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 Throwback Thursday (#tbt), and 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!

We’ve gotten some great feedback on the images that have been posted recently! There’s still an ongoing chat in a Facebook group attached to the posted column featuring the Cypress Arms, with all sorts of reminiscing about the old days in West Hartford.

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Last week’s image (at right and in larger size below) did not disappoint either. It’s amazing to see how low the price of gas was in this image!

“Raymond looking to Farmington Ave?” wrote “normandy726,” a bit tentatively in the comments section of the article.

“Corner of Raymond and Isham Rds., where a parking garage and Modern Tire are today, hmmm…1961?” added Robert Farr.

Dave Marsden provided even more information: “Raymond Road at Isham, facing north. Next building is Guthrie’s Mobil on corner of Farmington Avenue and across the street on Farmington where Subway is now was a Shell gas station. About ’60 ’61.”

“I’m guessing the same as above. I think the on top of the building you can see the back of French Cleaner’s ‘billboard.’ I see all the wires and ‘visual clutter,’ so many signs, lights and poles!” Liz Gillette wrote in response to Dave’s comments.

Everyone is pretty much correct! The photo appears to have been taken in 1960, and it shows the corner of Isham and Raymond roads, looking north. The building in the foreground of the left side of the image is where Modern Tire is located today (and you can often find one of my family’s vehicles there for repair!) and the gas station property remains a vacant lot.

There were also some comments on Facebook, including several readers who guessed that this was Crowley Chevrolet. Crowley Chevrolet (which was originally Grody Chevrolet and dated back to 1934) was at the southwest corner of Raymond and Isham, where the Isham parking garage is now located. The dealership building was demolished as part of the Blue Back Square project.

Ray Petersen, who commented on Facebook, was absolutely correct in identifying the current Modern Tire location.

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

We return to retail – food and drugs – for this week’s throwback image (at right and in larger size below).

Where and when was this photo taken?

Does anyone recall visiting these businesses?

What is in this location now?

Please share your memories below!

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

Corner of Isham and Raymond Road, current site of Modern Tire. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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  • This is a hard one. The building is on South Quaker land just north of it’s intersection with Flatbush across from the new medical building. The former drug store is now a package store.
    Goodson became Kansas City Meat. This photo probably dates back to the 1950’s

  • Yes, that location is now The Wise Old Dog package store (the best in town for wine, beer and spirits, by the way! Owner Jacob and staff are funny, friendly and hugely knowledgeable; I learn something new every time I shop there).

  • Hmmm… think it’s the location of a Laundromat next to a liquor store that used to be a Real Estate office, and before that ??? The building has had some turnover. It’s next to a vacant lot where a gas station was torn down methinks. Love these pictures!

  • it’s Quaker Lane Pharmacy at the corner of Hampton ave and S.Quaker Lane. It was a stop on our walk to and from Charter Oak school. It had a high stool lunch counter with the old style soda fountain . ( because we are old !) It was owned by two guys named Bill. The lady who worked the counter was named Fay. The grocery store next door was Glenn Smither’s Food Town. We lived just a few blocks away and this was the store my mother shopped at weekly. I bagged groceries there as a kid.

  • My grandfather, Harry King, worked as a car salesman at Grody Chevrolet back in the 1950’s. He lived with my grandmother in an apartment on Arnold Way. [They have since been turned into condos.] I remember when the Chevrolet Stingray first came out, Grody’s displayed it in the middle of their showroom; it was awesome. We’d walk to West Hartford center from Arnold Way, to window shop, or go to the movies. My mom would buy us clothes at the Youth Center, and the Acorn Shop. Those were good times.

  • I am the grand-daughter Cheryl (Guthrie) Berry of Guthrie’s Mobile. That was my favorite place to be as a child. Lots of good memories 😌 😊

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