Friday Flashback #262

The more traffic clogs downtown, the more important it is to look back at bygone days.

Our “Friday Flashback” feature has focused on “Fountain Square” before. The Post Road (then called State Street)/Main Street intersection was dominated by a fountain. (Actually, a horse trough. “Trough Square” does not have quite the same ring.)

Well after a century later, we’re still finding “new” images of that old scene.

(Postcard courtesy of Seth Schachter)

Seth Schachter sent this along. It’s from well before 1923. The YMCA had not yet been built on the east side of the Main and State (now Anthropologie).

The bones of some of the buildings on the west — still standing today — are recognizable.

As for the trolley, the horse, the women’s fashions, and the fountain/trough: I wonder what the early 20th century version of Westport’s Downtown Association thought.

7 responses to “Friday Flashback #262

  1. The Fountain still exists it is on the riverside patio of National Hall

  2. very cool

  3. One thing I notice in this view is how close the buildings at the right are to the line of trees. I think the trees lasted a lot longer because the buildings were torn down to make way in 1923 for the YMCA, which was set back from the sidewalk. Interesting that Main Street has NEVER been widened. Looks wide enough here!

  4. Back then, it was the Women’s Town Improvement Association (later to become the Westport Women’s Club) that influenced the Main Street that we see in this post card. Per their website, it was in 1907 that “A small group of Westport Women organized for the purpose of cleaning the muddy, horse manure-filled town streets, caring for and planting trees and laying sidewalks. They put on a fair, raised money. . .” They were the early version of the Westport Downtown Association, and went well beyond downtown.

  5. Linda Pomerantz Novis

    Love this-:-)

  6. Beautiful elm trees. They used to line many main streets in many cities. The high canopies were perfect.

  7. The trolley is very interesting, it seems so urban, yet Westport was a very small town. What was its route? Did it connect with a trolley system to Norwalk, possibly? In the pre-mass-auto era, would ease of transportation between town and city have had consequences for Westport, although perhaps it was already less a farming community than a manufacturing town (Lees’ Mill). Oops – I forgot about the train – “rail service was launched in 1848”.

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