Plenty of readers have admired the new header photo at the top of “06880.”
(If you subscribe by email and have no idea what I’m talking about, here it is:)
Plenty of Westporters — myself included — have long admired the house in the middle of the Mill Pond, but never known the back story.
(I have been inside. Back in its uninhabited — and my younger — days, it was a favorite party destination. I really hope the statute of limitations is up.)
But only Wendy Crowther emailed me with some very intriguing info. This very alert reader wrote:
The photo shows the cottage that I’ve heard called “The Hummock House.” It is the small shack sitting on a hummock (a rounded knoll, or in this case a rocky sand and mudflat) in the middle of the Sherwood Mill Pond.
Old stories say that it was once a part of the gristmill that sat at the foot of the pond (where the tide gates are today). When the mill was destroyed by fire in 1891, an unburned portion (perhaps part of the barrel and cask-maker’s shed) was floated out to the hummock. Once there, it served as a guardhouse for the shellfish beds in the pond.
Despite the fact that there is no electricity or plumbing, it has been occupied over the years, on and off, by a resident who obviously lived very simply and preferred privacy. A few years ago the cottage was put on the market, along with 6 watery acres surrounding it, for $1.5 million. It came with an option to buy the clamming and oystering rights to an additional 30 acres. I don’t know whether it sold.
I cropped the header photo, by the way, from a larger (and very beautiful) photograph I found online. I believe the photographer is Jeff Giannone: