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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 photo (at right and in larger size below) happened to be of a space that was also included in another story the same day!

“Looks somewhat like where Crown market/Starbucks is today, early ’60’s,” commented Robert Farr.

“This was taken in the Southeast corner of Bishop’s Corner area (in the ‘back’). This building is where Starbucks is now and the sign for Popular Market refers to the building where the Crown Market is now. There was another Popular Market in town at the corner of South Main and Park. It became Frank’s Supermarket which lasted into the 1990s. That Popular Market is now CVS. I miss having a neighborhood grocery store,” added Lisa Petersen.

“Actually, South Main near Sedgwick, I believe, where CVS is now. My mother was a frequent shopper there. Frank, at the meat counter, always packaged things special back then!” Amy Frey commented. But they were talking about the same place, because east of South Main the road is Park Road, and to the west it’s Sedgwick Road.

“When The Crown Market moved into this location, Popular moved across Albany Ave for many years,
to where Staples is now,” added Giovanni Seccareccia.

Ricky Ross shared a firsthand memory of the space: “Today it is the Crown parking lot. My Dad owned Saxony Deli for a while. My Uncle George Liskin ran it. I worked there before I turned 16. Mayrons Bakery on one side and Liggetts on the other.”

Liz Gillette also had a firsthand memory of Popular Market: “At the Popular check-out your groceries would go into numbered boxes onto a roller-type belt at the very front. You would get the number of your box and it would get a shove and sail along, through a curtain of strips and out to the front sidewalk. The young man at the front outside would take your number when you drove up and place your groceries into your car for you. I wanted to ride in that grocery box so badly I could taste it! Alas, never did …”

And Dianne Rechel made mention of something else in that space that was mentioned in another story the same day: “And how about the Liggett’s drug store, started by the Ratner brothers, before it became Suburban and moved around the corner? And it had a phone booth! Some of the car buffs should be able to identify exactly what 1960’s year this is. It would be interesting to contrast this with a photo of the upcoming Farmer’s Market!”

Yes, the Farmers’ Market at Bishops Corner, coincidentally, kicked off its third season last week in the very same space. We’ve got some photos of the farmers market, but none from this same perspective. I’ll try to take one soon and add it to this post!

Those who commented on Facebook also recognized this spot immediately.

“This looks like the plaza in Bishops Corner where Starbucks would be on the right part of the building, the Dry Cleaner to the left of that, and Crown Market is off picture way to the left. I’d say it was taken in the 60’s,” wrote Rui Ferreira.

I like this observation, from Timothy Taylor: “‘Free Parking – One Hour Limit’ … I guess the market was truly popular.” 

And from Judy Houpert: “The phone booth on the corner where people now go because of the free wifi at Starbucks!”

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

It’s easy to figure out what the image in this week’s photo (at right and in larger size below) is – the sign makes that pretty obvious, but where was this business located?

When was this photo taken?

What is in this space now?

Please share your memories below.

Thank you to the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society for providing us with the images. They are 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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Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Popular Markets was located in Bishops Corner, in the space currently occupied by Crown Supermarket. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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5 Comments

  • Well this is on New Park Ave bordered by Flatbush and Talcott Rd. WW11 saw this space develop and later it became Chandler Evers. Closed and vacant for many, many yrs (1980′) it later became the Home Depot/ BJ’s property. This was a very hotly contested zoning application which went to Court. So much to this story.

  • My father worked for Pratt & Whitney for over 35 years til he retired. I know that he went to the plant in ears Hartford,. I assume they moved from this location to their..

  • Pratt & Whitney built this plant on the site of the old race track on New Park Avenue in WH in 1939, after moving from their plant on Capital Ave in Hartford. This entrance sign would have been facing the current Charter Oak Elementary school and the picture was probably taken in the 1970s. This was the tool and die company, they shared a name with the aircraft engine manufacturer located in East Hartford, but they were entirely separate companies.
    The company moved to Bloomfield in early 90s, and the site became the BJs/HomeDepot site it is now, with Colt occupying part of the former buildings. There used to be a railroad spur that went to the plant that crossed New Park Ave approximately where East/West Grill is now.

  • I remember the Mayrons Bakery that was at the shopping center at Corbins Corner. Loved the chocolate 7 layer cake. Assuming Mayrons is no longer around.

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