Old Phone Book
by Tom Beardsley and Pete Zizka


  Part of this article was written by Tom Beardsley and is used with his permission  The yellow pages section in 1945, more conservatively known as “The Classified Telephone Directory for Willimantic, Lebanon, Stafford” provides an interesting look at the goods and services available at that time. The listings ranged from “Accountants - Certified Public,” such as Stanley Miller at 33 Church St., to “Wreckers —- Building & House," including Abe Ostrofsky on Bridge Street.  The only listing under “Amusement Places” was the Lucky Strike Bowling Alleys at 872 Main St. The town could call on 16 attorneys in 1945, including Harry Gaucher at Willimantic 150-W, Irwin Krug at Willimantic 510, Alva Loiselle at 1700-W and Arthur T. Kelley at Willimantic 657. Automobiles - Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets,  Chryslers, Plymouths, DeSotos, Fords,  Mercurys, Dodges, Pontiacs could be  purchased at 24  local dealers,  ranging  from  the Capitol  Garage  at 156 Valley St. to the Miner Nash Co. at 280  Jackson St. If you didn’t have a car, you could call a taxi from Ideal Taxi Company or Murphy’s Taxi, both on Main Street or Watson’s Taxi on Railroad Street Ladies needing a perm had a choice of 14 local beauty shops, including Baron’s at 78 Chapman St. and Potvin’s at 796 Main St. For some adult beverages, one could go for refreshment at three beer taverns, the Center Street Tavern at 25 Center Street, the Old Timers Tavern at 947 Main Street and the City Tavern at 1190 Main St. where fish and chips were a specialty.  There were plenty of beauty shops, barbers and bars. There were several undertakers, including Avery & Van Zandt on North Street, Hurteau’s on Valley Street, Killourey’s and Martineau- Bacon on Union Street and Russell Potter at 62 Church St. However, if you wanted to remain healthy and avoid the undertakers a bit longer, there was also a good choice of physicians including Arthur Girouard on Union Street, Brae Rafferty at 807 Main St. and Nathan.Spector at 59 Church St.  There were no supermarkets in 1945, but the region had a wide selection of grocery stores to visit, including Adam’s Market at 157 Valley St., Harry Brettschneider’s at 1088 Main St., Mazzola’s Italian and American Groceries at 933 Main St. and the Red and White food stores at 194 S. Park St. and 130 Jackson St. If you didn’t want to prepare a meal at home in wartime Willi mantic, there was a wide range of restaurants in town. There was a choice of twenty-six from which to choose, including Bill’s Number Seven at 725 Main St., the Checker Grill at 137 Union St., that specialized in steak dinners and beer, Hallocks, Ideal, Lindy’s, the Shell Chateau and the Windham Grill. Welch’s at 907 Main St. specialized in lobsters and chicken. Fine Italian-American cooking could be found at the Park Central Restaurant.  If you fancied going up market a little, you could visit the restaurant and cocktail lounge in the Nathan Hale Hotel, and “dine in an atmosphere of charm and dignity.”  The largest dairy was Butlers, just over the border in Mansfield on Storrs Road.  Harold Whiton was manager and the new plant provided pasteurized milk and cream to all surrounding towns. The public was cordially invited to visit the new dairy building at any time. Orders could be phoned in at Willimantic 391.  There were two record stores in town in 1945. The Delmar Radio Co. was located at 31 Church St., and the Windham Electric Co. was located across the street. The latter also dealt in electrical appliances, and sold Columbia, Decca. Victor and Blue Bird records. The Delmar Radio Co. boasted the most complete collection of classical and popular music records, and marketed itself as Willimantic’s “Phonograph Record Headquarters.” Both companies specialized in radio sales and services. Delmar was the local agent for Zenith radios.  New clothes for men could be obtained from Ben’s Toggery Shop at 794 Main St, J.F. Carr at 766 Main SL, Church Reed at 685 Main St., Cohen and Rothblat at 671 Main St., Hurley’s at 700 Main St., Kincyk’s 169 Jackson St. and Milevitz’s at 22 Union St. Women didn’t have such a good choice for clothes. They were limited to four stores — Butleman’s at 790 Main St., Fullerton-Fournier at 692 Main St., Jenal’s at 857 Main St. and Tubridy’s (this week’s photo). Finally, probably no one would think about this in these days, but a very important item in 1945 was coal and there were several dealers in Willimantic, including the Parker Elliott Coal Company and Willimantic Lumber and Coal, both on Church Street, Sussman’s Coal and Oil on Jackson Place and Leonard Clark on Elm Street.  





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