Every Monday we share a vintage image on the Essex on Lake Champlain Facebook page and invite our viewers to play some Vintage Essex Trivia. Do you recognize this old scene on Main Street in Essex, NY? If not perhaps telling you that the Hobby Horse is now the Neighborhood Nest and Harold Tart’s Grocery is now Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness will help orient you?
“Dec. 73” is printed on the right side of the photograph, suggesting the photo may have been taken in December of 1973—although I’ve known dates on photos to be wrong before, but this one does give us a time period of of ~70s Essex. A few of our commentators noticed that date too!
This photo was by far one of the most “liked” and commented on vintage images that we’ve featured thus far. If you liked this photo featuring some old Essex businesses, I’m sure you’d love to see this one of Ken Tart’s Variety Shop (another much talked about photo we shared!).
I’ll let the comments and fond memories shared through this photo speak for themselves:
Dianne Lansing: My daughter finds it strange to be doing yoga in Harold Tart’s store. Mrs. Sherman lived above the Hobby Horse (which she started) and is now the Neighborhood Nest. Her apartment was referred to as Hobby Horse Towers.
Kristen Eden: Yep. I remember going to Harold Tarts to get candy and other junk food and I still have a couple things I bought at the Hobby Horse!
Deb Lansing :December 1973. Now I crave yoga at Harold Tarts like I used to crave Zingers!
Christine Herrmann: The Hobby Horse (formerly the Coffee Pot & now the Neighborhood Nest) was a great place to buy handmade items. I think Charlotte Sherman started the shop as a place where “crafty” people could sell their homemade goods. I was one of the crafters! If I remember correctly, the shop was run totally by volunteers and the profits went to the Belden Noble Library. The split was 80/20 with 80% of the proceeds going to the crafter and 20% to the library.
Sarah Patterson: I am not sure when the Harold’s grocery, opened up. However, he was my Great Grandpa. On the back wall of the store, I think in the storage room, there are carvings of Linda Tart Buttery, Deb Jerdo, Sharon Kinblom and Pam Dorolette’s name. Growing up I have seen the store become a thrift, candle and wax, yoga and message stores. I am just glad I get to see the old build blossom into something new then rotting away. I LOVE ESSEX!!!!!!!!
Marc Hayward: Harold had .25 cent candy bars…remember the creak of the old wood floors and the smell…mm…
Tod Crouter: My sisters and I bought Fireballs at Mr. Tart’s in the 60’s! Remember Essex when I taste one…
Tom Warner: late 70’s early 80’s ??
Dwayne Cross Jr.: I remember the two stores but not the year, Going to Agree with Deb on this one 🙂
Judy Koenig: I think this was late seventies. Charlotte Sherman(Holly)was running the Hobby Horse and Harold Tart would sit in the window of his store and watch the Essex throngs. I’ll bet people would love to have that little grocery back.
Holly Thigpen: Thank you for the photos. I use to ride my bike to town when I was a young girl and remember Mr. Harold. Haven’t been home in many years.
Donna Marie McKenna: 1970’s. My dad use to sell his toys there “Little Red Toy Shop”
Ghislaine Shedd: I too remember these places and special times with my “Essex” friends!
Steve Mckenna: Those steps were my skateboarding ramps…
Angela Pierce: I use to work summers at the Hobby Horse. Loved all the hand made goods people brought in on consignment, and loved Mrs. Sherman. 🙂
Judy A. Keating: I always remember harolds tarts store fondly
Sylvia Margo: If you ordered your NY Times in advance there was still no guarantee that he would sell it to you if you came after 10am…I think it might have been taken in the 70’s. Remember Harold Tart behind his counter ……
Tara VandeVelde Seneca: l Loved the Hobby Horse growing up. My sister and I used our allowance quite regularly there! 70’s.
Kelly Youngs-schmitt: Was it late 60s, early 70s?
Do you have memories you want to share? Leave a comment below!
Share Your Essex Artifacts
If you want to share your old photos of Essex (or brochures; postcards; menus; tickets; any artifact) on the blog please email us at editor [at] essexonlakechamplain [dot] com.
- Vintage Postcard: Camel’s Hump (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Essex Boathouses (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Essex Main Street 1973 by Sylvia Alberts (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Inside the Old Dock Tavern (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: The Little Jennie (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Ken Tart’s Variety Shop (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)