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.

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

By Ronni Newton

“Throwback Thursday” (#tbt) has become a popular feature on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. It’s so much fun to see the images of our friends back in their elementary school days, photos of babies who are now in college, unfortunate fashion choices from the ’80s, and much more.

We-Ha.com takes its own historical look  back at the town with “Thursday Throwback.” We will feature images of people, places, and events in West Hartford, and we’d love to have your feedback.

Last week’s image seemed to be easily recognizable because even though the tenants have changed since the photo was taken, the buiding still looks pretty much the same. All who commented correctly identified the building which today is home to Fleet Feet Sports and S.K. Lavery.

Our first comment was from Lisa Petersen on Facebook: “This is in the block of stores opposite what was Society for Savings and is now Santander. I think Fleet Feet is here now. Lavery is nearby. Lincoln Dairy was owned by the Godiksen family. They were of Danish heritage and best friends with the Petersen family, who are also Danish, from A. C. Petersen farms.”

“Fleet Feet, Laverys Appliance store etc. The restauants above were early 60’s. Bob Barrett was the last owner of Central D and Lincoln D has a dirtribution plant on New Braitain Ave. which today is an office building,” commented Rob Rowlson on Facebook.

Ed Dombroskas added the following comment to the article: “These are two old icons of West Hartford Center. Lincoln Dairy for Ice Cream and Central Delicatessen run by George Schick in the Lavery Building. Tis is actually the new location for Central Deli since it was previously located next to the old Central Theatre. Some folks may remember the homemade donuts, coleslaw and potato salad people stood in line for there. They might also remember that Mr Schick would take your turkey at Thanksgving – roast it – carve it and reassemble it for the perfect display. He taught me how to do that and I became the official turkey carver for our kids holiday celebrations at Webster Hill Elementary. The still secret recipes for the coleslaw and potato salad are held by Dave Peterson (his nephew) from the 3rd generation Peterson Landscaping Service in West Hartford.
Central Deli was sold to Bob Barrett who ran it for a number of years. Fleet Feet is located there today.”

A few days later, Robert Trafford added: “As a boy in the 50s, where would your parents take you for a reward for a job well done? To Lincoln Dairy for a banana split, of course.”

Today’s image is not so easy obvious, although we will tell you that the image is from 1890. Any guesses as to what occupies the land where these horses once worked?

Please add your comments below about the featured photo, and we will publish the answers along with next Thursday’s image.

Thank you to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society for providing us with the images. For more information about the organization, visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org.

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Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford HIstorical Society

Current site of Fleet Feet Sports, 1003 Farmington Ave., Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford HIstorical Society


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  • Tough, tough, tough, Ronni. I can see Talcott Ridge in the background and what looks like a body of water behind the horses (those are big horses!). It’s wintertime too. I will guess that this picture was taken near Wood Pond (facing the west) a long, long time ago. it wouldn’t surprise me if this fellow was hauling ice blocks from the pond.

  • Does anyone know when Lincoln dairy closed? I have a vintage milk bottle from them and I’m trying to figure out what decade it is from. Thank you!

    • My Dad worked there until the late 50s. I think they sold out to Sealtest but I’m not sure. I also have some bottles and a carrying case but don’t know what they are worth. I loved it when they had the ice cream sale – buy a quart and get one for a penny! I still remember our milk man Henry bringing the milk right to the door. We used to make him cookies. Great memories!

  • Just made myself a ham with coleslaw sandwich and it brought me back to my youth at the Central Deli – they served the best ham with coleslaw! Made me go look the Central Deli up on line and found this throwback! Hard to believe that was more than 50 years ago…

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