New Canaan Now & Then: ‘Raymond Building’ on Main Street

This week, we feature a photo of Country Trader, a toy store in downtown New Canaan from about 1955 to 1974. Launched by Richard Franco—brother of Aunt Lydia “Lee” Franco O’Neil and father of many Francos known to New Canaanites today (including Rick, Carl, Mike, Tom, Kelley and Katie), Country Trader started out a bit further south on Main Street, where Spiga restaurant currently is located, and then moved to the “Raymond Building” at 102 Main, according to Tom Franco. “Around 1960 he moved to Upper Elm where Consider the Cook is,” Tom Franco said. “He stayed at that location until maybe 1970 when he moved to the The Raymond building, where Greenwich Pharmacy was. He sold all the top toys, plastic models, bikes and was big on records. He always had the top 100 billboard 45s and albums.”

Tom Franco snapped the photo shown here while on leave from the U.S. Army around 1972.

Podcast: Researching Slavery in New Canaan

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Nancy Geary, executive director of the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society, about a research project into the history of enslaved and free black people in New Canaan. Thanks to a grant from the New Canaan Community Foundation, the Historical Society will bring in a researcher and exhibition developer to help create a show for display this coming winter. We talk to Nancy about the research project’s origins, what has turned up so far and what you our listeners may do to help the Historical Society as it gathers up relevant information, photographs and artifacts. 

Located at 13 Oenoke Ridge, the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society can be reached at 203-966-1776 and 

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New Canaan Museum & Historical Society Reopens June 23rd

The New Canaan Museum & Historical Society will be reopening to the public on June 23rd. Tours of the house museums, including the Cody Pharmacy, the Hanford-Silliman House, the Rock School, the Tool Museum and the Little Red Schoolhouse, will be available to individuals or families that have been sheltering in place together by appointment. The research library will be open with limited capacity so reservations are recommended. Visitors will be asked to wear masks and have their temperatures taken; researchers will need to also wear gloves. Equipment will be provided.