West Hartford’s ‘Thursday Throwback’

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this ‘Thursday Throwback,’ 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!

Thanks to all who responded to last week’s Throwback Thursday which returned after a much-too-long hiatus!

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Last week’s photo (at right and in larger size below) was seasonally appropriate as spring is really here and many people are preparing to plant their gardens. It made me a bit sad, because Patrissi Nursery was where I almost always got the flowers and other plants for my garden. We have a row of arborvitae along our backyard, and they always make me think of the late Richard Patrissi, who supervised the planting of them several years ago.

Giovanni Seccareccia knew where this was immediately: “This is The Patrissi Nursery on Ringgold Street, off of Park Road.”

Spot on, Giovanni! What a difference trees make! So sorry the nursery is gone now…
Great reminder now that across the street is being developed. Wonder what it will be next!” added Liz Gillette.

Barbara Allis provided some more details, and memories: “I also agree that it is Patrissi Nursery on Ringgold Street in West Hartford, The spot is parallel to the back of the Sisters of St. Joseph Convent. The business was founded in the early 40’s, sold to a non-family member for awhile then bought back by the Patrissi family until it closed last year. One of the founder’s sons, Richard Patrissi was known as the Mayor of Park Road and organized the annual Park Road Parade until his passing.”

“Always bought our Christmas tree there and my mom would go there to get plants for her gardens …” added Alexandra Everson.

There were numerous comments on Facebook as well, including some very personal remembrances from family members.

Janet Patrissi wrote: “My grandfather and dad and than my older brother were owners; it was a family business. One of the houses in the [picture] was my grandparent’s home. My dad and uncles and my aunt grew up there, his brothers and sister.”

And from Margie Patrissi Esthus: “My Grandfather started it … then my Dad took it over and then my brother … miss them and the nursery … especially this time of year. Thank you Ronnie for the picture and memories!”

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 people will likely recall. It’s related to a news story that we published last week, too.

Who know where this is?

What were these buildings used for?

When was this photo taken?

What is in this space now?

If you have memories, please share them below.

Thank you to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society for providing us with the images. They are 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

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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  • The old American Legion Hall on the corner of Memorial and Isham Roads. The old Grody Chevrolet dealership can be seen in the background. This is where Blue Back Square stands today. To the left, and out of frame of this photo, would be the Noah Webster Library parking lot.

  • The sight of the Labor Day Fair (That was eventually re-imagined as Celebrate West Hartford after it got too rowdy!) And, yes, the practically vertical library parking lot!

    • LOL…that parking lot was scary! In some areas it was almost on a 45 degree angle! Whenever I went there at in the evening to study for a high school test, I had to use mountain climbing equipment, ropes, pick-axe, cleats. In the winter I even brought a St. Bernard with me and put a brandy barrel on his collar…I even learned how to yodel! Yodel-lay-HEE-hOoOoOoooooo! See? LOL

  • The old American Legion Hall. Since I was a new veteran in the early 70’s, my father-in-law suggested we meet for a beer which was around 20 cents back then. I never took him up on the offer, but have enjoyed a pint or two at the new one at Blue Back with friends and fellow veterans. Sadly, the club seems forced to compromise its facility in order to survive in the community.

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