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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) stumped quite a few people! It took a bit of research to be certain we had the location right, too.

“West Hartford Center for sure, maybe where the bank and MaxOyster is?” guessed Mike Margolis. He added this interesting piece of information: “Fun fact, SS Kresge is the predecessor of today’s K-Mart.”

“Kresge’s store is next to where the CVS in the Center is now, I believe. The molding on the cornice work–sort of Art Deco dentil–is still there on the east half of the building,” guessed “Bill N.”

The current Starbuck’s location and Colonial Hardware (LaSalle Road) were also good guesses by Facebook commenters, but Lisa Petersen, who added her comment on Facebook was the one who had it right. She also said she remembered some of the signage looking like it does in this photo: “North side of Farmington Ave in the center. This is where Larsen’s (Pfau’s) is today. I do remember when some of the stores in the center had that black facing on the stores – it was very shiny!”

The far right of the photo is actually Village Vitality today, with Larsen Ace Hardware just to its west (to the left in the photo). Carroll Perfume is probably where the home accessory area of the hardware store currently is, with Kresge in the current Village Vitality and eastern half of Larsen’s space.

According to Wilson Faude’s “Images of West Hartford” book, this photo was taken in the 1930s. Toy Chest, now located across the street, was in the Kresge space in the 1960s.

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Here’s another retail location for this week’s throwback image (at right and in larger size below). Based on the era of the cars, most of you probably won’t have firsthand memories of it!

Who knows where this photo was taken?

When do you think this photo was taken?

What kinds of cars are these?

What businesses occupy these storefronts today?

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

982 Farmington Ave., current location of Larsen Ace Hardware and Village Vitality. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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4 Comments

  • North Main St. North of Farmington Ave. current home of Sally and Bobs and the YMCA Office. Lack of a visible penthouse is cause to pause but the must have been added later. Current long time occupant is RLMCO. Cars appear to be 1930/40’s.

  • I think that is the east side of N. Main just in from the bank. Maison de Linge is now Alton Woodford and Stop and Shop is the Y. Sally and Bob’s are in there next to the big door and Sanditz (?) Travel was on the far right until recently. I feel pretty confident because of the three stories but I remember not too long ago we had a picture with an oil (?) company in there (?).
    Wow, I seem to have ‘question mark-itice’!
    Can’t believe I missed last week, my very first paying job was at the Toy Chest on the north side of Farmington!

  • Yes, corner of North Main and Farmington Ave. The store on the end with the writing on the awning was Chez Helene, a very exclusive women’s clothing store. My grand mother Louise King and my mother Dorothy King were the owners.

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