Riverside Hall, built by the Maynard family in the late 1860s, served as the site of public gatherings for years. In fact, Riverside Hall housed Maynard’s first ever Town Meeting and elections in the year 1871. By 1872, business was booming at Riverside; the major tenant of the Hall was Sitchel & Hovey Dry Goods, later replaced by the general store of Alfred T. Haynes in 1893. However, what most Maynardians remember Riverside Hall as is Gruber Brothers Furniture Company, which recently announced its closing in the fall of 2015.
The Gruber brothers – members of a Jewish family, who were active in forming the Maynard Hebrew Society – purchased Riverside Hall from Haynes in 1917 with the intent to open their furniture business there. At the time, Riverside Theatre operated on the second level, while the Gruber brothers managed their store below. One fateful morning in 1934, all of that changed. Around 4:30 AM, fire erupted in the building, burning it to the ground. When the building was reconstructed, Gruber Brothers Furniture became its sole tenant. The brothers ran a successful business here for 98 years, until closing their doors for the last time on November 14, 2015.