Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Shopping in Garden City

Photo collection of Midge Frazel (Sweenor's Chocolates), August 2007

Sweet Shopping in Garden City
Mr. Melocarro, builder of "The Plat" also purchased  the land that was the former Cranston Coal Mine. He turned it into the FIRST shopping mall in Rhode Island. We could hear them blasting rocks to clear the land all the way to "The Plat". I was scared of the noise. I was only a toddler. 

Cranston City Directory, 1956, p. 13, Mr. Melocarro's business ad.

Shopping is a great pastime in the smallest state in the Union but is still second to wonderful food and going to the beach. When you can drive within the state in just a couple hours, it is hard to go anywhere else. My home state has a lot to offer and has many secrets.

In 2007, on the way back from a research trip in nearby Connecticut, we stopped at "The Plat" and then we went to Garden City to buy some candy at Sweenor's. I was pleased to see that it is still going strong even today. It even says 3rd and 4th generation confectioners. My grandmother would be pleased.

I used Google Maps to help me find the streets in Garden City so that I could once again enjoy the names of the shops of the past. The 1956 City Directory for Cranston, RI at Ancestry.com has the most familiar list and I easily found two listings for the streets. Sweenor's is in the list at # 58 which means it moved to a new location #43 when Garden City renovated. 

Cranston City Directory , 1956, p. 477
Garden City sign, 2011

You can't talk about Garden City without a mention of the Newport Creamery. I am glad to see it is still there. I need some real coffee ice cream and lunch of course.

Mr. Melocarro donated some of the land for a school and I attended that school for grades 5 and 6 when the Oaklawn School became too crowded. It is hard to change schools at that grade and that is a story for another time. 

I think it is wonderful to be able to look up places you went as a child and to see the history of those places on their Web sites. I hope you enjoyed this blog post!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Very little of Hollywood has remained the same as when I was a youngster. Happily one of my elementary schools, my Jr. high, and my high were all there the last I checked. My own late mother even went to the same schools.