“In 1861, 32-year-old James Bunce established a 20-by-80-foot dry-goods store in Middletown. In five years, it came to occupy 65,000 square feet. At his death in 1908, Bunce’s department store had grown to one acre of shopping space, with separate elevators for freight and customers and a ladies’ resting and waiting room with toilets. It was the tallest building on Main Street, and residents considered it to be the closest thing to a New York City department store that could be found in central Connecticut. Today, the Main Street Market occupies the Bunce building.”
–From Legendary Locals of Middletown by Robert Hubbard Kathleen Hubbard, and the Middlesex County Historical Society.