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’m sorry for the week-long delay in publishing this column. I even received an email from a reader anxious to find out the answer to where this photo (at right and in larger size below) was taken!
There were lots of guesses, but it took quite a while before someone came up with the right answer.
“I see trolley rails, so my guess is very general. I’m thinking somewhere along Farmington Avenue or Park Road. As far as specific details, I have no idea,” commented Giovanni Seccareccia on the article.
“Farmington Ave next door to St. James? The Bridge is there now,” guessed “Lauren.”
Don Kauke put a lot of thought into his analysis and resulting guess: “It looks like a public building with residence above, possibly a store on a main, trolley street. A delivery cart in the front and a community bulletin board at the entrance with a bicycle resting on the side residence porch. With dirt road estimate that time period would be turn of last century. No wire for trolley so vehicle would have been horse drawn.”
Several people who commented on Facebook thought that this was South Main Street near the current location of Rockledge Golf Course, and someone else thought it was the house at the intersection of Boulevard and South Main.
“That looks like a church spire behind the house. I would put it close to The Center or in Elmwood on NB Ave.,” commented John Hogan, and Mary Beth Hamilton agreed and thought New Britain Avenue was a good guess.
“Those are trolley tracks in the road so it has to a main trolley route.. Farmington Ave?” commented Bonnie MacKenzie.
Then, at the end of last week, we finally got the complete right answer, posted on the We-Ha.com Facebook page by local history buff Jeff Murray. And he had many more details than I did! “This doesn’t seem to have an answer on here, so I’ll chime in a week and a half late for fun. Thomas C. Brown’s grocery store and Elmwood post office on New Britain Avenue where Puritan Furniture is now. The spire in the background behind the store is actually the old Elmwood School, built in 1900, which became the neighborhood’s public library for a short period of time before being demolished in 1953 for the current Faxon Library. The house further to the right is the George Yates cottage at the corner of Woodlawn. He was a milk dealer. And to the far right is the original St. Bridget’s Church, built in 1917, so the photo itself is probably dated early 1920s.”
This week’s photo (at right and in larger size below as well as at the top of this column) also goes fairly far back in the town’s history.
Who knows where this photo was taken?
When was this photo taken?
What do you think has happened to the vehicle?
What is now in this location?
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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