Town Memorials | Winthrop, Massachusetts
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Winthrop was a town of many small stores. On Shirley St. alone in the early 1900's merchants could conduct their business in any of the more than 125 storefronts available. Tailors, barbers, cobblers, grocers, mechanics, bakers, dentists, physicians, druggists, cigar sellers, launderers, electricians, upholsterers, delicatessen and restaurant operators, meat and fish sellers, all occupied what must have made for a vibrant shopping experience.

Other streets in town did not lack for storefronts. The Center area has numerous storefronts on Bartlett Rd., Jefferson St., Somerset Ave., and Woodside Ave. Crest Ave., Main St., and Revere St. all have their share.

Over the years the way people shop has changed. Winthrop still has a vibrant business community, just not as many stores. Some local businesses are in the same locations they were in the early 1900’s, for example Brown's Drug Store, Samuel's Pharmacy, Shirley Hardware, and Swett's Liquor (formerly Swett's Market and Bakery). Other storefronts have seen multiple businesses, for example the current Crest Ave Pizza & Subs. That location has been the address for a Food Market and Delicatessen, a Beauty Salon, a Hardware Store, and a Tailor. And right next store was Kasanof's Toyland.

Over time some storefronts have been demolished. Many others have been converted into apartments. This survey of storefronts on selected streets is primarily based on Winthrop Chamber of Commerce telephone books, and earlier Crosby Publishing Town Directories. Please send any additions, corrections, suggestions, comments to

Source: Winthrop Historical Commission
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