Where Westport meets the world…
Subscribe to ‘06880’ — it’s free!
Please support “06880” — thanks!
SEARCH THE “06880” ARCHIVES
- Monumental Memorial Day
- Memorial Day 2015: We Remember
- Celebrating Our Memorial Day Parade
- Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #21
- Bruce Allen: A Reluctant Grand Marshal
- WSJ Trains Its Lens On Stacy Bass
- Harvey Gabor Helped Teach The World To Sing. The Rest Is History.
- Staples Players Bring “Laramie Project” To Life
- “Art About Town” Floods Main Street
- This Open Space Is Deadly
Bored? Wander through ‘06880’
- Local business
- Local politics
- Looking back
- Oh My 06880!
- Real estate
- Staples HS
- Totally random
- Westport Country Playhouse
- Westport life
DISCLAIMERThis blog is personal opinion, and is not representative of the views of the Westport School District or Board of Education.
Category Archives: Beach
Click on or hover over this gorgeous photo to enlarge.
For some reason, the Castles in the Sand event seems to be held every year on the chilliest Saturday in May.
But for many other reasons, no one cares.
It’s one of the most intriguing events on the civic calendar.
It brings a variety of Westport organizations — plus families and friends — to Compo Beach for good-natured competition.
And it’s fun.
This year, approximately 40 “lots” were sold.
That’s a lot of sand. A lot of creativity. And a lot of much-needed funds for Homes With Hope, the non-profit that does so much housing good, for so many.
You can see the Westport Garden Club‘s work all over town.
In the early 1970s, Ginny Sherwood asked fellow members to reclaim a 3-acre landfill on Imperial Avenue. Her vision of a refuge along the Saugatuck River came true. Today, Westporters love the hidden-in-plain-sight beauty of Grace Salmon Park.
It’s a delightful spot for a walk, picnic or simply a few moments of peace and quiet.
Over the years though, the land has flooded. Vegetation has been lost. It needs improvement.
The Garden Club will once again help. Members are recommending which plants to save, and which native species to add. They’ll provide volunteers to do the labor, and keep Grace Salmon Park looking great.
To accomplish this — and so much more — the club needs funds. They raise money the best way they know how. This year’s annual plant sale is set for Friday, May 8 (9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) at the Saugatuck Congregational Church.
The Garden Club is one of those organizations whose work Westporters constantly admire, even if we don’t know it’s theirs. They’re responsible for — among many other things — planting, weeding, pruning and mulching sites like the Compo Beach entry and marina; Adams Academy; the Earthplace entrance; the Library’s winter garden near Jesup Green; various cemeteries, and the Nevada Hitchcock Memorial Garden at the Cross Highway/Weston Road intersection.
We also owe the club thanks for what we don’t see.
In the 1930s — just a few years after its founding — the Westport Garden Club persuaded the town to ban billboards on all local roads.
The prohibition still stands.
So on Friday, buy a plant to support the Westport Garden Club. For nearly 100 years they’ve made our hometown look beautiful — just like home.
Today was as sweet as it gets.
Staples students could have celebrated the spectacular weather by going to the beach. Playing tennis, golf, frisbee or with each other. Studying for AP tests that start tomorrow, even.
Instead, over 100 boys — and 80 or so parents — spent the day on community service projects all around Westport.
The Staples Service League of Boys — SLOBs for, lovingly, short — headed out to the Bacharach Houses, Gillespie Center, Compo and Burying Hill Beaches, Wakeman Town Farm, Linxweiler House, Powell House, Project Return, ABC House and Earthplace.
They weeded, planted, mulched, picked up garbage, painted and cleaned.
They worked long and hard. They did manual labor, and learned some skills. They worked side by side with their parents, and a few siblings.
It’s all part of SLOBs’ ongoing commitment to their town. So far this year, they’ve contributed more than 2,300 hours of service.
And how did you spend your day?
Today’s ceremonies — marking Westport’s role in the Revolutionary War, 238 years ago today — drew a good-sized, historic-minded crowd.
One of the highlights was a walking tour from Compo Beach — where the British landed on April 25, 1777, en route to raiding the Danbury arsenal — to the Minute Man.
Our beloved (and newly renovated) town icon was joined by a kindred spirit: a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Tour-goers learned plenty. Here are 3 things I never knew:
- It’s “Minute Man,” not “Minuteman.” At least, that’s how it was punctuated during the original dedication ceremony in 1910. So that’s how I’ll write it from now on.
