Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are We There Yet?

We made it.

In the spring of 2010 it was official that we had made it through the financial debacle that was called the Great Recession, and in 2012 we can finally begin to take a well deserved deep breath.

Growth took a while to filter down to rural America, but despite the fact there are still wrinkles to iron out in the economy, industry is coming out of their bomb shelters, and beginning to rebuild.   We are finally seeing some of that rebuilding here in Sturbridge.

And, it's about time.

In the last few weeks it has been announced that a 1200 seat movie theater has been approved, and will be built in the former Linen 'n Things building at Hobbs Brook Plaza.  Corporations do not invest in new projects when the outlook is uncertain.  This is one more sign that our future is bright.

The former Basketville building has been purchased by two local dentists, and not only will their practices be located in the building, but other retail space will be rented out within the building as well as the out building.  A restaurant is also planned for the lower level.  The new owners have enough faith in where the area is headed  to invest their future in it.

The old Hebert Candy building at the corner of Haynes Street (old Route 15), and River Street has also been purchased by a local bio optical company that will locate offices, and labs in the building.  Other buildings on the site will be leased to other businesses.  The company needed space to grow.

Yes, they need space to grow.

Jobless rates are lower than one year ago, but until they are fully restored to pre-recession levels, we won't be fully "recovered".  With these new purchases, and projects, happening here in town, we are that much closer to being in that place again.

With all the dark economic news we all have endured since late 2006, it does a person good to hear this bit of great news for the area.

Yes, it is about time.


  1. I heard there's also a new gym going into the Shaw's Plaza, where Hallmark cards was. And I just heard today the old Rom's building has something new going in there, too.

  2. Its great to see a bit of life coming back to our town. There are too many vacant buildings.

  3. You may have missed 69 Hall Road (former Fallon Clinic) which has been converted to 6 professional offices with 4 apparently rented to date. Things are looking up.

  4. There is also The Bicycle Concepts on Arnold Road across from the Senior Center/

  5. That's right! They tuned up my Trek this past summer. Thank you.

  6. I drove by the old Hebert site today for the first time and doesn't look like anything's going on there. I'm wondering if you know what the round building on the site is.

  7. David, last I heard was the Hebert Candy building had been sold to a laboratory from Southbridge, but I see there is still a for sale sign on the property. I don't know what the round building was, but has been there since the 1960's. Maybe one of our readers knows. Readers?

  8. Wally:

    I love the old Hebert building, and the round building intrigues me. I live in Newton, Mass., and run a blog called The Backside of America ( where I post pics of just these kinds of places. I'll check back to see if your readers come up with anything. Thanks!


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