Who Remembers…Cherry & Webb?


Founded in 1898 and originally located on William Street (Spinner Publications)

Here is another installment in our Who Remembers? series. You can browse previous articles by using the search bar on the right. These articles are strolls down memory lane. In some cases the buildings, but new businesses have replaced them. In other instances, the buildings or even the properties have been razed. Instead of a building, it may be a TV show, personality, or commercial that no one longer exists. Either way, it can’t stop us from taking the Memory Lane stroll!

As always we would rather this be a discussion. No one knows this area better than those who grew up here! Please, leave constructive criticism, feedback, and corrections. We’d love to hear your anecdotes. Please share!

Cherry & Webb
While the Cherry & Webb building today is a Bristol Community College campus and Cafe Arpeggio, it was once the largest fashion store in New Bedford. No kidding, right? Well, I remember telling my daughter when she was 8-9 years old about pay phones and she thought I was pulling her leg. Why would anyone use a pay phone when everyone has a cell phone. Silly daddy!

So what is an obvious thing to some of us, is new to many!

The Cherry & Webb store actually began “next door” on William Street in 1898. It was relatively small at 3,500 sq. feet and was limited to one story. Proprietors George R. Cherry and F. Webb offered a variety of apparel at inexpensive prices. The were so successful that they had to continually expand moving up and out.

When they could no longer physically expand they decided to have a building erected that was much larger and could handle their needs. The took over the Union Street Railway’s waiting station that sat on the corner of Purchase & William streets in October of 1931. 70,000 sq.feet and five floors of all sorts of clothing for people of all shapes and sizes.

Some time in the 1980s the store uprooted and relocated to the Dartmouth Mall. They filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March of 2000.

Coincidentally, Cherry & Webb started WPRI-TV Channel 12 Providence in March 1955.

Special thanks to Spinner Publications for their perpetual generosity with their photos. Without them, these articles would be vastly inferior and lacking.

Photo Guide
1. Undated photo of the current building.
2. Nativity scene during Christmas in 1952.
3. Hustle and bustle on Purchase Street in 1967.
4. Current building with showcase window displays.
5. Union Street Railway waiting station that stood on the corner of Purchase & William Streets.
6. The William Street Cherry & Webb that preceded the current Cherry & Webb building.

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One thought on “Who Remembers…Cherry & Webb?

  1. You’re way off when you say it moved to the mall sometime in the 1950s. I arrived in New Bedford in 1963; Cherry and Webb was still going strong and the mall didn’t exist yet. The mall opened about 1970 and Cherry’s still had a downtown store well into the 1970s and maybe into the 1980s.

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