Not much is known about this place, nor do many remember rollerskating as a recreational activity.
It was located in the Tropic Isle Plaza. You can see the curved roof when you drive by. I wonder why rollerskating didn’t catch on with kids the way skateboarding has.
Across Route 9 from Shoppers World, at the Natick town line, approximately where Circuit City is today, was a giant nursery called Wyman Gardens. Here’s an aerial view of the place taken in the late ’50s.
Wyman Gardens had land all the way back to Hartford St., where the ranch homes called Westfield, were built in 1955. In 1948, Boston Edison was proud of their installation of neon and lighting for the new Wyman Gardens main store on Route 9. Here’s a rare photo of the front of that store.
Westbound on Route 9 just past the junction of 126 is this house converted to a Chinese Restaurant. It’s still there, althought the name has changed, and the building has undergone extensive renovation. In the 1950′s lots of houses along this stretch of Rte 9 were converted to business use. I’ve listed this under the category of the Golden Mile, even though it’s not on that stretch, but since it’s on Rte 9, I thought it appropriate. This restaurant today is called Imperial China, and is one of the best Chinese restaurants in town.
This photo was taken by Ken McGagh for the MetroWest Daily News in 1994.
The paper was so proud of their headline. Shoppers World became a strip mall. Congratulations.
There was a Howard Johnsons on Route 9 across the street from the Meadows, and Kens Steak House. Here’s an ad I found in a business directory at the library.
And here’s a rare colorized print from the early 1940′s I believe.
In the mid 1950′s when my family would go to HoJos for ice cream, we would park underneath a neon sign, which must have replaced the one in this picture. Here’s how the neon looked.
St Stephens Church had a Golden Jubilee Banquet at the Meadows in 1948. It was held for the Reverend James McCafferty, on the Fourth of July. Here’s a rare panorama photo of that event, that I found at a local yard sale.
Now we all know what the place looked like inside. Imagine Vaughn Monroe on the stage doing “Ghost Riders in the Sky”.
Here’s an artist’s rendering circa 1950, of what Jordan Marsh would look like once built. The drawing was presented to the newspaper for publication in advance of the building of Shoppers World. Thanks to the original management of Shoppers World, George Shrigley, and George Apt, for saving such rare views.
Fashion shows were held at the Shoppers World, and this ad from 1955 shows what a family event it was. There was probably a runway running down the middle with models doing a show a couple of times a day. I remember going to Jordan Marsh one night and seeing what looked like mannequins, dressed in the latest ladies fashion. People were stopped, watching, and then suddenly, the model would move! Everyone in the crowd was impressed with how still they had remained for such a long time. People today probably wouldn’t be so impressed. Here’s an ad from the Framingham News, advertising a gala week.