[UPDATE] Friday Flashback #36

Sconset Square is seldom in the news. But now — as the small Myrtle Avenue shopping center seems poised for redevelopment — Westporters suddenly see it with new eyes.

It’s been around a long time. Originally called Sherwood Square — a name with far more historical meaning here than the faux-Cape Cod “Sconset” — it included stores like the Paint Bucket, in this 1966 shot.

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Peter Barlow)

The view above is toward the west (Church Lane). As photographer Peter Barlow notes, it was an anchor store that sold many kinds of paint, decorating supplies and picture frames.

It also featured an art gallery — and that very cool “palette” sign.

In later years, these buildings became CamerArts. And wasn’t Carousel toys in there at one time too?


UPDATE: 12:25 p.m.Β After seeing today’s Friday Flashback, Seth Schachter sent along his own Paint Bucket photo. He’s told it’s from the 1950s, but wonders with the wild colors if it may be ’60s-vintage:

37 responses to “[UPDATE] Friday Flashback #36

  1. Yes, Carousel was before Paint Bucket. I remember getting Matchbox cars there.

  2. Mary Maynard

    I remember “Marvin, the Marvelous Mixer” at the Paint Bucket and the Carousel’s sign was Pooh sailing down the building on a balloon. mmm

    PAUSE PAUSE PAUSE

  3. Peter Barlow

    The building with the palette sign later became a travel agency, Minuteman Travel, I believe. Both buildings still exist. CamerArts was another building, next door and close to Myrtle Ave. It later became Carousel. This picture is from 1966.

    • Dorrie Barlow Thomas

      Whoops, no: Carousel Toys was first, CamerArts came after the toy store closed. (I could never get used to going in there and not seeing the giant stuffed black bear on the stairs landing…)

  4. Miggs Burroughs

    I worked at Carousel Toys during high school when it was in Compo Shopping Center. When most of the shopping center burned to the ground Carousel moved to Sherwood but I was in college by then. At Compo it was next to Morris’s luncheonette, who was very mean to me and John, my delinquent co-worker when we went for lunch, so one day John asked me to hold open the back door of the luncheonette and he drove his Harley right down the aisle, and out again. John was fired but with a huge smile on his face.

  5. Joey Kaempfer

    I used to work at the Sportmart that was located there before it moved to Main Street.

    A great guy owned the store named Danny Coughlin.

  6. What about The Pickle Barrel, now site of Le Penguin? I ate there on my very first visit to Westport in the summer of 1978.

  7. Terrific photo. Also, there is a Hollywood-High Point Road-Dan Woog string of connections here. The manager (and possibly proprietor) of the Paint Bucket in the 1950s was Dick Berg, who went on to become a very successful career as a screenwriter and producer.

    Dan, didn’t your mom go to high school with Dick? And, I know Dick Berg was great friends with Rod Serling (your one-time neighbor on High Point Rd).

    So, just curious: since your dad knew Rod from college days, were your parents the ones who introduced Dick to Rod? In any case, here’s Dick Berg’s obit in the LA Times, which even references his having run the Paint Bucket:
    http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-dick-berg2-2009sep03-story.html

    • Fred, your memory is phenomenal. Yes, my mother knew Dick Berg nearly his entire life — dating back to their childhoods in New Rochelle. I can’t believe you remember that. And yes, my parents were friends with both the Serlings and the Bergs in 1950s Westport. That was quite a time!

    • Peter Barlow

      That was a revelation about Dick Berg’s later career as screenwriter and producer. I didn’t know that. Dick was the owner and creative manager of the Paint Bucket and the art gallery. He exhibited and sold a number of my early paintings there before I got into boat photography.

  8. I remember the Separate Shop in Sherwood Square. I got a job there when I was under age & I worked upstairs. The owner taught me a lot about fashion & retail. At Christmas they had a “Gentleman’s Night” and served hot cider. Also the shop did beautiful Christmas wrapping as part of their services.

  9. Eric William Buchroeder SHS '70

    The Carousel was originally on Church St behind the Westport Bank & Trust and cattycorner across the street from the firehouse.

  10. Bruce Fernie - SHS 1970

    Sherwood Square was such a great name and place… It seems like I spent more time in The Paint Bucket with my mom ‘the decorator’, at The Sport Mart getting everything for ski season, having burgers and shakes at that little lunch counter on my way with my mom to get my jeans at the Army & Navy…. Christmas at Sherwood Square was always picture perfect!

  11. Santini, Mike

    Carousel with the big stuffed mouse halfway up the stairs to the 2nd floor. I believe Carousel was in a building to the right of PB.

