History of the Bank
The National Grand Bank … A Brief History …
At the Beginning of the 19th Century, several influential citizens of the Town of Marblehead felt the necessity for a new progressive bank. It was a period of general prosperity and expansion in the fishing industry and foreign commerce, in which Marblehead played an important role. A vital function of the bank would be to finance vessels and serve the town’s fishermen as well as the prosperous merchants who made their living by the sea.
On the 17th of March 1831, a new bank was incorporated with a capital of one hundred thousand dollars. It was called the Grand Bank, named for the Grand Bank off the coast of Newfoundland where Marblehead fisherman sailed twice a year to catch codfish. The “National” was added to the name when the bank voted, on October 3, 1864, to surrender the state charter and begin operating as a national bank as of February 1st of the following year.
At the first meeting of the Board of Directors, it was voted to purchase the estate of Captain William Russell on Hooper Street and to erect a stone building. This new building became the quarters of the Grand Bank on November 17th, 1831. Major Joseph W. Green served as the first president and John Sparhawk, Jr. as cashier. That stone building still stands on Hooper Street and is now the base of operations for a legal office. However, for more than 130 years, it served as the home of Grand Bank.
On January 16, 1962, the bank purchased the site of the old Boston and Maine Railroad depot on Pleasant Street and began construction of a new building on the property. On October 7, 1963, the bank moved into its new offices at 91 Pleasant Street.
During the fall of 1982 construction began on an addition to the building. Banking hours were extended and a drive-up window was opened.
The Maple Lane Bowling Alley was purchased by the bank in 1984. A separate mortgage center opened in the Osborne Building on Pleasant Street in 1986. In the spring of 1988, renovations began on the old bowling alley which later became the operations center. Renovations were also completed at the main building in 1989, and the Mortgage Origination Department was relocated to the new offices.
The National Grand Bank has also served an educational role in the community by opening a student-run branch in Marblehead High School in the fall of 2002. Students are given a unique opportunity to learn the elements of finance in a hands-on bank environment. The bank’s longevity is attributed to services offered, charitable causes supported, continued community involvement, and the devoted customers and staff of National Grand Bank who make it possible for the tradition of excellence to continue.