Westport Gets 2 New Beaches

As the weather gets nicer — though it’s taking its own damn time — Joey’s gears up for another season.

For over 20 years, Westporters have flocked to the very popular Compo Beach restaurant. For almost as long, some cool old photos have hung on the walls.

But until very recently, no one looked too closely at them.

Very alert “06880” reader Christine Cullen did.

She loved the shot of the old wooden bathhouses, extending where the playground is now:

Compo Beach bathhouses

She was also intrigued by a 2nd shot of the beach back in the day, with all its rocks:

Compo Beach - old

But when Christine looked closely, she saw that the top photo says “Campo Beach.” And the bottom one is labeled “Longshore Beach.”

During all these years, nobody noticed the errors.

We’re too busy enjoying Joey’s, and all the other pleasures of Campo (aka Longshore) Beach.

10 responses to “Westport Gets 2 New Beaches

  1. The name “Longshore” was used liberally back in the day. That area where the Eno property was (Saugatack Avenue) was called Longshore too. If you walk Westport’s Shore.. (which you can’t without trespassing and going through deep water because I have (sort of) done it over the years) From the Fairfield Border, in front of the Beachside estates, Burying Hill, all along Sherwood Island, the Compo Cove and the Mill Pond, around Compo Beach, To Owenoke and along Grays Creek and around Longshore Country Club, down the Saugatuck river, across the bridge, down Saugatuck Ave frontage and all along Saugatuck shores to the first few houses on Canfield Island to Norwalk… we have an incredibly “LONG SHORE” And the Compo Beach area, back in Schlaet’s day (Now Bluewater Hill) was called Saugatuck!. And If you go way back, it was probably called UH UH! 🙂

    • And the Campo spelling error is everywhere.. on post cards, government documents and old books that reference Westport Beaches. Wouldn’t it be fun to know who spelled it wrong first.

  2. Lesley Cullen Anderson

    I remember the rocks, there was No sand, and the bath houses only too well! I moved to Westport in 1953. There were also floats anchored out in the water with diving boards, there were 3 of them. They were a lot of fun but hurricane Carol washed them up on the beach and they were never repaired. I think the life guards were relieved. Lots of crazy rough housing with whistle blowing. But boy were they fun!

  3. Wendy Crowther

    Look carefully at the upper, open-air portion of the “Campo” Beach Pavilion seen in the top photo. That same structure sits on the beach today. It’s located alongside the boardwalk in front of the volleyball court area. Somewhere in my various forays into Westport history, I think I read that it was removed from the upper story when the bathhouses suffered a bad fire during the early to mid 1900s. The open air portion, which was not destroyed in the fire, was salvaged and re-positioned on the beach at ground level.

    It’s amazing that this structure could have survived not only that infamous fire but also the numerous storm surges that have ravaged Compo over the subsequent years. If it is, in fact, the exact same structure (and not a replica), then it surely demonstrates the amazing longevity that wood from old growth trees can provide. Today’s new growth wood,,,not so much!

    Can anyone verify this story?

  4. Gary Singer

    I swam at Compo Beach before I could walk. It was 1932. My grandfather
    (Louis Shilepsky ) had a brick bathhouse, which I recall cost a little more than the wooden ones. We sunned on the rocks and played on the cannon.
    There was a snack bar which sold hot dogs, hamburgers and soda. With all that this ancient head is forgetting, memories of each day at Compo remain with me forever.

    • Mary Palmieri Gai

      Related to Morris Shilepsky? He was such a nice man.. owner of North Main Garage.

      • Mary, there were two Morris Shilepskys ( one spelled his first name Maurice ). The one to whom you refer was Louis’s nephew, Nathan Shilepsky’s one. The other Morris ran Shilesky’s clothing store, which was next to the YMCA, on Main St. He was my uncle. His son ( my cousin) Lee was an attorney in town before an untimely early death.

  5. Peter Barlow

    About that top part of the Compo pavilion, the whole building collapsed during one of the hurricanes. I remember talking to a town inspector there the next day and he was saying something like, “we have to bull-doze of all this.” And I said, “that top part looks hardly damaged at all – why not just keep the top part at the ground level?” I can identify which hurricane it was
    after some research into my pictures.