West Hartford’s ‘Tuesday Throwback’

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this ‘Tuesday Throwback,’ courtesy of the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society.

By Ronni Newton

It’s 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!

I know, a “Tuesday Throwback” is a bit unconventional, but it feels like Monday and Tuesday have switched places this week since the Town Council (which typically meets on Tuesdays) instead had a meeting on Monday night to receive the Town Manager’s budget, and a snow day in March really should be a Monday. So I’m switching days this week and publishing this history column on Tuesday.

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

Last Monday’s photo (at right and in larger size below) was seasonally appropriate, and looking out the window right now, it’s [sadly, in my opinion] still seasonally appropriate.

It’s rare that we don’t get any guesses posted directly to the article, but that’s what happened last week. There were plenty of comment on Facebook though!

Some of the first people to comment that that this skiing scene was Beachland Park, but John Maloney was the first to guess correctly: “I’m betting this picture is close to last week’s! … Looks like it’s the sight of the now Cornerstone pool. Across the street would be the skating rink .Buena Vista road winds up the hill on the right. Early 60’s??”

“It looks like Buena Vista Rd snaking up Selden Hill … before all the development of the 60s. It was the best hill in town before they put Cornerstone Road through. I learned to ski here,” commented Jim Groffni.

Buena Vista practice tee, used to flood it for skating also,” added Nancy Toennies Hopkins.

Clare Taylor Neseralla commented: “Buena Vista hill before the pool and ice rink were built.”

Lucretia Klieback said that there were horse stables where Veterans Memorial Skating Rink is now, and Carolyn Reynolds thought that she could be one of the skiers in the photo!

Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

I’m going to stay away from a winter scene with this week’s photo (at right and in larger size below as well as at the top of this column) and hope that we are now done with snow!

Where was this photo taken?

When was this photo taken?

Do you recall visiting S.S. Pierce Co.?

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. The Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is 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

Skiing at Buena Vista. Courtesy Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

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  • Easy Peasy. That building is almost a Bishop’s Corner landmark. To the left would have been Lord & Taylor, and to the right is Woolworth’s.

  • Definitely S.S. Pierce, a specialty (upscale) food store in the 1950-60’s. I remember the distinctive red and gold label, I think, with horses. It was located at Bishop’s Corner to the right of Lord & Taylor. We would visit periodically for a particularly hard to find item (which I now cannot recall). The site is home to Blue Plate Kitchen.

  • Definitely BC where Blue Plate is now as others have stated. As for the date – that station wagon is a 1961 (ish) Ford and doesn’t exactly look new. So I’d guess mid to late 60’s for this photo.

  • I remember going as a boy in the first grade, with my mom to F W Woolworth’s 5 & 10 next door to S S Pierce Co. I remember she bought me my first 5 gallon aquarium, 10 guppies and a catfish in the pet department. We would also have lunch at the lunch counter from time to time, which was in the lower floor of the store. I even remember what I would order…hot dog w/mustard & relish…chips…orange soda and a chocolate eclair! Wow! What a memory jog!

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