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

The award for a quick, accurate, and informative response to last week’s Throwback Thursday (shown at right and in larger size below) image definitely goes to Ed Dombraskas!

“This is the building on North Main Street just opposite Brace Road. The Beekley Corp is where the YMCA offices are now and Seymour’s is now Sally and Bob’s. Interesting thing about the building is that construction began just prior to WWII and was suspended when the war broke out due to the inability to obtain materials. It sat unfinished until the late 40’s when financing and materials became available post war,” Ed wrote.

Liz Gillette had a bit more to add, and she also did some research into Beekley: “Good call, Ed. I had never heard of Beekley Corp. They are still around and their website has an interesting old picture of when they were West Hartford Printing and Lithograph. I wonder where in town that was. http://www.beekleycorporation.com/History. And Seymour’s – somehow I guess I kinda thought that Sally and Bob’s was there when Stephan Hosmer set up his mill!”

The image we posted was taken in 1966, and it appears from the photo on their website that Beekley relocated in 1974. Can anyone tell from the photo where West Hartford Printing and Lithograph was located?

And as for Sally and Bobs’s – that opened in 1969.

A few more comments that were posted on Facebook, including this one from Lisa Petersen: “This building is on North Main St. just north of Farmington Ave. The business shown in the picture is now the YMCA. Just off to the left is the old brick school house that was my dance school in the 1960s. You can see the pointy roof.”

From David Traub: “I remember Seymour’s Coffee Shop. If I’m not wrong it became Bob and Sally’s, loved the egg salad. Gertrude Williamson next door was the best little gift and personalized stationery store. The dance studio was there and CBT on the corner right?”

“Hartford Courant office was there also,” added John Maloney.

From Jon Moss: “I can’t believe I missed this one! My (from a long time ago) and my children’s pediatrician, Dr. Stein, had his office in the left-hand part of the building. He is a terrific doc! Both very talented and always kind and patient!”

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

We’ve got an image this week (at right and in larger size below) that should also be recognizable to many readers.

Who knows where this is?

Who knows when it was taken?

What is in this space now?

Do you recall ever visiting this business?

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

12 North Main St., current home of YMCA and Sally and Bob’s. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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  • If the picture was a little bigger to the left, you would see the side of Sam’s Army/Navy. It’s just a tad west on Farmington Ave on the southwest corner of Main St. The doorway is the entrance to the apartments up above, which have always held great fascination for me. I would say the sixties sometime. My first pair of “hippy” Landlubber jeans came from Sam’s! So were my Navy surplus pants and my vintage pea jacket. I still have the pants! How my mother hated that I had a job (at the Toy Chest) and money to spend at Sam’s!

  • Is this the building on the west side of main st, just south of Farmington Ave?
    Is that the masonic temple to the left?
    Just a suggestion. In the follow up article, can you post a picture showing the present day at the location?

  • The corner building shared by #1 and # 7 So Main St although this entrance is on Farmington Ave.
    The top floor (where the air conditioner is) was my apartment for several years. Nothing fancy, but great for college kids. (Liz- weren’t you ever invited to any of our parties?)The Center was verrrry quiet in those days. Across was Maxwell’s Drug Store where I worked part-time and had no excuse for being late!Yes, the army Navy store was downstairs and before it does anyone remember some sort of electronics/car battery shop??

  • My company Wolfworks used this photo as source material to restore the entry facade on Main Street in 1999. It had been covered with laminate panels and all the details had been knocked off. We used molds of what was still intact on the Farmington Ave. entry to restore it. It was an odd little job and I was glad that the owner Joe Sudarsky was willing to bother bringing the old detail back AND that we were able to dig up the image (thanks to Mims Butterworth!).

    When I was in high school in 1970 we’d duck into the enclosed foyer (also covered in laminate) to keep warm while hanging out in the center on cold winter nights.

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