The Dartmouth Mall at 50 Years Old
Where were you when the Dartmouth Mall first opened? If you remember, you likely are getting a bit long in the tooth. The mall opened in 1971, just over 50 years ago.
You probably were not aware of the occasion because the current mall owner, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), did nothing to celebrate.
The mall was known as the North Dartmouth Mall when it first opened at the former Paskamansett Links Golf Course at Route 6 and Faunce Corner Road. It didn't take long for the area to become an explosion of neon lights and tar as developers of retail and restaurants wanted a piece of the action.
The anchor stores on opening day were Zayre, Sears, and The Outlet Company, according to my memory and a quick check with Wikipedia. All three stores are gone now.
The current anchor stores include Macy's and JC Penney.
Burlington is the most recent anchor to move in.
Aldi Supermarket recently opened on the other side of Burlington, and the AMC movie theater continues to pump the smell of fresh buttered popcorn throughout the mall.
Over the years, many stores and restaurants have come and gone from the Dartmouth Mall. Spots like Chess King, Thom McAnn, Ruby Tuesday, Cherry & Webb, Filene's, and Woolworth's, to name a few.
The mall was a place I ventured to as a teenager, and my oldest son spent many a Friday evening cruising the mall while in high school. I've actually worked several part-time jobs at the Dartmouth Mall over the years.
I can remember when Massachusetts state laws prevented the mall from opening on Sundays, but it did anyway in defiance of those laws. Eventually, the antiquated "blue laws" were repealed.
It's difficult to imagine that the Dartmouth Mall is 50 – ahh, 51 – years old. years old. To do so would be to admit that I am getting older, too. Just last week, we noted the 50th anniversary of the "new" New Bedford High School, and now the mall.
Great memories from both places.