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 photo (at right and in larger size below) was somewhat easy to identify, and brought back a lot of first-hand memories.

That’s the Golden Realty building in Elmwood I believe. Located in front of Stop and Shop,” Colleen Killoran commented on the article.

“Colleen is correct. And a liquor store is in the Stop and Shop property. But is it White House under the Crazy Bruce brand, or a completely different business?” added Bernie Weiss.

Jon Lansberg correctly noted that White House Package “was the old name for Crazy Bruce.”

“I agree, that was my first thought. It also used to be a florist. I was sad when they closed because the location always looked very pretty when they were there,” commented “Rose.”

Comments on Facebook also agreed that this business was located on Newington Road, near the Stop & Shop plaza, and is now a real estate office, but some had more details to add.

Sue McCormick noted that after the liquor store became Crazy Bruce’s and moved, it was a florist, which Glenn Catania Sr. recalled was Sunshine Florist.

“The lady there always gave us each a free carnation when my mom bought flowers,” commented Rebecca Jameson Colton.

“My first stop when visiting Mom on Princeton St. 70’s 80’s & 90’s…..lol,” commented Nancie J. Post – although I’m not sure if she meant the florist or the package store!

Paul Carrier shared a vivid memory of White House Package Store: “Ok, so I remember standing on the front stoop of this package store collecting $$ for W.H little league baseball back in the 70’s. The coach dropped me off at like 10am and came back around 1:00. I was like 10? By myself at a liquor store! Not in this day and age…”

“White House Liquors was replaced by Crazy Bruce many years ago. I worked there as at the end of White House Liquors. I always missed that place. It was an amazing store!” recalled Paul Manchester.

Mitchell Chester commented: “We spent time skateboarding on that little asphalt ‘hill’ just under that sign on the front of this store because you could kick flip and do a 180 and get some air. We were 12-14 or so.”

Mary Beth Hamilton had more historical information about the building: “White House Package store – later the first location of Crazy Bruce. It’s a realtor’s office now. Was a private home before that-went to Elmwood Elementary School with a boy that lived there. On Newington Rd opposite Elmfield St.”

The website for Crazy Bruce’s says that the store is also known as White House Liquors in West Hartford, and I recall that the White House Liquors name was still part of the signage when the store had moved to a larger location on Newington Road, but before the Stop & Shop Plaza was constructed. The website also states: “In 1964, Crazy Bruce’s Liquors started as a small, one man operation in West Hartford.” 

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

We’ve got a winter scene for this week’s photo (at right and in larger size below as well as at the top of this column), although I hope we won’t have much more weather cold enough to freeze a pond like this.

Where was this photo taken?

When was this photo taken?

What is in this space 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

White House Package Store was located at 164 Newington Rd., now the location of Golden Rule Realty. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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  • Bueana Vista pond and the club house for the 9 hole course. The pond is still there ( I’m not positive on this but it may be fed by Trout brook). Cornerstone pool opened on part of the property in 1962-63.

  • I was reading the post above and suddenly realized that the white building on the left is the Saltbox Gallery at 37 Buena Vista Rd. Now the building is painted red.

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