It’s unclear where this crowd is making merry, but it is clear who took and developed the photo. *
ROUSSELLE PORTRAIT STUDIO was located at 2174 Acushnet Avenue, in the Cobb Building. The studio was just one of the very many enterprises surrounding The Ave owned by members of New Bedford’s French Canadian community.
(Pictured in the photo is the grandmother of Steven Froias, who manages the website and social media for Love The Ave. He hopes she was having a grand old time!)
Today, 2174 Acushnet Avenue, at Lunds Corner, is the site of a Rite-Aid pharmacy. The Cobb Building is no more. Indeed, as New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell once remarked, Lunds Corner itself is essentially gone.
The block also once housed a landmark eatery – Fay’s Knotty Pine, renowned for its pizza. It closed at the turn of the 21st century when the property was sold to make space for the pharmacy.
However, Fay’s Restaurant continues on – albeit in Dartmouth. A history of the eatery can be found here.
And, still hope survives on Lunds Corner. Just north of Tarkiln Hill Road on Acushnet Avenue, you’ll find Ray’s Pizza at number 2186, owned by a chef who worked at Fay’s for over a decade.
One reviewer writes on Trip Advisor, “It is a very successful little restaurant with great Italian dishes, delicious thin crust pizza and the usual fun crowd. Food is delicious, service is more than adequate, and the price is right. Ray’s also has a booming take-out business as well.”
Our crowd in the photo above don’t look like they were eating pizza. The party hats suggest they were celebrating on New Year’s Eve – but the circumstances are lost to history.
Except for the memories captured by Rousselle Portrait Studio, late of 2174 Acushnet Avenue. Bon soir!
*NOTE: After posting, we were informed that the photo was taken at Dan’s Pavilion, which was located along the waterfront in the south end of the city near Acushnet Park. It was destroyed in a hurricane. The south end was once the other great center of French Canadian life in New Bedford.