A history of the Northborough Bank

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By Normand Corbin, Northborough History Columnist

A history of the Northborough Bank
A photo taken around 1885 shows (l to r) Northborough Bank assistant cashier F. E. Corey, future bank president William J. Potter and cashier Abraham W. Seaver. (Photo/courtesy Northborough Historical Society)

NORTHBOROUGH – The Northborough Bank was enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature and signed by the Governor on March 28, 1854.  It was the first bank in the local area, as there were none in Marlborough, Westborough, Hudson or Shrewsbury.

Three influential and well-known Northborough citizens started the bank; George C. Davis, Cyrus Gale and Wilder Bush.  The building was built at a cost of $2,350.63 and opened for business on December 8, 1854. 

Wilder Bush made the first deposit of $200.

Initially, the bank printed its own money.  It was decided that some of the currency would have the image of Governor “Honest” John Davis, a Northborough native.

The bank was converted to the Northborough “National” Bank on May 22, 1865, due to the need for a national currency after the Civil War. This small building then even survived the 1938 hurricane that struck the region.

Over the years, the bank increased in size and moved several doors away. It lasted 128 years until 1982, when it was absorbed by the People’s Bank of Worcester.

A history of the Northborough Bank
The Northborough Bank building still stands in town. (Photo/Normand Corbin)

The original bank building continued to be used for other purposes after the bank moved out.  For example, it was the town’s post office, a consignment shop and a land surveying business.  

Today it is occupied by Managed Wealth Strategies LLC, a financial advising firm.  The owners are Mark and Elizabeth Smiley.  They purchased the building in 2008 because they loved the location and it had so much charm. 

During renovations, old deposit slips and an old bank book were found. Their favorite features are the large front windows and the brick exterior.  The challenges with such an old building are the limited parking and the old heating and plumbing systems. 

Many customers, however, compliment their office because the building is so unique and quaint.  Mark and Elizabeth have no regrets in setting up their business there and would do it again.