THEN AND NOW
112 Rowayton Avenue
From 1868 to 1910 Charles Guider ran a general store and blacksmith shop on what is now the corner of Rowayton Avenue and McKinley Street. There was also a local meeting house on the second floor. In 1915 Pincus M. Needles ran the store as a grocery, which also became a big penny candy hangout for local children. In 1926 the building became Butler's Grocery, and in 1945, Louies Newspaper store.
167 Rowayton Avenue
Built in the mid 1800's, Meads store was Rowayton's first department store and also the site of the town's first telephone. On December 18, 1934, the store was destroyed by a fire so intense that the hose ignited at the hydrant. This site is presently White Bridge Marina.
Free Library and Reading Room
101 Rowayton Avenue
Organized in 1903, the present library association soon outgrew its first location at 91 Rowayton Avenue and soon moved to 101 Rowayton Avenue (now a restaurant), shown here, remaining there until 1926.
Reliance Hook and Ladder Company
145 Rowayton Avenue
In 1905, the men of the Reliance Hook and Ladder Company built a firehouse with porches overlooking the river, with full basement, meeting rooms, a dumb waiter, and pool table. It stood less than a hundred feet away from the competing Rowayton Hose Company. The library association purchased the building in 1926 and it housed the library for the next 40 years. The building now serves as the Rowayton Arts Center.
157 Rowayton Avenue
The Rowayton Historical Society's records indicate this building has been in continual operation as a market for over two hundred years. The site was a General Store operated by Samuel and James Richards in the year 1753. From 1866 to 1868 the first Lyceum Library Association organized and met in the basement. In 1906 the Drug Store was established by Charles Bartlett in the small building to the right of the Market.
166 Rowayton Avenue
During the eventful year of 1848 Charles L. Raymond built a four-story summer hotel on the southeast corner of what is now Wilson and Rowayton Avenues. Guests could enjoy a large fenced in lawn (where the real estate office and stores are today) and walk along the property on the Five Mile River. After a period as a private dwelling, circa World War One, it was purchased during the Second World War by the Bassler brothers.
Bayley Beach Pavilion
11 Pine Point Road
The first roller coaster at Roton Point, the wooden Tango Dip, extended down along the side of Bayley Beach to where Wee Burn is now. In the early 1930s, the far end of the west beach was sold to become what are now the Rowayton Beach Association beach and the Wee Burn Club. To accommodate this change, the old ride was replaced by a shorter, but more precipitous "breath-taker", the Big Dipper, full of thrills and chills. The Skylark coaster soared during the park’s final years. The original starting and finishing platform for the coasters now serve as the pavilion and bathhouse for Bayley Beach.