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West Hartford History: Who Was This Man?

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 we asked, "What Was This Wagon Used For?" Yes, we did see the obvious marking of "M.J. Burnham Grocer" on the side of the wagon, unlike the marking on the window of Colonial Hardware a few weeks ago.

Thomas Cote correctly commented that the wagon was used to deliver groceries. Some other interesting comments included Dianne Rechel's: "from Burnham's which was on South Main Street across from where Town Hall now is. By today's traffic pattern, it looks like they'd be getting a ticket for going the 'wrong way' alongside the green! Isn't that the same house in the background featured a quiz or two ago?" It does look like the same house!

Don Kauke observed something else interesting about this image: "Notice the isenglass curtain 'that rolls right down' in case there's a change in the weather," he commented.

The official answer from the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society provides just a bit more detail about this photo: "M.J. Burnham opened his grocery store in 1898 at 19 South Main Street. The store was lit with kerosene lamps and horse-drawn delivery wagons like this lined the street."

J King December 10, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. He was the man who helped found the American school for the Deaf. The first publicly funded school in United States
John Maloney December 10, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Interesting that you post his pic this week as today 12/10 is Gallaudet's birthday.

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