Where were you when the Dartmouth Mall opened for the first time? If you remember this, you’re probably getting a little long in the tooth. The mall opened in 1971, just over 50 years ago.
You probably weren’t aware of the occasion because the mall’s current owner, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), did nothing to celebrate.
The mall was known as North Dartmouth Mall when it opened on the former Paskamansett Links golf course on Route 6 and Faunce Corner Road. It didn’t take long for the area to become an explosion of neon and tar as retail and restaurant developers wanted in on the action.
Flagship stores on opening day were Zayre, Sears and The Outlet Company, based on my memory and a quick check with Wikipedia. All three stores are now gone.
Current anchor stores include Macy’s and JC Penney.
Burlington is the newest anchor to move into.
The Aldi supermarket recently opened on the other side of Burlington, and the AMC cinema continues to spread the smell of buttery fresh popcorn throughout the mall.
Over the years many shops and restaurants have come and gone from the Dartmouth Mall. Places 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 into as a teenager, and my eldest son spent many Friday nights browsing the mall while in high school. I’ve actually held several part-time jobs at the Dartmouth Mall over the years.
I remember when Massachusetts state laws prevented the mall from opening on Sundays, but it did so regardless in defiance of those laws. Eventually, the antiquated “blue laws” were repealed.
It’s hard to imagine that the Dartmouth Mall is 50 – ahh, 51 – years old. year. To do so would be to admit that I am getting old too. Just last week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the “new” New Bedford High School, and now the Mall.
Good memories of both places.