Image 1890's

History of "The Elmwood Club"

The Elmwood Club Restaurant

This old, historic building was erected around 1860 as an office for the once great and world-renowned Douglas Axe Manufacturing Company which flourished here for over a century from 1798 to 1912. The Elmwood Club had its beginnings around World War I, probably being named for the stately elms which then surrounded the building. The Club as maintained by the Hayward and Schuster mills for the men of the community, providing them with recreational facilities such as reading rooms, pool tables, card rooms and shower baths. Shortly after the Elmwood Club started, Mr. Walter E. Schuster, whose hobby was baseball, fielded teams during the 1920s which furnished thrilling encounters for the residents of the Blackstone Valley. Mr. Schuster acquired the best talent available - players such as Hank Greenberg, Wes Ferrell and Bump Hadley, who then went on to become baseball greats in the Major Leagues. During these years the players used the Elmwood Club for dressing and for relaxation. As a result the Club became the center for baseball and recreation -- a meeting place where the main topic of discussion was baseball and sports. One day in 1946 the Elmwood Club was taken over by the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, together with their star players Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. The occasion was a baseball game between the two teams as a highlight of Douglas' 200 th Anniversary. In 1952 interest in the Elmwood Club as a sports center declined due to the demise of league baseball. This loss, coupled with the growing attraction of television, gradually decreased the popularity of the Club and eventually brought it to an end. Since 1952 the building has been used by the Girl Scouts, as a sales outlet for woolen fabrics and finally as a Senior Center. In 1982 the building was purchased by Tsimogianis Brothers, who converted the interior into what it is now The Elmwood Club Restaurant and while so doing preserved to a great degree the exterior architectural features of this significant and historic building.

By Anthony H. Coppola