrissey - Library Director

Southbridge - still the "Eye of the Commonwealth"

Inside stores in Southbridge ~ 1954

AO  History Main Page 

Recollections of AO -

AO Workers Main page

AO Images - "Then and Now"
Herman Stoopes AO Paintings - 4 Original Paintings on display

The Marcy St. School Eagles above the doorways

Southbridge Wikipedia article (On-line Encyclopedia)

Wikipedia entry for Michael Earls

Links of current interest:

Community Calendar (Submit your event)

Town Of Southbridge Home Page

www.getinvolvedinyourtown.com Events Schedule

Southbridge (and Area) "Retirement" links of interest

368 Main St / Universalist Church building

12 Crane St Complex

Local News (Southbridge News Online!)

"Your Southbridge" Events page

Southbridge High / Wells Sports Hall of Fame booklet and ceremony

Celebrations / Parades

Southbridge Sesquicentennial Celebration
1966 Parade photos

The June 6, 2009 Southbridge Fest on the Common

The June 10, 2008 Southbridge Fest

The June 9, 2007 Southbridge Fest

Southbridge Festival - June 25, 2006

Southbridge Festival - August 20, 2006

Southbridge Sesquicentennial Celebration 0f 1966

The June 1983 AO Parade - celebrating 150 years!!

Parade of Brides (part of 1991 175 Anniversary Celebration)

Photos of 2nd Annual Gay Pride Celebration at JEL - Author William Mann (Kate)

Photos from Jacob Edwards Library Event
JUNE 21, 2006

Southbridge Sesquicentennial Celebration 0f 1966
(download 1966 Scrapbook!)

1960 Old Time Days celebration

Local Area Businesses

Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center- Formerly AO Main Plant

Vienna Restaurant / Bed and Breakfast!

The Flat Iron

Tri-Community YMCA Page

A Tribute to Rom's after 56 years - last day August 31, 2008
Thanks for the memories!

May 26, 1898 Southbridge Journal
pdf file format

Tuttle Maps of Southbridge, Globe Village, and Fiskdale(1870)

WESO in the late 1950's  - Jan Whitney as the Storybook Lady

Recollections of Southbridge

Ames Dept Store

AO / Southbridge 1955 Flood Slides (Don Whitney)
Includes audio of WESO broadcast!

SHS Class reunions - 74, 75 and 76 (July 31, 2010)

Southbridge High School Class Reunions

Class of 1969, 1970, 1971 and 1972

Photos of SHS Class of 1969 members participating in 1968 Science Fair

Mary E Wells High School Page
New Link to Great Wells HS Website
Includes Photos and names of all Alumni!!!

The Baptist Church Building, Bell tower and family friends the Crists

The North St Gate

Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center

A Timeline of the History of  Southbridge (More info to be added)
Compiled by Margaret Morrissey
(PDF File Format)

Quaint Little Town - Susan McMaster Bosman
Can anyone identify this song from the lyrics???

Paul Coiteux\ Southbridge Memorabilia Collection
Includes info on Marcy St School Demolition and the Eagles

Looking back at Harvey - Wells

The Harrington Follies of 1979
Photos by Dick Whitney

Don Whitney Photos of 1960 Old Time Day in Southbridge

The Monuments of Southbridge

Dresser Park Honor Role Monument was dedicated on July 10, 2004.

  The HONOR ROLL LIST at Dresser Park.

The RR Bridge by the "AO Rotary" is no more!

Evelyn Petrelli and the Poll Parish (now Baptist Church)

Southbridge Sesquicentennial Celebration

Southbridge Centennial Envelope - From the Collection of Paul \Coiteaux

1916 View of Southbridge From Notre Dame

1925 View of Southbridge from the Air

Southbridge "Images of the Past"

Photos & Postcard collection

Text of Southbridge Directory of 1882

Levi Chase 1889 Article on Southbridge

Click Here for a rare view down Hamilton St. in the late 1950's
Photo by Don Whitney

Click here to see the inside of Mario's Restaurant as it appeared in 1967
where the Town and Country Florists are now located !

Dick and Don Whitney Astronomy Photos
Images taken in Southbridge

Rainbows in Southbridge


Check out my Youtube Video home page

Check out this 1962 Don Whitney Home Movie clip
showing a walk along Main to Central St.

Groups & Organizations of Local Interest:

Jacob Edwards Library 

Elm Street Church 

Dec 1962 Don Whitney photo of the 6th, 7th and 8th Grade chorus singing
Christmas Carols at the newly designated Wells Jr. High, which until then had been the High School.
Tom Lapriore ID's chorus members
Click here for pdf

Mary E Wells HS Reunion / Alumni Page
Wells HS 1954 Graduation Photos added
  Gateway Players
Gateway OldeTimers Reunion

Skating at the Rez - "Then and Now" Photos

Harrington Hospital (View their Historical Links!)

Southbridge School Projects

"Our Town" -
Charlton St. School Grade 3 presents the History of Southbridge

Bill Tremblay Poems of Southbridge

Other Useful Links

Old Webster (MA) History Link

Walker Pond / Wells State Park Sturbridge History

AO Main Plant Demolition / Construction Index of photos of Southbirdge Hotel and Conference Center

Aerial Photographs of DOD Project by Bob Arnold
submitted by Bob Clemence-Hydes
Order the newly published 2007 version of "Street Corners of Southbridge" Joe Capillo book online!

Copyright 1998 - 2018 Dick Whitney. All rights reserved.
Return to Whitney Home Page

Comments or Suggestions?

Note new email: dickwhitney@charter.net
(email me to add your entry!)