Finding Bald Mountain

As a lifelong Westporter, I thought I knew every place in town.

I’ve never heard of Bald Mountain — but Google Maps has.

Alert “06880” reader Scott Smith spotted the elusive mountain — not far from the Saugatuck River shore, just across Imperial Avenue near Baker Avenue.  It’s now part of the Gault housing development (Google Maps puts it smack at the end of Wheeler Gate, which is not actually a gate but a road).  Presumably back in the day it was a true mountain (or at least more than a molehill).

“Perhaps it was used by ship and barge captains as a navigational aid long ago,” Scott says.

“But just think of the mental picture it gives non-Westporters when they see this big, mysterious ‘Bald Mountain’ situated between downtown and Saugatuck.  Who knew?”

Google Maps knew.

Then again, they know everything.

18 responses to “Finding Bald Mountain

  1. I would think it was a mountain of stone, and after 100 years of blasting and grinding into gravel and processed trap rock, what was called the Gault Pit, is now Gault Park. Bald Mountain to Gault Park…. hair plugs anyone!

  2. I’m pretty sure I remember this place from my long ago Little League days, when we used to play at what was called Gault Field. There was a very steep hill – you could call it a “mountain” – on the other side of Imperial Avenue. I did climb it once and looked down the other slope to the excavation down below. By Westport standards, I suppose it was a mountain.

    • John McCarthy

      I was thinking the same thing. There was definitely a hill you needed to climb, across from the LL field, to get tot eh the gravel pit.

  3. The Dude Abides

    Very informative there, Jake A. I saw Dale Hopkins blast a home run over the road and half way up the “Mountain” in the 1960 Little League All-Star game. I never thought of it as anything but ugly before. Some good memories on that baseball field. Now condos. Progress.

    • Yup, progress, unfortunately. Best baseball field in town. Dugouts, bleachers, refreshment stand, outfield fences, centerfield scoreboard and immaculately groomed. Had the aroma of lilacs in the spring. After Little League season ended we played home run derby there all summer until the police ordered us away. The “mountain” was also shelled by Lonnie Lonergan, Warren Smith, Tommy Dublin, Pete Lomme, Murray Rosenberg and Bobby Danaher, to name a few – but Hoppy’s ’60 blast was truly titanic.

      • Tom Allen, you have great recall. Hal “Lonnie” Lonergan was a gentle giant–he lettered in 3 sports at Ffld Prep and died too young in 1999 from Lou Gehrig’s. His mother, Mary, was a Keehan and his maternal grandmother, Ellen, was a Grant. The Keehans lived up the hill from you and Eric B. on Treadwell in the house now owned by Mrs Powers.
        Murray Rosenberg, Pete Lomme and Bobby Danaher, names I haven’t recalled in a long time , all good athletes and good guys. I think Pete was a bit older than us. Were you thinking of his brother Terry?
        Best player on the Jaguars that year was our pitcher Denis O’Neill from Turkey Hill Circle. He wrote the MerylStreep/Kevin Bacon movie The River Wild.
        My Bald Mountain story (2nd hand) is that my grandmother (who lived in the house later owned by Eric’s Mom) would send my father and his brothers to Bald Mountain during the Depression to get pine cones and greens for Christmas wreaths that they would assemble for sale. Don’t know if Howard and Bill Gault knew about that.

        • The Dude Abides

          Bob: Pete Lomme was class of ’65 I believe. I played Babe Ruth with Pete and Terry with their father as coach. Pete was the athlete and I believe went on to play minor league ball for the Cardinals along with Tip Schaeffer’s nephew.

        • Hi Bob. The Keehans and Grants owned upper Treadwell back in the day. Eddie and Mary Grant lived next door to us, with Eric’s family on the other side. Lonnie was my first friend in Westport; we used to hang out at his grandmother’s — Nelly — house watching her tiny Dumont TV. Nelly’s house was sold to the Baynams. At Staples we scrimmaged Prep every year when Lon was starring there as a tackle and kicker. We caught up on family news between plays. I played outfield for the Jags ’58-’59. We defeated the Dude’s team, the Cardinals, for the title in ’58. Denis pitched for the Corsairs and then the Jags. Three-year hockey captain at Dartmouth and still writing screenplays, Rosenberg tells me. Murray is an LA atty; went to GW on a baseball/soccer scholarship. Pete Lomme (SHS ’64) was a Green Beret in Vietnam and a three-sport star at Staples; Terry was a year younger than me and also a fine ballplayer. Bobby Danaher is an atty in Westport. I saw Lonnie L regularly late in life, before and after he was stricken with ALS so young . His mom and mine became across-the-street neighbors on Otter Trail off Imperial, in the shadow of Bald Mountain, closing their Westport circle.

    • Not condos. McMansions

  4. I remember sitting on the Bald Mountain top by myself during The Great Northeast Blackout of ’65 watching Westport go dark. Nine months later a big spike in the population.

  5. I have a great sketch of bald mountain and Brad Baker’s house and workshop ( boathouse) on Imperial Ave. The artist is Bruno Dolge. Probably was done around early 1900.

  6. One, Two, Three

    I was very much in demand to play at Gault Field. No, not because of my baseball talents, but because I had a parent that would work the refreshment stand.

    I always played late in every game. By then my team was either so far ahead it didn’t matter if I struck out or threw the ball in some direction other than the person I was aiming for, or we were so far behind that it didn’t matter if I played either.

  7. The Dude Abides

    You played the game, that is the important thing. Of course, your Mom in the concession stand was nice too. Hot dogs there beat Coleytown by a snout.

  8. Pingback: And Here Is Bald Mountain | Aaron Meyer

  9. On the topic of Little League Teams, the last time I was at the Arrow (about 1990 I believe) the bar had a great collection of Little League team photos on the walls. I wonder what ever happened to those photos?