Friday Flashback #19

This is one of our most intriguing Friday Flashbacks ever. It’s a great 1920s-era photo. It shows a place I’ve never heard of — and one I sure can’t identify.

(Photo courtesy of Seth Schachter)

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo courtesy of Seth Schachter)

The caption says “Flambeau Tea Room.” There’s another word after “Flambeau,” but I can’t make it out. It might be “Salon,” or it might be another name. Click on or hover over the photo in case your eyes are better than mine.

At first glance, the building on the left resembles the Westport Country Playhouse. The one on the right looks like what’s now Positano restaurant.

But in the ’20s, the current Playhouse was a tannery that had fallen into disuse. And if you look closely, you’ll see a tall white structure behind the building on the right.

So who was Flambeau? What was his or her tea room? And where was it? If you know, click “Comments” below.

Meanwhile: It sure looks like an interesting place!

27 responses to “Friday Flashback #19

  1. Looks like “salons” to me! (I’m particularly attuned to that word, I guess!)

  2. the westport playhouse?

  3. oops. i didn’t read the whole post. so, it’s not the playhouse. sure does look like it!

  4. Ginny Clark
    Flambeau Shops Tearoom (the H is a little funny looking) my guess….

  5. What’s that long bridge thing coming out of the window on the top left of the building? It’s an amazing photo

  6. Shops ?

  7. Google the words Flambeau and Tea Room and you get several eBay listings that say Flambeau Shops Tea Room.

  8. The white structure seen over the roof on the right appears to be a large plaster stucco style chimney, such as would have ovens or a large fireplace at the bottom. The word might be “salops”, which is a french creole word (salop) that means literally, “nasty”. However, it can be used as an exclamation. It can also be used to describe someone who is promiscuous, filthy, or simply does not care. The word is predominantly used as an expletive in many former french colonies. If it is “salops”, it might fit with the french “Flambeau”, which is an ornamental candle or processional torch, akin to the word “flamboyant”. The “bridge” looking thing on the left is a pivoting counterweight, trebuchet style (also french), to lift and dip the bucket into and out of the well.

  9. The plantings do not look like Westport, Conn plants. Also, windows do not look like New England windows.

  10. I think the “S” in Flambeau S Tea Room, stands for shops, according to a google search.

  11. Sharon Paulsen

    Kindof looks like what became a Christmas Barn shop. There was one in the Richmondville/Clinton Ave. neighborhood area years ago.
    Or, the one at the Wilton-Westport border, near route 7?

  12. I believe the Red Barn property on Wilton Road started as a tea room back in the 1920’s. I know it didn’t look like this picture in the last 50 years, but could it have started out like this and had additions to it?

  13. … Or maybe this is actually Shropshire England?

  14. Starting the in the 1927 Town Directory we see the Flambeau Shops Inc being located at 455 Compo Road, near Bridge Street. The are sellers of hand woven items, specifically rugs. They also sell batik and embroidered gowns. Mrs Bertha B Shattuck was president, and Marjorie Shattuck was the Secretary/Treasurer. They used to be located at 7 east 39th Street in New York City.
    By 1931 they had also added a Tea Room and were taking overnight guests. Mr Edward J Costello had taken over as Secretary/Treasurer. He also seems to have run a real estate business from the location. The phone number was 4063
    Between 1933 and 1935 the business was taken over by Mrs Hope Axley and renamed the Flambeau Inn.
    They no longer appear after 1935

  15. Furthermore, Mrs Bertha Shattuck (nee Bancroft) was born about 1875 in Worcester, Massachusetts to John A Bancroft and Harriet C Perry. She married Edson Shattuck 7 November 1894 in Worcester, Massachesetts.
    Edson Shattuck was born about 1872 in Worcester, the son of Oliver Shattuck and Marion Clark.
    The couple had at least two children, Oliver born about 1896 and Marjorie born about 1899.
    After Bertha’s sojourn in Westport, she had removed to Massachusetts, presumably to be closer to her family. Edson having died no later than 1931

  16. I’m leaning towards the converted barn located at what is now known as, I think, 176 Compo Road South. This board and batten structure still has the unusual oval window which is visible in the historic image. The addition on the right is still there as well but has been altered. Possibly the well (sans sweep) is still extant but I can’t be positive on that.

    Once again, Seth, your collection of rare, high quality historic images of Westport proves to be the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you for sharing them with us history kooks.

  17. Thomas w. Nistico Sr

    This place was home to a uber- fashionable Men’s clothing store I believer originally owned by Mike Hyman whose brother Kenneth produced the movie “The Dirty Dozen” starring Lee Marvin among others . The name of the building was called Pack Roads. Who then sold it to. Ira Burack and Joe Sagir in the mid ’70’s.

  18. Kathie Bennewitz

    I just learned that Ann Mazzanovich (wife of artist Lawrence Mazzanovich) operated yet another Tea House–the “Turnpike Tea House” in 1917 on Wright street.

    • Kathie Bennewitz

      Actually she ran the Turnpike Tea House with Mrs. Arthur (Florence) Dove and in the 1917 directory it was at State and corner of King W.