Some Friday Flashback photos are unrecognizable today. Others are long gone.
More than 100 years after this image was taken, it’s still around.
And it looks almost unchanged.
The photo — provided by Seth Schachter — shows what is now Toquet Hall, on the Post Road across from Bedford Square.
Around 1900 — when this photo was taken — it housed the offices of the Westporter-Herald newspaper, and the Westport Drug Company. You could buy newspapers, postcards, magazines and cigars there. The store next door on the left sold cigars too.
There’s the still-familiar alley leading to Toquet Hall — today, a teen center — on the right.
So who was Toquet?
Benjamin H. Toquet was born in Paris in 1834, and came to America in 1845. He served in the Civil War, then returned to Westport.
His son Benjamin Louis was born in 1864.
Toward the end of the century the younger Toquet — now a respected businessman — built an opera house on Post Road property inherited by his wife, Nellie Bradley. The first town meeting was held there on April 2, 1892.
For the next 17 years, all town meetings and assemblies were held there.
The older Toquet died in 1913, a successful entrepreneur. He headed up the Toquet Motor Company, which developed carburetors for Fords.
B. Louis Toquet had a daughter, Vivienne. His family — and his father — lived at 10 Avery Place. As of 1946, he still lived there.
More than 70 years later, their name — and building — live on.