West Hartford’s ‘Monday Memory’

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this ‘Monday Memory,’ courtesy of the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society.

By Ronni Newton

It’s time to take a look back into West Hartford’s past to either stir up some memories, reflect on how much things have changed, or both. And if you have no idea, we love the photo captions, too!

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Last week’s image (at right and in larger size below) stumped some people, but others knew exactly where this was.

Although this building does closely resemble other structures in West Hartford, a careful look at the photo shows the name of the business visible on the front, below the flags.

Rick Liftig was the first to comment, and knew exactly what this building was and where it was formerly located: “Ronni – I love it when you post a picture that jogs my brain and makes me go, ‘OMG, I remember that’” This photo is testimony to the manufacturing corridor that ran out from Hartford on New Park Avenue, down South St. and Newington Road ( in close proximity to the rail line). At one point, every hard-working man had a drill with a Jacobs chuck at the end. The building was on the site of the Elmwood Stop and Shop. It became Industrial Safety Supply sometime in the 1970’s and then about ten years ago was razed. Jacobs is still around, but certainly not as prominent as it once was.”

Referring to the construction of the Stop & Shop plaza on that site, Rob Rowlson added, “This marked the largest Elmwood development since Home Depot/BJ’s. It’s a matter of opinion if HD and BJ’s are in Elmwood or not.”

Liz Gillette added the following details (and it would be my honor to be part of a Motown group with Rick and Rob!): “Thanks Ronni, Rick and Rob (you sound like a ’60s Motown group!) I had no memory of this. I learned more at http://www.jacobschuck.com/about-us. What a forgotten and/or unseen history of innovation and manufacturing we have! I would encourage everyone to take a ride on the busway to see some of the lost/emerging/thriving businesses we have along this corridor from a viewpoint you would never see from the roads – fascinating – and inspiring!”

Many people also added their comments on Facebook, and while there were mostly correct answers, several thought this photo was Sedgwick Middle School and another thought it was the former Talcott Junior High which has now been incorporated into the Quaker Green complex on South Quaker Lane.

“Jacobs Manufacturing, Newington Road just past Elmfield Street, behind WhiteHouse Liquors. When? I’ll let someone else comment,” commented Dennis Marshall.

“I had a summer job there in the late ’60s. It was a good place to work, and I learned a lot,” John Ferguson said of Jacobs Manufacturing.

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

This week’s photo (at right and in larger size below as well as at the top of this column) is of a place that many will recognize quite easily, but who can date the photo?

When did this particular restaurant close?

What are all of the businesses that have been in this location?

What are some of your memories of Puerto Vallarta, or the other restaurants that once occupied this spot?

Please share your memories below.

Thank you to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society for providing us with the images. The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is always looking for new images to add to the collection. Visit their website at www.noahwebsterhouse.org for more information about membership and programs.

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Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Jacobs Manufacturing was located on Newington Road, where Stop & Shop now stands. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society


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  • It’s now Treva. Early on it was Edelweiss. I think Puerto Vallarta closed sometime in the early 2000s.

  • I remember going there in the 1950’s with my parents and believe it was called The West Hartford Diner.

  • I remember going there in the 1950’s with my parents. I believe it was called The West Hartford Diner.

    • The diner’s metal shell still stands beneath all the iron, mortar and concrete. They just built a more modern building around it.

  • I think Puerta Vallarta closed in about 2008. After this was Puerta Vallarta, it was Coco for a while before becoming Treva. The location to the left is now Grace Nail, and to the right is CVS.

    I recall enjoying Puerta Vallarta when they first opened because was nice to have a place to enjoy a margarita on the patio… there weren’t nearly as many restaurants with patios in the center as there are now!

  • It was Edelweiss for many years. Before Edelweiss it was a restaurant called ‘Longo’s’ Before the buildings look as they do today, this area was also the site of the ‘West Hartford Diner’ which remains intact under all the mortar and concrete, hence the long narrow look of the interior today.

  • My first memory of this building is Edelweiss. It closed in the 90s. Puerto Vallarta followed. Now Treva. Remembering some places along that strip…Florence Travis, Stride Rite, Pfaus, Val’s, Nanshe’s…Just to name a few!

  • The era back when this was Edelweiss was quite telling , with the wide sidewalks there were yet few if any outdoor restaurants – it was ripe for the developments that we see today.

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