In the wake of our most recent snowstorm — for some reason, it had no name — alert “06880” reader Howard Silver took this photo of one of Westport’s most beloved institutions:
And, he wondered, “how does the Black Duck stay on land?”
Coincidentally, Mary Palmieri Gai posted on Facebook’s “You Know You’re From Westport … If …” page yesterday. It’s from a 1910 Norwalk Hour story:
DESTROY THAT OLD HULK: There was talk sometime ago regarding the destroying of the old Hulk south of Saugatuck carriage bridge but yet nothing has been done about the matter by the selectmen. Since it was understood that the promise to do away with this unsightly blot on the third page of Westport’s beauty, many citizens are wondering why they have not made good on the promises.
The expense would not be great and there is no question but that the outlay that would be necessary to do away with this old hulk would be money well spent.
So the citizens of the town are hoping that the officials do something immediately toward improving the appearance of the scene south of the Saugatuck Bridge by destroying the old time boat that has rested on the mud flats at that point for a great many years.
A lively debate followed. Some folks thought the story referred to the Duck. But, owner Pete Aitken said, the restaurant — originally a barge — was not hauled there until 1961.
Perhaps the “old Hulk” is the vessel mired in mud immediately south of the Bridge Street bridge — visible only (but always) at low tide.
As for Howard Silver’s question of how the restaurant survives?
That’s just more proof that everyone loves the Duck.