"Voss City - The Place To Be In The Thirties And Forties ..."
"Even The Nifty Fifties..."
The city that never was in the land of far away.
Swift's Beach, also known as Voss City, was the cynosure of most vacationers who chose Swift's Beach as their vacation resort.
Early on the Voss Family was involved with renting cottages to the vacationers who flocked to Voss City in the 1920s. In those days the Voss family, headed by William Voss, had a small real estate office that rented and sold the cottages around the beach.
William Voss was an entrepreneur and soon had a Variety Store that catered to the needs of the vacationers coming to Voss City for a week or more.
Before the advent of the automobile, the Voss Variety store had everything that a vacationer could want or need - without having to get into town 2 miles away.
Below is a picture of the first Voss Enterprise. Early 1920s, perhaps.
Voss Variety was not the first store on Swift's Beach.
That distinction belongs to the A. B. Cleveland store closer to the water on Wankinkoah Ave.
This street runs parallel to the beach from Swift's Beach Road to what used to be called Webster but is now called Murphy which runs directly to the beach, cutting off Barnes St in the process.
Here is a postcard of the A.B.C. Store. It had a gasoline pump and a telephone. Most early cottages had no telephones. The phone company had not strung the phone lines yet.
The A.B.C. Store becomes Brown's Store after Mr. A.B.Cleveland died.
The car parked down the street looks like it came out of the 1920s; perhaps it was driven by Mack Sennett and the Keystone cops.
Voss City started with as a variety store selling everything a vacationer could need from beach balls, to magazines, to fried clams and ice cream.
The nearest First National Grocery store was a couple of miles away in downtown Wareham. It was much easier to shop at the variety store. After all, they advertised that their prices were the same as the big grocery chains.
And it was a pain to get in the car, if you had one, and drive up Swift's Beach road and into Wareham to get a can of spaghetti sauce.
Most things came in cans in those days. There were no frozen veggies, microwaves, food processors, dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, etc.
Next, we have a postcard that names Voss City. It looks like a roadside honkytonk of the roaring twenties, but it's probably taken in the 1940s. It even has a dance hall!
It also had an outdoor theatre where films were shown on warm summer night. When television came along in the 1950s, the outdoor theatre closed down and Voss City rented TV sets. Dubious on what they could get unless they had a very tall TV antenna. No color in those days, just black and white.
And without further ado, here is the postcard.
During the late 1940s, Voss City began to lose some of its hard edges and we have the next incarnation with this postcard.
Now we are getting into the 1950s and early 1960s. Things began to get real funky on Swift's Beach Road. The roadhouse atmosphere has disappeared completely and what we have here is a typical cape Cod tourist trap.
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This was the end of the Gift Shop, the Open Air Theatre, and Billies Souvenir Shop.
The World Is Your Oyster - Where Do You Want To Go?
During the 1970s and 1980s, the above structures were replaced with a restaurant. First someone tried Italian; Tiffanys. Then a Chinese restaurant came into being called "The Swifty Wok".
A restaurant could never make it on Swift's Beach because the residents refused to give any of them a Wine, Beer, or Liquor license.
It is now a personal residence.
The store is still there, but in a diminished capacity. The Pizza Market moved into part of the store.
There is an automatic washing machine place on the other end of the building where the Arcade used to be.
Here's a surprising revelation.
Not many people know that at one time there was a bowling alley on Swifts Beach Road, just up from the store in the next block.
Update: May, 2010
Well, the bad news was that the Pizza Market folded in 2009 and we lost a local, on-the-beach pizza store.
The good news is that there is a new pizza, sandwich, ahnd deli store moving in where the Pizza Market used to be. I think the name is Crusty's.
Take a look.
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