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West Hartford History: Where Was This Church Located?

Test your knowledge of West Hartford history with this photo from the archives of the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society.

If you think you know the answer or have a special memory related to the photo, respond in the "Leave a comment" box below this article. We'll run the answer next Monday, along with a new historical photo. The image has been provided by the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society. For more information on the museum's collection and programs, visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org.

Last week's question was "Where Was This Business Located?" We could have also asked what type of business was shown in the image.

"Seems to me that I've read about a mill on the corner of Trout Brook and Farmington Ave but I'm not sure if that was a grist mill or a lumber mill. It would make sense though that this would be on a "river" and that was probably Trout Brook," commented Lisa Petersen.

"If this is the mill on the corner of Trout Brook and Farmington as Lisa suggested, it would be the Trout Brook Ice and Feed Company. I've seen pictures of the conveyor belts which carried the blocks of ice. It closed in the late 1920s with the coming of refrigeration," wrote Tracey Wilson.

And although Rick Liftig had another good guess with his comment that the buildings look a lot like Westmoor Park, it was Betty Hoffman who had the correct answer. "I think this is Frank Strong's blacksmith, wagon and wheel shop on Albany Avenue near the intersection of Flagg Road in Bishops Corner," she commented.

The official answer from the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is: "This carriage, woodworking, and blacksmith shop located in Bishops Corner during the late 1800s was owned by Frank Strong."

Jeff Murray January 28, 2013 at 04:05 PM
YES. I've been waiting for this to be on here for almost a year and a half! This is at the corner of New Britain Avenue and Grove Street/South Quaker Lane, right at Elmwood Center. Note how rural the atmosphere seemed. The church began in 1876 and built itself up until the early 1920s, when membership exceeded the building. As a result, in the mid-1920s, its replacement, which stands today, was erected on Newington Road. The church in the picture was torn down. On that site was a pharmacy and today it's a computer repair place. Always incredible to think a church once stood at that corner since the 1870s.
Rick Liftig January 28, 2013 at 04:43 PM
And look at all of the nice trees alongside the roadway.!
Robin Lindemann January 29, 2013 at 12:40 AM
This is the Elmwood Community Church when it was sitiuated at the corner of Grove Street and New Britian Avenue.. How nice to see this shot of it taken years ago. The church now is located on Newington Road, just behind the CVS on the corner of New Britian Avenue and Newington Road. The Elmwood Community Church began in 1873 as we are celebrating our 140th anniversary this year. Come and celebrate with us, the Little Church with the Big Heart.
Jeff Murray January 29, 2013 at 02:16 AM
Pleasantly surprised to see 1873 instead of 1876, as I had thought. Thanks for the wonderful information. In a Celebrate West Hartford illustrated history book, there is an extra photograph of it from a more southerly angle, with the New Britain Avenue trolley passing through, and it's misinterpreted as being a view of Farmington Avenue/North Main Street. Interesting stuff.
Susan Wiley January 29, 2013 at 02:21 AM
This was the Elmwood Chapel. The building was completed in June, 1876, and was the home of the Elmwood Sunday School, a congregation that began on June 15, 1873. The "superintendent" of the school was Miss Julia Faxon, for whom Elmwood's library is named. When the congregation outgrew this building, and had become the Elmwood Community Church, the current church building was built on Newington Rd. in 1926. This coming June 15, at 4:00pm, we will ring our church bell to celebrate 140 years of service to our community. We have lots of activities planned for our anniversary year, and we love to make new friends, so please visit us in the heart of Elmwood.
Jeff Murray January 30, 2013 at 09:20 PM
It is pretty amazing to see the changes. The photograph itself was taken in January 1921, so it would have only been a few years before its demise.

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