Wakefield Hall, circa 1870s

  • Wakefield Hall, circa 1870s
  • "The new Town Hall was built on the former Noah Smith lot, at the corner of Main and Water Streets. The land and $30,000 were donated by Cyrus Wakefield in 1868 to build a soldiers' monument or memorial hall to honor South reading citizens who answered the call to arms during the Civil War. Because of his generosity, the Town of South Reading voted in 1868 to change its name to Wakefield. Governor Alexander H. Bullock approved the name change on June 30. A day of celebration was held on the anniversary of American Independence, July 4. The new Town House, referred to as Wakefield Hall, was dedicated on Washington's birthday, Wednesday, February 22, 1871. When completed, it is reported that Cyrus Wakefield had quadrupled his original donation. The dedication was held at 2 p.m. with speeches by Cyrus Wakefield and a host of other notable citizens. After the key to the hall was presented, the ceremony ended and a banquet was held in the upper hall for the 400 guests in attendance. Toasts were given to the President of the United States, Dea. Francis Smith, the State (sic) of Massachusetts, the Merchants of Boston, the Clergy, 'Our Manufacturing Industries,' Dr. Solon Richardson (who gave a gift of $1,000 for the furnishings), the Public Schools, the Farmers of New England, and the State Printer. According to the Wakefield Inaugural and Dedicatory Exercises, in his response to the toast to the farmers, Dr. George B. Loring of Salem 'touched upon the Woman Suffrage question, and as for 'woman's rights', he said, 'I go for them.' Cyrus Wakefield died suddenly, at the age of 62, on October 26, 1873, two and-a-half years after the Town Hall was dedicated."
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2017
  • Photo courtesy of JC Marketing Associates
  • 1870-1879
  • Wakefield, Mass. : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Wakefield Hall, circa 1870s,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed May 13, 2021, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/wakefield/items/show/3325.


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