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!
Last week’s photo (at right and in larger size below) stumped me at first, but many of our local history buffs were quick to correctly identify the location.
The first person to weigh in was “Anne,” and although she phrased her comment as a questions she did get it right: “Is that North Main where the Y office is? Next to Bank of America (CBT).”
Rob Rowlson was confident with the information he added: “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 1930/40s.”
Liz Gillette agreed, and added even more details: “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!”
Liz was correct that this building appeared in a past article. One of the occupants of this building, after Stop & Shop, was Beekley Corporation. Click here for the link to that column from October 2015 with all of the responses.
Wendy Allen recognized the business on the right side of the building – for good reason: “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 grandmother Louise King and my mother Dorothy King were the owners.”
Although a few readers who commented on Facebook thought this building was on LaSalle Road, South Main Street, or Farmington Avenue, others had the right answer as well. Dave Pilon confirmed his guess via Google: “10 N Main St. It’s where Sally and Bob’s and the YMCA is. I’m 99% sure. I just google searched it and compared photos.”
Bonnie MacKenzie, commenting on Facebook, supplied some more interesting details about this corner: “There was once a little red (brick) schoolhouse on the north side of this building where I took dance lessons in the early 50s. That’s gone now of course.”
“I took dance lessons there too but in the 1960s. Miss Greenland!” added Lisa Petersen.
“I still vividly remember the little coat room where we changed into our dance shoes!! I was only 4 or 5!!!
There was also a soda fountain cafe next door. After each lesson my mother would take me next door for an chocolate ice cream soda! We always sat at the counter. This was around 1958 or 1959,” added Bonnie.
Jon Moss had some other firsthand memories of former businesses in this building: “Easy one! But where most folks identify it as Sally and Bob’s and the office of The Y, I remember it as the former home of Heritage Realty, who helped my family to buy our home when we moved to WH when I was in third grade. (I guess it stuck with me.) Also, it was the former work-home of Dr. Stein – the best pediatrician out there!”
Mary Beth Hamilton said she worked at the Heritage Group.
Lisa Petersen also added some more details about past occupants: “Yep! 10 North Main St – and I remember some of those names but to me it was Deford Dechert’s studio that I remember in the far right hand window (most recently occupied by Sanditz Travel). He was one of the premier portrait and wedding photographers for many years in West Hartford.”
This week’s photo (at right and in larger size below) might be a really tough one!
Who knows where this photo was taken?
When do you think this photo was taken?
What is/was the main structure in the photo?
What is in this location 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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