Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lake View Pavilion Foxboro Pictorial History

On July 4, 1906 the Lake View Pavilion opened as a family owned business enterprise with an ongoing tradition of service and hospitality to the townspeople and to the residents of southeastern Massachusetts.


1784 March 27: Simon Pettee purchased the land and erected an iron forge and blacksmith shop. Several decades later Pettee erected the Foxborough Thread Manufacturing Company, one of the earliest cotton thread mills in the area.

1832 June 30: Daniel Carpenter purchased the mill and operated the thread factory for the next forty years. It was during this era that the unnamed manmade "mill pond" became known as Carpenter Pond.

1871 June 26: John Dixon deeded the property, who initially manufactured interior decorations and table mats of pressed pulp and later operated a dye house on the property.

1875 December 24: Property sold to Charles Freeman, who operated a wool scouring mill on the site.

1886 September 28: Alexander Ross purchased the property and operated the wool scouring business until July 1898 when the mill was destroyed by fire.

1906 - 1926. Lake View Park and the Ross Family

1906 July 4: Lake View Park opened and was operated by the William Ross family. The original dance hall pavilion was 90 feet by 60 feet with a 4-foot wide promenade. Additionally, there was a dining room, a theatre, and a band stand that accommodated 25 pieces.

In 1907, renovations included a larger promenade, with roof and side coverings, 170 feet long by 10 feet wide with windows every 10 feet, each 6 feet by 2 feet-3 inches wide.

There were two entrances on the promenade facing the road-way, and one entrance on the rear, as well as a coat room and ticket offices.

Carpenter Pond was henceforth referred to as "Lakeview."

Young pines and cedars were planted along the shores of the lake in the vicinity of the buildings, flower beds were arranged in front of the main building which added greatly to the beauty and attractiveness of the surroundings, and a concrete walk was built leading from the dance hall to the restaurant building.

Dancing was provided three evenings each week; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and were patronized by delegations from many places including Providence, Pawtucket, the Attleboros, Norton, Walpole, Franklin, Dedham, Norwood, and even as far as Revere.

Patrons who hailed from distant towns would arrive by train in Mansfield and board trolley cars to Foxboro.

Recognizing the potential ridership business, the Norfolk & Bristol Street Railway constructed a spur line from the electric rails between Foxboro and Wrentham directly to the Lake View Park. The spur line ended with a rail loop for the return trip. The trolley cars were 40 feet in length, with a 30 foot body, and had a seating capacity of 40 people. The cross seats were upholstered in rattan and the sides of these cars could be re-moved in summer. They were fitted with weather-proof curtains to be used in case of storms and when the windows were out.

The original 1906 Pavilion dance hall remains the central function room of the 2011 Lake View Pavilion

1926 - 1988 Lakeview Ballroom, the Witschi and Crichton Families

1926. Lake View Park was purchased by Paul F. N. Witschi. The new management remodeled the pavilion to include a lady's room, men's smoking room, large check room, soft drink parlor, and a large screened veranda just off the dance floor running the entire width of the building.

"Lakeview Ballroom, The Home of Headliners"

Big Band concerts included the band leaders and orchestras of Mal Hallett, Duke Ellington, Phil Napoleon, and Ross Gorman. 1961. Lakeview Ballroom was purchased by the Crichton brothers; Ralph, James, and Edwin. They embarked on a business plan to expand the ballroom activities to become a destination for weddings and social events. A new function hall was constructed and the two structures were joined by a new central entrance portico.

1988 - 2011. Lake View Pavilion, the Kourtidis Family

Efstathios and Kiparisia (Steve and Kathy) Kourtidis purchased the Lakeview Ballroom in 1988. Arriving from Greece in 1981 in search of the American Dream, they purchased Steve's Greek Restaurant on Newbury Street in Boston where the entire family worked. The Kourtidis hospitality philosophy is to "treat your customers well and provide them with good food and the best service."

The ballroom was renamed Lake View Pavilion and is managed by daughters Anastasia Tsoumbasnos and Natalia Kapourelakos. Lake View Pavilion is considered a premier facility, especially for its personalized "Fairytale Weddings" that have set the standard for the wedding industry in the local market.

The Kourtidis family established the Lake View Charitable Trust which provides annual multiple scholarships to Foxborough High School graduates. It funds Boyden Library patron passes to museums and is a supporter of the Foxborough Discretionary Fund.


Blogger Kevin O'Brien said...

Thank you so much for this piece on a Foxboro landmsrk.

7:34 PM  

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