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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!

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) didn’t stump too many people.

Robert Farr commented right away on the article with the correct location: “A couple of hundred yards west of Bishop’s Corner on south side of Rte. 44, mid 1970’s,” and “David T.” added that the property was in the 2600 block of Albany Ave. (It’s actually 2575 Albany Ave., which is pretty close!)

“That’s Wrought Iron Works. Hasn’t changed much,” added “Sarah G.”

“Blacksmiths shop on Albany Ave., west of Bishop Corner. Site of a long zoning hearing several years ago when an office building was proposed for the site. The site remains today as it has for so many years, unchanged,” added Rob Rowlson.

Liz Gillette wrote, “I remember going there with my mother as a kid. She was getting some fancy patio chairs mended. At that time there was a real forge. I was fascinated!”

Many people also commented on Facebook, and most also correctly identified the location. Some, like Janet Scott, also had firsthand memories of visiting it in the past: “I had a metal part of a chair welded there once. Amazing little place that has been there as long as I can remember.”

The name of the business was formerly the West Hartford Ornamental Iron Shop, but became Wrought Iron Works after it was sold to new owners in 2000. The following information is from the Wrought Iron Works website: “When the property owners were going to sell the West Hartford Ornamental Iron Shop to an orthodontist, many community members showed concern about losing a historic part of the district. It was in the year 2000 when the property was bought and re-established by second generation wrought iron workers under the name Wrought Iron Works, preserving the historical site and building. Today it continues to function as a blacksmith shop specializing in custom wrought iron items such as railings and fencing. Open year round six days a week, Wrought Iron Works is still here and thriving.”

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

This week’s image (at right and in larger size below) may be a bit more challenging, but I’ll be there are plenty of people who have memories of it.

Who knows what business this was?

What is in this space now?

When do you think this photo was taken?

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

Wrought Iron Works, formerly West Hartford Ornamental Iron Shop, 2575 Albany Ave. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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6 Comments

    • Or Dobbs House? Occasionally as a teenager in the 60’s we’d skip church and go there for breakfast instead. My brothers and I called it St Dobbs.

      • You might be right. But where was the Toddle House? Was it over past the Mall on the East side where Daddy’s Junkie Music is?

        • I did find an old picture of a Toddle House from the 40’s. (Who knew there were about 260 of them across the US!) The sign is a different shape than above, it had two chubby, cherub-y chefs on either side sticking up at the top edge.

  • Toddle House Restaurant on Farmington Avenue which is currently the WH Jefferson Imaging Center….when it was the Toddle House it was a favorite late night stop for the “guys” after you dropped your date at her home…this was back in the late 60’s

  • Dobb’s House was our church! As 14 year-old we started going to instead of church. First, it was the Catholics in the group, but then everyone wanted to come. It was once called “Toodle House”. But it will always be “St. Dobbs”. The waitress was “Sister Peggy” (Her real name) and he cook (whoever it was) was Father Dobbs. Since most of the cooks were drunks, they were a hoot. Once a guy couldn’t add the check for the six of us. He slurred, “Give me two bucks and we’re even”. Once a friend had a hard time coming because his mother thought the restaurant story was the scam and we really wanted to convert him to Catholicism.

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