"12 Packard Pharmacy"
This photo shows the Odd Fellows Building, corner of Main and Center Streets, in Downtown Manchester. Packard's Pharmacy is on the first floor, and the Connecticut Business College is upstairs. The bunting and uniformed soldiers suggest a WWI victory celebration, but the photo has no information on the back, other than it was printed by photographer Sylvian Ofiara (1926-2012), who had glass-plate and other negatives in his collection.
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• Dick Jenkins writes:
As you look at the ground floor of the Odd Fellows Building you see an old, tired building with disheveled looking awnings and stained concrete. The Ford sedan out front of the Center Pharmacy has an ad painted on it that reads, "Ford V8 Ask For Gas Economy Trial" The car is a 1935 Ford, 4-door, 7-window model. I would imagine since this is a vehicle with ads painted on the back and rear doors it is the latest model suggesting that the photo is from circa 1935-36. You can imagine how limited parking was for shoppers to the Odd Fellows.
I remember going into the Center Pharmacy and I recall the Park Hill Florist further east but I don't recall
Riley Chevrolet or the Oldsmobile Garage. There was a one-story building there that housed a Five and Dime story
when I was a tot. As you followed the sidewalk toward the south, down Main Street there was a newsstand and
barber shop. You had to climb perhaps 6 stairs to reach floor level. Travelers would congregate there awaiting
the Greyhound Bus headed east to Willimantic and Providence or west to Hartford and points beyond. If you
followed the alleyway east at the end of the Odd Fellows Building you would find a set of concrete stairs that
led to a pool hall, the Red Sox Dugout in the basement of the Odd Fellows. A man called "Shorty" operated the
pool hall. Jackie "B" Mirtl searched for enemy airplanes from atop the Odd Fellows Building as a member of the
Civil Air Patrol during World War II.