Friday Flashback #147

I’ve seen plenty of photos of Westport through the ages.

I’ve heard about tons of other places too, even though I have no idea what they look like.

But this photo — courtesy of Seth Schachter — is not only an image I’ve never seen, but a spot I’ve never heard of.

It’s the front of a postcard. The sign above the store says “Cash Grocery.”

Here’s the back. It was sent in 1909. Years later — in handwriting much different from the young student Edith Ivy, who hopefully got an A+ in penmanship at school — someone wrote “Aspetuck Cash Store” at the top.

If you know

  • where it was
  • what it sold
  • whatever happened to it
  • how it got its name

click comments below.

Or just click comments to mention how cool this postcard is.

24 responses to “Friday Flashback #147

  1. Dan, apparently in Aspetuck rather than Westport, right? Also, isn’t Edith the addressee rather than the writer whose penmanship we see?

    • Absolutely right about MJ as the writer, not Edith. I’m an idiot.

      As for Aspetuck — where exactly is that? There’s Aspetuck Orchards in Easton; the Aspetuck Land Trust in several towns, including Westport; the Aspetuck River, ditto…

  2. Sharon Paulsen

    I love how the stamp says “ONE CENT”, and that it’s placed upside down and crooked.

    Can’t wait to find out the history of this store.

    Hopefully somebody knows some stuff!

  3. Kristan Hamlin

    Hi Dan. This photo is of a cash store built in 1908. While it is located on Westport Rd (Rte. 138), it was not in Westport, but in Easton, just west of the junction with Old Redding Rd. It was located in Aspetuck Corners, in Easton. See the link below.

  4. Kristan Hamlin

    It was in Easton, on Aspetuck Corners. It was built in 1908. it was located at the corner of Westport Rd (Rte. 138) and Old Redding Rd. Here is a link to a book which includes information about it.

  5. Timothy Wright

    Interesting, too, the card’s available on EBay…for $75.

    • Jack Whittle

      that’s where the picture was sourced from (the ebay listing) – also where other posters of old Westport pictures source most of the pictures they post.

      • Seth Schachter

        Correct Jack— that’s where a great deal of my post cards from my own collection come from. The internet in general – a great source for Westport history. $75 a very steep asking price. Was wondering if this card was mislabeled at some point in time regarding the location.

  6. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    What a treasure trove of history this is even if t isn’t Westport. It tells a lot about our history. Thank You!

  7. Very cool, Dan – another commenter beat me to pointing out that we don’t know from this whether Edith has good penmanship or not🤪 Ivy on the other hand…

    • Of course. As noted above, I’m an idiot.

      • Mary Cookman Schmerker

        Sorry Dan. You cannot call yourself an idiot. All of us know you far too well and are appreciative of what you do to keep us together, updated and informed about our beloved town and Alma mater. You forgive our typos, outright spelling errors and even take down a post when we realize that we were in error. Sorry. The dunce cap is not yours!

  8. William E Evans

    The house on the right looks like the house on Redding road just north of Easton Rd on the left side bordering the golf club…??

  9. Peter Barlow

    My immediate thought was land just west of where Weston Road meets North Main, now where Wassell Lane is. In the late 1930s it looked like this. When I was in Bedford Elementary I had a friend, Billy Kilbride, who was part American Indian and lived in this area and said it belonged to Indians. (We would hear that again later.)
    This is only a first thought on seeing the picture and the view could be anywhere. The name Aspetuck is well known but is there an actual area named Aspetuck? Like Saugatuck? I never knew.

  10. Fred Cantor

    I’m actually intrigued by the contents of Ivy’s correspondence. Admittedly there are only three sentences but they suggest a much larger story.

    I was wondering: what was the relationship between Ivy and Edith—and is Ivy seemingly miffed at Edith for not staying in touch?

    I was thinking that perhaps Ivy’s family had moved from “the city”—in this case the bustling Waterbury of 1909—to the relative boondocks of Aspetuck Corners, a place Ivy can’t believe her family chose given the fact that only one store is nearby. And she would love to hear from her friend from her former neighborhood.

    Of course, I read a fair amount of fiction, so perhaps I am guilty of reading way too much into this.

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker

      I had some of the same types of thoughts. Can we write an historical fiction novel from these few sentences and knowing as much of the history of the area as we do now? It had to have been important. She spent a n hard earned penny and I am not knocking the penny. Even I remember penny candy at Bills Smoke shop so a penny meant something. On top of that the post card was saved all these years.

    • Kevin McCaul

      According to the US Census, Edith Thomas of Waterbury, CT was born in 1888, thus making her 21 years of age when receiving the postcard.

  11. Jill Turner Odice

    from the Historical Society of Easton,
    Circa 1910. One of the earliest settled areas of what would eventually become Easton was here near Aspetuck Corners. The house at the right sits on the northwest corner of the intersection of Old Redding & Westport Roads. Prior to the building of the store by Burton Merwin at the left of this photo, the Gould family ran a smaller store and post office from the first floor of the house. When Merwin purchased the property in 1891, he took over as Post Master and ran the store along with the mill on the opposite side of Old Redding Road. The “Cash Grocery” and feed store seen here was built around 1908 just to the south of the main house.

  12. Sylvia Corrigan

    This photo makes me think of another little store in Westport, mentioned to me by Betty Donaher, who was one of 10 children living in a big house with a wraparound porch on Bridge Street. She told me that there was a small store on the corner of Bridge and South Compo by the I-95 bridge, where the family would sell their eggs. Anyone know anything about that store, I wonder? Her dad was the traffic controller for the trains in Westport back in the 20’s or 30’s, I believe.