Waaaay Before The Ivy

Since we’re looking back at the YMCA in its pre-ivy days — check out yesterday’s 1964-era photo — we might as well do it right.

Alert — and history-minded — “06880” reader Patty Mraz Graves sends along this postcard from the 1920s 1930s. There was no ivy — but the elm trees mentioned in yesterday’s post were already mature, and handsome.


Two things have not changed much from nearly a century ago, though.

There was plenty of traffic.

And the cars were big.

20 responses to “Waaaay Before The Ivy

  1. Yeah, the cars were big, but they were all lined up in their own parking spots!

    Bob Selverstone

  2. The postcard is not the 1920s, tho the Y may have about the same in the 20s. The cars in the picture are from around 1937 and since they may not be brand new, the postcard could be later.

  3. Not sure those cars are from the 20’s Look to be more from the 1930’s.

    • Thanks, Dick. Were you there? (Just kidding…)

      • I was 16 when I moved to Westport in 52′. My first car was a 37 Ford but most of my buddies in those days were driving cars made in the mid to late 30’s. Cost me $150. Went thru two V-8 engines, the first 60 HP and then went big time to a used 85 HP V-8. Cars from the 30’s and 40’s were raced at Candlelight Stadium in Bridgeport every week. Great memories for sure.

  4. The light blue car at the left in the picture looks to be a LaSalle, about 1938 or 39. Spare tires in the front fender wells were pretty classy!

  5. I WAS there !

  6. Jeremy Clarkson

    looks like main st was a two way road? when did that change?

  7. Wait…isn’t that Ivy on the building to the right of the left elm tree in the postcard?

  8. Hopefully not English ivy.

  9. Were they loitering in the Needles Park at the left?

  10. Sharon Paulsen

    Are the colors of the cars in this picture accurate to those models of that time period? Lime, orange, colbalt blue?? Just curious as it seems just a bit off. I’m not a car buff, but my “historical memory” has these cars in blacks and creams and silvers, maybe some pale sky blues? Occasional cherry reds? (I might be thinking of the old Ford pickups here too, but perhaps I’m way off and leaning more towards the “American Graffiti” movie’s use of vintage vehicles, in my minds eye).

    • Yes, the artist is playing with light, so that everything is not seen as simply black and white.
      (and I do like the idea of Ivy peering out of that window behind the elm!)

  11. Philip Millstein

    Dan, I would love someone to do a piece on Miss Comer’s, the ballroom dancing class that was held every Friday evening in the ballroom of the Y. Hundreds of Westporters from grade 3 to grade 10 attended. The younger girls wore party dresses and the older girls wore long gowns. The boys of all ages wore blue suits, and of course everyone of both genders wore white gloves! Miss Comer held these classes in Greenwich, Darien/New Canaan, and Westport, which included Wilton and Weston. I loved it and so did everyone I know, and the social graces that I learned have been invaluable to both my social life and my life as a high school teacher. In fact, the class was so highly regarded that when I was in fifth and sixth grades at Coleytown, they held a free class there that was like it. You’re friendly with Ann Sheffer, who was in both of the classes with me. At our reunion, she had lots of pictures. Maybe she has some of Miss Comer’s.

    Thanks and take care, Phil Millstein Princeton, NJ Staples 66