Before Stop & Shop developed a supermarket at 1001 Kings Highway in New Bedford's North End, the property was home to a car dealership. It wasn't just any car dealership, but the George O'Hara Chevrolet Dealership, later known as George O'Hara Chevrolet-Cadillac, Inc.

George O'Hara Chevrolet's showroom was round with glass walls, providing the passing public with a view of what was for sale inside.

As a young employee of another local radio station in the 1980s, I recall promoting a pickup truck giveaway at George O'Hara Chevrolet. The person who leaned against the truck the longest walked – er, drove – away with it.

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O'Hara Chevrolet was founded in 1959 by George M. O'Hara, Sr., who, according to his obituary, was born and raised in East Boston. The obituary says O'Hara, who lived in South Dartmouth from 1959 until his death in 2002 at age 78, served as the dealership's president until retiring in 1986.

The obit also credits O'Hara as "one of the founders" of Southeastern Bank and Trust and Whaling City Cable Television., both in New Bedford.

After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, O'Hara was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign ribbon, the Good Conduct medal and the World War II Victory medal.

New Bedford's Kings Highway Was Home To O'Hara Chevrolet
Courtesy Spinner Publications

Spinner Publications reports that New Bedford Mayor Edward Harrington signed a 99-year lease with O'Hara on October 11, 1964, for the Kings Highway property.

After O'Hara's death, the dealership closed, and the property sold to Stop & Shop.

As a footnote to the story, United Press International reported on September 16, 1992, that George M. O'Hara surrendered to the FBI "on charges he defrauded Shawmut Bank out of $443,000."

UPI reported O'Hara surrendered "one day after a federal grand jury indicted him on 32 counts of bank fraud."

Efforts to confirm the report or determine the outcome of the alleged case against O'Hara have been unsuccessful. UPI has not responded to multiple email requests for follow-up information.

New Bedford's '50s Night Over the Years

Joe Jesus' '50s Night was a longtime staple of New Bedford's summer schedule with 29 straight years until road construction held it off in 2018. It came back in 2019 following Joe's passing, but it missed 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It made a triumphant return in 2022 and is set to become an annual tradition once again. Take a look at '50s Night over the years.

Gallery Credit: Tim Weisberg

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