125 years ago today, January 4th, 1894, a group of businessmen (it was 1894) rang in the new year by creating the Norwood Business Association. The initial purpose of the group was to attract business to the young and growing town of Norwood. Much of the NBA's early work focused on improving the infrastructure of the community. The organization advocated for things like electric lights, electric rail service, concrete sidewalks and streets; all vital to attracting business. 125 years later we still serve as an advocate for improved infrastructure and amenities that make our communities desirable locations for businesses.
The NBA's first President was George S. Winslow, owner of Winslow and SonsTannery on Endicott Street in Norwood (now the Norwood Commerce Center and home to Winsmith Mill Market). Two of the Chamber's original members are still members today; Norwood Bank and Certainteed (formerly Bird and Son). In 1926 the organization was renamed the Norwood Chamber of Commerce and in 1988 it became the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce recognizing that its membership was much more regional than in the early years. In 1980 Elberta M. Lydstone was elected the Chamber's first women President.
There is much more to the Chamber's rich history and you'll be hearing more about it throughout the year. We will begin a year-long celebration with our 125th Annual Meeting on January 31st. We will introduce our new board and officers as well present our Annual Awards to deserving members. In addition, we will be making a big announcement about our future as we look forward to our next 125 years. We hope you will join us for an exciting evening. Register Here.
Meanwhile, our 125th Anniversary Committee is putting together plans for a celebration in September that will feature an historical perspective of the Chamber with support from our local historical societies and graphic design students from Blue Hills Technical High School. It promises to be the highlight of 2019.
Best wishes for a prosperous and healthy new year!
President and CEO