Martin Wood poses in front of his café on San Fernando Road in 1914. The sign above the door reads,
"Meals and Rooms."
Brothers Richard R. and Martin Wood took over James A. Tolfree's Saugus Eating House inside the old Saugus train station in 1898,
renaming it "Saugus Café." In 1905 Richard moved it across San Fernando Road to a spot
just north of its present location, where this photograph was taken.
About the Saugus Cafe building(s).
The Saugus Café started life as Tolfree's Eating House inside the SPRR Saugus Depot, which was located at what is now the southeast corner of Railroad Avenue and Drayton Street.
Structures on the 2.17-acre property as of 2014. Click image to enlarge.
In 1905, then-owner Martin Wood moved the café across the street, erecting a brick structure at what is now 25865 Railroad Ave. In 1925, the brick building was replaced with a larger structure finished in plaster or stucco.
In 1952, new owner Bill Rolls erected a new, 3,427-square-foot building, perpendicular to and set slightly back from the earlier structure. This is the current Saugus Café building at 25861 Railroad Ave.
Both buildings stood together for a time. Apparently the 1925 structure was utilized as a cocktail lounge until it was torn down. In 1963 the 3,500-square-foot Saugus Superette was erected in its place (again, 25865 Railroad Ave.), although this time, it was set back in an even line with the café.
A 1,050-square-foot home built in 1912 also stands on the 2.17-acre property, behind the two larger buildings.
The current (2014) propery owner is investor Hank Arklin, who purchased it July 10, 1996.
Further reading: Tales of the Saugus Cafe.