SHIRLEY -- Did you know that over the past 150 years, downtown Shirley has supported a wide range of businesses, including a butcher shop, grain store, millinery store (hats and gloves), doctor's office and others?

That shops and offices once were ranged along both sides of Front Street? That there used to be a bandstand where the flagpole is today?

Did you ever take the trains to Boston from the big depot where Bill's Citgo is now or send packages from Railway Express next door?

Explore Shirley's main business district "then and now" with the Shirley Historical Society on July 19, through a walking tour of Front Street and part of Main Street.

The tour is the first part of an ongoing project in which the Shirley Historical Society will prepare self-guided illustrated maps of different parts of the town, showing where buildings used to be and who owned them.

For this tour, a handout with maps of the town's main business street from the 1800s through the 1900s will show where businesses were located and how they changed over the years, and photos will show many buildings from the late 1800s that are still in use today.

If you have memories to share, please bring them. If you are new to town, bring your curiosity about the way things used to be. Meet by the flagpole near the Village Coffee Shop at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 19. The tour is free. Anyone who is interested is welcome!