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An ‘Armchair History Tour’ of West Hartford: Trout Brook Ice & Feed Company

Trout Brook Ice & Feed Company viewed from the south side of Farmington Avenue looking north. Note the iced over brook where men are employed in cutting blocks of ice. The trolley on Farmington Avenue ran west towards West Hartford Center and east towards Hartford. Courtesy of Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Jennifer DiCola Matos, executive director of the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, has been leading the community on an “Armchair History Tour” of West Hartford.

A vintage image from the museum’s collection of the conveyor belt that helped the workers move the large blocks of ice to the warehouse. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Submitted by Jennifer DiCola Matos

Trout Brook Ice & Feed Co. was once located on the north side of Farmington Avenue, just west of the intersection with Trout Brook Drive. It was West Hartford Center’s biggest business in the late 1800s.

Edwin Arnold established the company in 1879 on land he owned on the north side of Farmington Avenue. His house and farm was located east of Trout Brook and he built an ice warehouse and office on the west side of Trout Brook. The brook was damed to make a pond. At the height of the winter, the ice was harvested and stored in the warehouse, covered in sawdust.

Learn more about this industry that has been lost to time in the Armchair Tour of West Hartford History video below.

Trout Brook Ice & Feed was located just west of the brook while Edwin Arnold’s home is on the east side of the brook. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Since April 1, the tours have been held – via video – every week, generally on a Wednesday. They can be viewed on theNoah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society Facebook page.

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