The Canfield Corner Pharmacy is a classic American drug store, complete with soda counter (although the latter is no longer functional). The pharmacy is located in a Mansard-roofed building at 2 North Main Street in Woodbury. The building was erected in 1876 as Stong’s Block by Nathaniel M. Strong, who had begun his drug business across the street in 1867. In addition to the drug store, the building contained a number of other businesses over the years and had a hall on the third floor used for meetings by various community groups. Henry H. Canfield (died 1949), who had been Stong’s head clerk, took over the business in 1900. Pharmacist Curtis Martiny and his wife Vera took over the pharmacy in 1950. After her husband’s death in 1954, Vera Taylor Martiny became a licensed pharmacist and continued the business, serving customers, including Roxbury resident Marilyn Monroe. Vera’s daughter Mary purchased the pharmacy in 1987. The building was restored after a fire in 1998. Read the rest of this entry »
The large Federal-style brick house at 4 Main Street (the corner of Routes 66 and 85) in Hebron was built c. 1820-1826 by Augustus Post, who was engaged in some kind of manufacturing. He soon sold the large residence and it passed through a series of owners that included Dr. John S. Peters and his business partner Abner Hendee. Peters was Governor of Connecticut from 1831 to 1833. In the late nineteenth century the house was acquired by W. S. Hewitt, who used it for his general store and post office. At some point the house was extended on the north side with a frame addition. The west side of the house has an entrance with a twentieth-century shed-roofed portico and the south side entrance was once altered to function as the storefront. The Hewitt family owned the house into the 1970s and it is commonly known as the Hewitt House. In 1978 the house was converted into office space. At that time the current Federal-style entrance on the south side was created.
The building at 21-23 Colony Street in Meriden was erected in 1877 as a Y.M.C.A. The rear of the structure has a mansard roof and the front facade once had one as well, but the building was altered c. 1920 after the Y.M.C.A. moved to a new building on West Main Street. At that time the building was converted to commercial use with a new facade in the Neoclassical style.
The handsome and commodious new building is now ready for occupancy, and it has been built almost solely through the untiring energy and exertions of the president of the association, Mr. W. E. Benham. He has never faltered since he took the matter in hand, but has kept on through difficulties and discouragements which few other men would have surmounted. The association now has one of the handsomest buildings of the kind in the state. Its large and pleasant reading rooms, its gymnasium, and the pleasant parlors will furnish places of resort which cannot fail of doing much good, and Mr. Benham can certainly reflect with great satisfaction upon the good work he has accomplished.
According to The Life and Writings of W. E. Benham (1882):
Its whole internal arrangements are found to have been wisely planned for the accomplishment of its benevolent purposes. It is said to be the most elegant and best built building in Meriden, is admired by all, subscribers and citizens generally, as the right building in the right place, an attractive, convenient center, in which the public, especially young men, in large numbers, delight to resort and pleasantly improve their leisure hours in intellectual, physical, social, moral and religious culture, where, away from the evil, all the surrounding influences are good and elevating. It is estimated’that between 1,000 and 2,000 persons average daily to enter this building, for the various purposes of water, baths, hair-dressing, food, clothing, reading, singing, gymnastics, writing, arithmetic, lectures, concerts, mission schools, lyceums, religious and other meetings. In short, it is an inestimably important building for the moral welfare of Meriden, and could not be spared without an irreparable loss.
The grand High Victorian Gothic-style Humphreys Building is prominently situated at 131-139 Main Street in downtown Seymour. The building was erected in 1891 by Carlos French (1835-1903), a prominent businessman and industrialist in Seymour.
The building at 163-169 Main Street in Seymour was built in 1921 and was originally called the Donavan Building. Its front marquee was added c. 1941 when the Stand Theater opened. It later became a second-run theater and is one of Connecticut’s few remaining single-screen movie houses. Its Art Deco interior was restored in the 1990s. The building is owned by the Knights of Columbus.
The building at 613-617 Main Street in Middletown was built in 1876 as a business venture by Edwin Scranton. The first tenant was John McIndue, who ran a confectionary and ice cream business. Later occupants were a bottling works and a printing company. The building is now home to St. Vincent de Paul Middletown. Founded in 1980 by the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Diocese of Norwich, SVDM is a shelter that serves the poor and homeless in greater Middletown.
The building at 945 Main Street in Manchester was built in 1909 to replace the Oak Hill Building that had stood on the site but was destroyed in a fire in 1909. Since 1897, that building had contained the dry goods store of Edwin E. House and Justus W. Hale, who quickly hired architect Isaac A. Allen, Jr. to design a replacement structure. The new House & Hale Building would be larger than its predecessor and a two-story wooden building (could it be this one?), next to the adjacent Cheney Block, was moved to the rear to make way for the structure. House & Hale, who had begun with two separate stores (begun in 1853 and 1875 respectively), soon evolved their joint businesses into a full department store which, by 1920, also had a self-serve grocery store in the basement. The department store was in business until January, 1980. The building was then converted into rental office space and is now called “One Heritage Place.”