- It’s a “monument,” not a statue. We should focus on all the elements — sculpture, knoll, fence, stonework — rather than just the Minute Man himself. That was the whole idea, 105 years ago.
- There are only 4 Minute Man monuments in the world. The other 3 are in Concord, Lexington and Framingham, Massachusetts. When ours was dedicated, speakers declared it would be as famous as the 1875 one in Concord. It isn’t — but of the 4, ours is the only one depicting a patriot kneeling, at the ready. And that was the whole idea: to be ready “in a minute.”
…of the Minute Man statue we hold so dear.
Not any one man is now alive
Who remembers back to 1775
Or the march of the British from Compo’s shore
To Danbury north, and its arsenal store
Or the days that followed, as they marched back south
And ran right into our militia’s mouth
The Battle of Compo Hill became quite a story
And Westport’s Minute Men earned all their glory
But seldom today do we give any thought
To all that our patriot ancestors wrought
We pass by the statue with ne’er a glance
For far more concerned are we with the chance
To sunbathe and swim, go boating and grill
Or enjoy yet another modern-day thrill
As the Minute Man stands, a sentinel silent
To a long-ago chapter so bloody and violent
But hark! For on Sunday we look back and praise
The remarkable heroes of those valiant days
(Click here for the details of all the events
Then read further this poem; ’twill make much more sense).
In 1906 Daniel Webster moved here
Though just 29, his sculpting talent was clear
Four years later he was asked (in part by the state)
To design, develop, cast and create
A sculpture to show a patriot kneeling
With flintlock in hand, and a strong steely feeling
‘Twould be placed near the beach, at the same exact spot
Where the Battle of Compo Hill had been fought.
Lewis P. Wakeman is a name from the past
He’s the model from whom the Minute Man has been cast
In bronze, where he sits on a mound of green grass
From his perch now he’s watched a full century pass
The Westport statue is one of just four
Saluting a Minute Man to remember that war
Feelings were stronger in the year 1910
The unveiling was quite an event way back then
A clambake, parade, music and speeches
Made June 17 a red-letter day at the beaches.
In the 10 decades since then, much has been seen
The Minute Man’s patina turned brown to green
Rain storms eroded the earthen knoll’s contour
The fence fell into disrepair even more
But now, thanks to a passionate, hard-working team
The Minute Man once again shines with a gleam
His hill is restored, his fence now is steady
And once again with his flintlock he kneels at the ready
To remind us that once upon men, bold and brave
(Some of them buried in a near shallow grave)
Defended this land with a spirit so strong
That to forget their sacrifice must surely be wrong
So this Sunday — and all days — think, if you can
Of the saga of Westport’s beloved Minute Man.
(To learn more about this Sunday’s Minute Man celebrations, click here.)
After a gorgeous start, Westport’s skies turned menacing this afternoon.
Alert “06880” reader Matt Murray was at Compo Beach, just before a brief but gusty storm rolled in.
They’re called the Minute Men, but they spent 8 years fighting the Revolutionary War.
It took a couple of years to renovate Westport’s Minute Man statue.
The annual Minute Man Road Race is actually 2 races — 5K or 10K — which take considerably longer than a minute to run.
So it’s fitting that Westport will celebrate “Minute Man Day” next (Sunday, April 26), with a series of activities that take 300 minutes (5 hours, if you failed math).
The activities — commemorating the 238th anniversary of the British march from Compo Beach to Danbury and back again (our Minute Men did a pretty good job against them), and celebrating the renovation of Henry Daniel Webster’s 105-year-old statue — begin at noon on Sunday, April 26, soon after the Minute Man Race.
Departing every 15 minutes from 12 to 1:30 p.m., Westport Historical Society docents (including yours truly) will lead guided tours. We’ll start at the Ned Dimes Marina (definitely not a Revolutionary War facility), and make stops at the old cemetery and Minute Man statue. There are special children’s activities at the marina. Net proceeds from a suggested donation of $10 (ages 13 and up) go toward the ongoing care of the statue.
From 1-5 p.m., a recreated Revolution militia encampment will be set up on Jesup Green. The Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution color guard performs musket demonstrations. This event is free.
At 2:30 p.m. in the Westport Library, conservator Francis Miller will describe how he restored the Minute Man statue. This one is free too.
At 3 p.m. — also in the library — history lecturer Ed Hynes discusses the Danbury raid. He’ll talk about the 4-day adventure, which included noted brigadier general Benedict Arnold. If you don’t know which side he was on — or even if you do — this promises to be very educational.
In fact, the entire day is worth more than a few minutes of our time.