One of WestportNow’s most popular features is its “Teardown of the Day.”
Usually they’re old, and ready for demolition. Sometimes they’re not.
But regardless of age and condition, every home has a story. Here’s Kathy Henson’s.
She and her husband Bill have lived at 3 Sharp Turn Road since 1973. They’re only the 2nd owners of the house, on a small street off Whitney. They bought it after Ruth Williams, a Westport teacher, died.
Kathy is a 3rd generation Westporter. Her great-grandfather was caretaker of the sanitarium — the enormous building, originally a home, at the center of what is now Winslow Park. Her grandfather was the first motorcycle state policeman in Connecticut; her grandmother was Westport’s first female postman.
Kathy’s grandfather started Charlie’s Electric Store. Her father renamed it Quigley Electric, after his family. Her husband and a partner later bought the shop.
Bill’s family had a farm on Green’s Farms Road. The house is still there. It was once featured in Good Housekeeping.
Kathy and Bill knew each other since she was 11, and he was 13. They started dating 3 years later, as students at Wright Tech in Stamford. They married 4 years after that.
The Hemsons raised 2 girls on Sharp Turn Road. Kathy’s mother moved in in 1980. She lived there until she died, nearly 3 decades later.
“We have a lot of memories,” Kathy says.
The Hemsons sold their house because they’re downsizing. They’ll move to Bill’s family home on St. John’s Place, near Town Hall. Bill sold his business, and now it’s time to relax.
The Hemsons will split time between Westport, and a home they own in Vermont.
When the Hemsons bought their Sharp Turn Road house, it had 4 rooms. They added a few more, but have not remodeled since.
They knew when it went on the market that it would be torn down.
“Everyone wants big houses,” Kathy says. “This isn’t big.”
The Hemsons had plenty of good times on Sharp Turn. Both daughters’ friends often gathered there. “We could have 5 people for dinner, or 20,” Kathy recalls. “We never knew.”
On Friday nights, they at outside. Neighbors would wander over for cocktails.
Their oldest daughter — who now lives upstate — was blunt about the impending demolition. “It’ll be like we were never there,” she predicted.
Kathy has mixed feelings. “A lot of people complain about big houses,” she says. “But no one wants to take less for it than they can get. Your retirement is in your house.”
She’s glad she and her husband will remain in Westport. The town, she says, “has been very good to us.”
Besides, she says, a Sharp Turn neighbor told them they could come over any time for drinks.