A common laugh line around the Library these days runs something like this: “I’ll take 3 books, 2 DVDs and a half pound of sliced roast beef,” in reference to the former use of 21 Governor Street as a grocery store. We find we can guess fairly accurately how long someone has lived in town by how they refer to this space. Persistent questions led us to inquire of Jack Sanders, Ridgefield’s inveterate chronicler of people and events, who provided this chronology.
· 1959 The shopping complex opened, with this space housing a First National Market (later re-branded as Finast).
· 1974 It became Grand Central Market, part of a small chain that included the market still extant in Grand Central Terminal (perhaps the source of the clock). It later became known as GranCentral, under which name it closed in 1989.
· 1991 Hay Day Market opened.
· 2004 Balducci’s bought Hay Day and operated on the site until 2009.
Contrary to popular belief, this space was never a Woolworth's, which opened in 1960 on the other side of Ridgefield Music, where the ophthalmologist and gym are now located. And there was never a movie theater here. That is the building that used to stand at 25 Prospect Street – and a story for another day!