Byline: Stephen H. Foskett Jr.
COLUMN: THEN AND NOW
Curtis Street is a tiny cut-through of a street in Webster Square. It lines the shore of Curtis Pond, and is named after Ephraim Curtis, the city's first resident in 1673. Originally from Sudbury, he lived on upper Lincoln Street. According to Ivan Sandrof's "Your Worcester Street," a descendant of Mr. Curtis lobbied to have the street named after him in 1872.
A more likely explanation is that the street is named after Albert Curtis, a successful mill owner who created Curtis Pond when he built a dam near Webster Street. The great-great-grandson of Ephraim, Albert Curtis lived on Webster Street near the pond. According to a memorial to Mr. Curtis in the Worcester Society of Antiquity written by Charles G. Washburn, Mr. Curtis died in 1898 at age 91. The immediate cause of death was "heart failure caused by asphyxiation due to the accidental escape of illuminating gas in his sleeping-room," Mr. Washburn wrote.
Before railroads, trolleys and ultimately automobiles finally put the horse travel industry out of business, stables such as T.S. Sloan's, at bottom left, could be found in various spots in the city.
The white house with the...