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!

I knew I hadn’t posted a Throwback Thursday or Monday Memory in quite some time, but when I searched our archives it seems there hasn’t been one since early September! I was doing some traveling, and then there was such a constant stream of news with the election, and budget issues, and other things that seemed to come up every time I considered resurrecting the column.

I made a New Year’s resolution to bring the column back, and it’s already three weeks into 2018, but here we go!

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

I’m pretty sure that the image at right (and in larger size below) was the last one posted, on Sept. 7, 2017.

There weren’t any comments or guesses directly on the article, but I did find this comment on We-Ha.com’s Facebook page from one of our noted history buffs, Rick Liftig: “This is a fun picture to blow up and suss out the details. To answer your question, I see a picture frame high up on the wall – the kids look to be 7th, 8th or 9th grade c. 1965 or 1966. So I’ll guess an eighth grade social studies class in Talcott Junior High. Two of the boys have their baseball gloves ready for after school. The boy in the foreground may even being wearing a bell-bottom jean which would make it later 66 or 67/ also the shirt patterns (on the boys) are telling. The man in the picture looks very familiar – is that a young Harry Arnini?”

There were also comments in another Facebook group where the column was shared.

“Plant Jr High maybe? That could be Mr. Walker standing up. But hard to tell,” guessed Bonnie McKenzie.

There were some other good guesses, including Whiting Lane School and Elmwood Elementary School, but Ken Katz had the right teacher (wrong school though, at least based on information provided by the Noah Webster House): “Teacher looks a bit like Ralph Perkins at KP I’d put that in the mid-50’s.”

Stephen Liftig (I am guessing he is related to Rick), agreed it looked like Ralph Perkins, and even provided a link to the former teacher’s obituary from 2003: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/hartfordcourant/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=1031884

According to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society, the photo is indeed of Ralph Perkins’ class, but it was at Sedgwick.

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) could be a tough one, but I’m expecting some good guesses!

Who knows where this photo was taken?

When do you think this photo was taken?

What is in this location now?

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

Ralph Perkins teaching a class at Sedgwick School. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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  • You’re absolutely right, Ronni. Steve is my cousin (and a West Hartford native), so a big shout out to him! Looking at the picture again, of course it was Ralph Perkins, whom I knew much later in his life as my neighbor across the street. Many of you know Ralph’s daughter, Abby, who keeps the Noah Webster House on the straight and narrow.

    It’s a very funny thing about today’s picture. I have no idea where that was, but remember going there as a a young boy.

  • This week’s historic picture is of the Beachland Park pool and poolhouse structures in Elmwood. It looks just like it did when I was a kid growing up in Elmwood and spending most days of any summer hanging out at the park and swimming in the pool. That would have been in the 1950s or early 60s.

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