This postcard, for sale on eBay, is stamped at Georgetown CT on June 22, 1974 (my brother turned one in New Canaan that month and I'd be born nine months later, moving swiftly forward ...), so this is probably a good indication of what downtown New Canaan looked like at that time.
If I have my bearings right, we’re looking up Elm Street from where South Avenue comes in. You can still make out the numbers 106 and 124 on the road signs there on the corner.
In some ways it’s very familiar—looks like a one-way street with the parking spots set up the same way (ahem).
The inscription is interesting, and seems to speak to a simpler time. Sorry for the intrusion, “Barbara”—here’s what I think we’re reading:
“Hi—Had forgotten how humid the East is! Having a thunderstorm at the moment, which might help clear it up. Everything does look green & beautiful, & the laurel is all in full bloom. Cookie’s vegetable garden is full of peas, lettuce, beets etc., which we are eating constantly. Will call you Fri PM when we get home with Rudi—can’t wait! Miss our tennis! Best to you both — Barbara”
Equally interesting is the short descriptor printed on the back of the card, which I cannot make out completely:
“Elm Street, New Canaan, looking west — The primary shopping avenue first reached only from Main Street to South Avenue in 1848 but was later extended westward, to be renamed Railroad Avenue in 1868 with the coming of the rail line to New Canaan. The earlier name of Elm Street was restored in 1935.”
Now how about that?
Even the stamp is sort of interesting. It says "Progress in Electronics" and appears to have a lightbulb (Edison) on the left and I can't see what that is on the right.
The last thing I'll say about this postcard was that it struck me that this was the image of New Canaan that was a "seller" back then—sleepy, charming village (as the realtors now like to say) that isn't overly crowded and has trees. Can we still say that?
This postcard, available through eBay, is selling for 25 cents plus $1 shipping. (Guess some things have changed more than others.)