  12. As I remember it, Carousel Toys was after Paint bucket and before Camera Arts…My Dad Gerry Turner used to have a spot in the Toy store where he would hang some of his children’s portraits. I would collect the tiny ceramic animals that came pasted on a little cardboard square πŸ™‚ Didn’t Carousel burn down?
    Later when I was just starting to get into photography myself, my brother took me to Camera Arts to buy my first Nikon camera and lens. The folks there remembered my Dad.He would buy his film there after the camera shop on Main St. closed
    I seem to remember the Paint bucket was still there in the corner of the square. My Mom and I used to go to The Pickle Barrel for lunch. I also remember the little brook that flowed by that you had to cross over to get to the Square called Dead Man’s Brook…Also I think there was a shoe repair shop across from the camera store where I had some shoes repaired.

    • Jill Nash von Schmidt

      I loved Gerry Turner – he took some portraits of me in elementary school. He was always so sweet – I remember driving over the Bayberry Bump with him before I knew what that was – I laughed so hard! What a sweet man, and your mom was always so nice to me too. She & my mom would play tennis together (Sue Nash). Thanks for bringing a smile to my face this day, Jill! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

  13. Melody James

    Many memories of Sherwood Square’s Paint Bucket, accompanying my Mom, Florence James to have her off white color palette mixed patiently.

  14. Dorrie Barlow Thomas

    Does anyone have a photograph of the Carousel Toy Store exterior? (I don’t see one on Google.)
    Also, I keep hearing about it having burned down…but CamerArts occupied the same building. Was it a partial burn and CamerArts did a renovation? Anyone?

    • Peter Barlow

      Miggs refers to a fire in the Compo Shopping Center when Carousel was there. So maybe that was the fire and not in Sherwood Square. The “wild colors” in Seth’s picture I think were on the building at the beginning. Also what is visible in his photo, and not in mine, is the art gallery part of the Paint Bucket seen at the left with its own separate roof.

  15. Bonnie Bradley

    And, wasn’t The Separate Shop, with trendy, preppy teen/women’s clothes in Sherwood Square too? With the ubiquitous Butsy Moffat running the store? Great style for us teenage girls after growing up a-la Greenberg’s.

    • Yes it was there. I had commented earlier regarding working there when under age. I thought the owner’s name was Butsy. They also had a shop in Longmeadow, Ma. She taught me a great deal about fashion. I purchased many outfits there. She had imported kits 100% wool & they lasted forever.

  16. The Paint Bucket was a nice little store. Just the kind of place we once valued in a downtown neighborhood setting. Whenever I bought more paint than I could carry, Paint Bucket employees would just grab the rest and we’d all walk over to my house.

  17. Michael Calise

    The Sports Mart and Danny and Lou when Westport had a real sporting goods store Fishing and Clamming equipment and Hunting gear including guns and ammunition and lots of stories. Then came tennis and skiing and a move to main street. but without a doubt the Sherwood Square Sports Mart was the best ever

  18. Rebecca Ellsley

    Carousel toy store was to the right…yes it was a full size bear on the staircase…and unfotunatly had a fire. I got my five foot snoopy there. Paint bucket was a very happening place. My mom Beverly Ellsley did a window display to help draw in business.

  19. Nancy Powers Conklin

    My childhood memory of the Paint Bucket was driving up to the front of it to park and seeing the 5, I believe, paint buckets with primary colors of paint pouring out of the cans as they sat at a slant. It was frozen in time and in my memory as a kid. Anyone else remember those buckets outside??

  20. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    Such wonderful memories. I still wonder about the name change. To me it will always be Sherwood Square with wonderful shops where everyone was helpful. It was full of character and quality merchandise. Change is inevitable I guess but not all change is really good..

  21. Holly Wheeler

    I remember the Separate Shop (women) and Packroads (men) as being across Main Street from Sally’s.

  22. Holly – you are half right, Packroads was on Main street but the Separate Shop was in the small group of stores just to the right as you turned in to Parker Harding from Main St. Lovely at Christmas!

  23. Jill Nash von Schmidt, yes I remember my Mom playing tennis with your Mom πŸ™‚ Are you related to Kris and Lloyd Nash? Thanks for the kind words about my Dad. My brother and I wrecked my Dad’s car going over the Bayberry Bump …nobody got hurt, but we will never forget it…:-)

  24. Dan: ‘Sconset is not a Cape Cod name, or even a “faux Cape Cod name.” It is the abbreviated name for the village at the eastern shore of Nantucket Island — from which the next land mass is Portugal, as my father used to say.

    ‘Sconset is an abbreviation for “Siasconset.”

    Siasconset on Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siasconset,_Massachusetts

    Travel page about Siasconset
    http://www.newenglandtravelplanner.com/go/ma/nantucket/sconset/

  25. Ginny Hamil Clark

    Ginny Hamil Clark
    This brings back memories of Sherwood Square. When the Compo Shopping center burned, Silver of Westport moved temporarily to Sherwood Square until their shop was rebuilt. I think we were in the toy store building, if memory serves. I worked there for many months, I learned to wrap suitcases, all kinds of gifts, etc. I was working there the day Kennedy was shot, and everything was silent and sad for a long time in the store………It was very interesting working at Silver of Westport, during that time. I liked the little shops there in the square.