Rear of the Kingman Block: Looking south from Chestnut Street, 1923

  • Rear of the Kingman Block: Looking south from Chestnut Street, 1923
  • "This is a rare glimpse of the Kingman Block, now the Bourdon Block, at the corner of Main and Albion Streets, and of the Ye Barnard Inn on Albion Street. The photograph was taken on October 31, 1923 during the razing of Bessey Livery Stables in preparation for the Wakefield Trust Company building. Willard Service Station, at the left, was also razed in November. Several businesses were also forced to re-locate, including Clifford Mortimer and his lunch cart, the taxi office of Richard Barrett, and the Victor Shoe Shine Parlor. The two large elm trees in the photograph were also taken down. The Kingman Block was built in 1860 by Davis and Bryant during the tenure of postmaster Samuel Kingman, the town's sixth postmaster who was appointed in 1853. When the town changed its name from South Reading in 1868, he was reappointed as Wakefield's first postmaster. He retired from the position in 1873, and has been credited with the first free mail delivery in the community. The Kingman block remained in the Kingman family until it was bought by the Middlesex Traders, a local citizen-based realty investment organization, in June 1895. The post office remained at the Kingman Block until 1901 when it moved to the corner of Main Street an Richardson Avenue. Ye Barnard Inn was also the Albion Inn before it was purchased by Jacob Barnard, co-owner of the Quannapowitt Bowling Alley, in the early 1920s. In 1930, W.M. Brooks Company of Boston altered the structure into a two-story building at a coast of $7,500. The alterations included an office in the front of the second floor and an apartment at the rear. The post office, the former location of the WMGLD office on Albion Street, was built in April 1924 and is not pictured.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2018
  • Photo courtesy of the Wakefield Historical Society.
  • 10-31-1923
  • Wakefield, Mass. : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Rear of the Kingman Block: Looking south from Chestnut Street, 1923,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed May 13, 2021,


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