For a long time, I've considered the picture at the top of the page to be a bit of a mystery. It certainly looks like the Little Red
Shop, except that it has an extra floor. It seemed that when the shop was moved across Freedom Street, early in the first
decade of the 20th century, it lost a floor and gained a cupola. Then recently (December 2012) I thought, for a few minutes,
that at last there was an answer. The Sanborn insurance map for 1892 (map above with the Red Shop labeled "Store Hos"
including a square addition on the left that wasn't moved) showed the "covered bridge" (referred to elsewhere as a runway)
that ran from what was evidently the Red Shop, over the river to a three-story building. Nothing new there, until I noticed that
the map shows that the Red Shop had two stories at one end and one at the other. Okay, that's the answer. They moved
the one-story end, but not the two-story end. The proportions looked more like they should that way, too. Mystery solved. But
then I took another look. The picture shows the "covered bridge" attached to the second floor, but the map indicates that it
was attached to the first floor.
It seems that the fact that part of the Red Shop was once two stories and part was one must somehow explain the
difference between the picture and what exists now. The only thing that has occurred to me so far is that maybe
mapmakers make mistakes. Not a very satisfactory explanation, but that's all I've come up with so far. Actually, though, the
map maker did provide me with evidence that he wasn't perfect. The church in the center of town has been the Unitarian
Church since 1868. (The first church there, built in 1860, and the present one, built in 1898, were both Unitarian churches.)
It was some decades before the merger of the Unitarians and the Universalists, but if you look at the full version of the
map, you'll see that it's labeled Universalist Church. Well, as I said above, thinking the mapmaker was wrong when he
showed the covered bridge attached to the two-story end might be what happened, but I'd rather find a better explanation. If
you have any ideas about this, there's an email link to me on the homepage.
While you're looking at pictures from the 1890s, here are a couple more below. At the bottom left of the first photo you can
see a bit of the covered bridge as it reaches the three-story building. Slightly to the right of center at the bottom is part of a
cupola. It appears to be the cupola that's on the Red Shop. My guess is that when the shop was moved to the other side of
Freedom Street, or not very long after that, the cupola was taken off of the three-story factory and put onto the roof of the Red
You can see that the picture, below was taken before the Lake Street houses were built. They were erected c. 1910 - 1912.
The picture shows an icehouse near the little island, left of center, and the Henry Patrick icehouse to the right of center. The
big Hopedale Coal & Ice Company icehouse was off to the left and out of view. Several little boathouses can be seen at the
Sanborn insurance map - 1892
the left in this clipping and in the picture below.