Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this ‘Tuesday 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!
My apologies for missing a week (and a few days) in publishing this column. Budget season means a lot more meetings to cover!
It was rather easy to identify the location in the photo (at right and in larger size below) from March 13, especially for some longtime West Hartfordites who remembered when S.S. Pierce was located in Bishops Corner.
“The present location of Blue Plate Restaurant. Woolworth’s 5&10 was to the right,” commented Giovanni Seccareccia. In a subsequent comment, he added the following memories of Woolworth’s: “I remember going as a boy in the first grade, with my mom to F.W. Woolworth’s 5 & 10 next door to S.S. Pierce Co. I remember she bought me my first 5 gallon aquarium, 10 guppies and a catfish in the pet department. We would also have lunch at the lunch counter from time to time, which was in the lower floor of the store. I even remember what I would order … hot dog w/mustard & relish … chips … orange soda and a chocolate eclair! Wow! What a memory jog!”
Wendy Fair noted that S.S. Pierce was a “top shelf food brand of its time,” and Don Kauke added the following: “Wendy is right … before frozen foods, S S Pierce was the top name in canned groceries. They marketed everything and all top quality, sold only by the best grocers and West Hartford had a company owned store. You will find their name still on another of their stores in Brookline, Mass. They prepared gift packages and shipped them worldwide.”
Indeed the Boston-based S.S. Pierce was a grocer and importer of what even today would probably be considered gourmet foods and cigars. It certainly sounds like they had some rather unusual food products – even by today’s standards – like ants and grasshoppers. They also sold wines and liquors in Massachusetts, although I don’t think the store in West Hartford would have been able to sell those items.
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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