On Governor Street

Most post cards of this era show buildings or scenes. Rarely do they look like family snapshots as does this fascinating card, postmarked 1908. The path the man and woman are standing on is today a sidewalk on the north side of Governor Street near the Balducci shopping center. Governor Street is to the right of the two girls, and heads downhill behind the girls.

The house at the left was built in the 1870s on Main Street by Phineas Lounsbury. In the 1890s, when Governor Lounsbury wanted to build a new house -- now the Community Center -- on the Main Street site, he had this place moved here. Today, it is used for offices.

An old map shows the place as belonging in this era to J.W. Rockwell, who once operated a candlestick factory on Catoonah Street. If so, that may be Mr. and Mrs. Rockwell in the background, and their two daughters. The girl on the right is holding what looks like a piece of paper rolled up. Might it be a diploma?

In the background, up on East Ridge, is a building originally built in the 1890s as a house for the Rockwell family. Later, it was the Vinton School for Girls. In the 1920s, it became the barracks for State Police Troop A, which covered most of Fairfield County. When the state police moved to Southbury in the mid-1970s, the town bought the building and converted it into today's Ridgefield Police headquarters.

This view was printed in Germany. No credit is given the photographer, but it might well be Joseph Hartmann.

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