Tag Archives: CT

Main Street Memories

Last week I got a sneak peek at a new Westport Historical Society project: “Main Street Memories.”

A creative map, interactive web link, brochure and gallery exhibit will make the town’s mom-and-pop days come alive again.  Westporters who remember Welch’s Hardware, Greenberg’s Department Store, Gristede’s, Country Gal, the Townley Restaurant and the Melody House can ooh and aah over those long-lost spots; those who know only the Gap, Banana Republic and Talbots can laugh, cry, sigh or otherwise emote.

As part of the preview, I saw a map of Main Street in 1959.  Here’s a breakdown, from the Post Road (nee State Street) to Avery Place:

  • Women’s clothing stores:  8
  • Men’s clothing stores:  2
  • Kids’ clothing stores:  2
  • Grocery stores:  3
  • Hardware stores:  3
  • Liquor stores:  2
  • 5-and-10 stores:  2
  • Department stores:  2
  • Restaurants:  2
  • Jewelry stores:  2
  • Pharmacies:  2
  • Beauty salon:  1
  • Fish market:  1
  • Frame shop:  1
  • Gift shop:  1
  • Gas station:  1
  • Fur shop:  1
  • Travel agency:  1
  • Record store:  1
  • Bakery:  1
  • Cleaners:  1
  • Appliance store  1
  • Photo shop:  1
  • Linen store:  1
  • Shoe store:  1
  • Caterer:  1
  • Smoke shop:  1
  • Deli:  1

My own, very unscientific survey — some stores, frankly, mystify me, even after I’ve examined the goods — shows, 50 years later:

  • Women’s clothing stores:  117
  • Women’s shoe stores:  114
  • Kids’ clothing stores:  99
  • Home furnishings:  4
  • Jewelry stores:  4
  • Men’s clothing stores:  4
  • Restaurants:  3
  • Banks:  2
  • Perfume store:  1
  • Exotic soap store:  1
  • Liquor store:  1
  • Art gallery:  1
  • Pharmacy:  1
  • Deli:  1 (Oscar’s — the only place still on Main Street)

Ah, progress.

Not long ago, this map appeared on Crespaces.com. It's already out of date.

Not long ago, this map appeared on Crespaces.com. It's already out of date.