Wakefield, by Betty J. Cotter
The history of Wakefield, which developed from a rural mill town in the nineteenth century to South County's mercantile center in the twentieth, has never before been published in pictorial format. Using images from the Pettaquamscutt Historical Society, the Peace Dale Library, and a number of private sources, local author Betty J. Cotter chronicles Wakefield's growth from the days of the horse and buggy, dairy farms, and fields to those of shopping centers and fast-food restaurants. Readers will marvel at the trees lining Main Street before a devastating hurricane and Dutch Elm disease changed the landscape forever. While much of downtown Wakefield has retained its historic character, certain locales—like Dale Carlia Corner—are barely recognizable in images from the first half of the twentieth century. Wakefield's growth is illustrated vividly in photographs of residents at work and at play: images depict grocery clerks showing off mounds of produce, the owners of one of the town's first car dealerships standing proudly in front of a new model, and the wealthy inhabitants of Shadow Farm pulling away from their home in a carriage.