Another View Of Baron’s South

No, this is not another political view of the town-owned property that was — until a recent Planning & Zoning Commission decision — a possible site for senior housing.

This is a historical photographic view:

Baron's South - back in the day

Alert “06880” reader JP Vellotti found this shot of what is now the site of Fairfield County Savings Bank, on the corner of the Post Road and Compo Road South.

This view was taken from the current site of Winslow Park, across the Post Road, by the daughter of then-owner Dr. Ruland. JP got the photo from his grandson.

It’s interesting to note that the handsome architecture mirrors that of the buildings still on the west side of Baron’s South — the law and other offices on Imperial Avenue.

11 responses to “Another View Of Baron’s South

  1. Wendy Crowther

    What a fantastic photo – one I’ve never seen before despite having done a lot of research on Westport’s old houses and also on the history of the Baron’s property and the Winslow property. Hey J.P. — what are the circumstances behind your grandson finding this photo, and how did he know the photo was taken by Dr. Ruland’s daughter? BTW – Dr. Ruland had two daughters, Sylvia and Charity. Do you know which one took the photo?

    The 1867 Beer’s Map shows that this location was known as Mrs. Winslow’s “Sunny Cottage.” Mrs. Winslow originally lived with her husband, Richard Winslow, in their mansion on the Winslow Park property. He died in 1861, she eventually sold the Winslow mansion (in 1865), and she moved across the street.

    I suspect this is the house we are seeing in the photo. What else can you, or any other 06880 readers, tell me about this photo or house?

  2. Is this the “Nut house” I remember from when I was a kid back in the 60’s?

  3. Alan Beasley (Ospey Photographer June 2014)

    It’s a “nothing can be done issue” but, I would be much more interested in saving such a building as this, instead of a Kemper-Gunn House, exhibiting so little grace. Greek Styles often display pleasing lines, for instance Wren’s design, oft copied in New England’s Wooden Congregational Structures and in Washington, D.C.

    Alan Beasley,519 Harvest Commons, Westport, CT

  4. Joyce Bottone

    Love the nostalgic photos. Lynn, I remember the big white mansion, which stood on what is now, the dog park. Thanks to everyone for adding some more history behind the Barons Property.

  5. Great image, JP. Never seen this view before. Mr. Beasley, I understand what you are saying, but preservation is not a beauty contest. It is the effort to preserve a record of the evolution of our built environment – whether it’s a Modern on Minuteman Hill or a late Victorian on Church. Erasing our history, no matter what the subject, is never a good idea.

  6. How I wish I had an historical ” before and after” street map of Westport.

  7. Hello,

    This photo was taken by Charity Ruland. I came across the pics when I was researching my own house on Evergreen Ave. and found her son. He told me she was quite the picture taker and showed me about six very old albums of wonderful Westport scenes that (as he told me) have never been seen outside the family.

    I would love to curate a show with the Westport Historical Society along the lines of these Ruland personal albums. The contents extend from daily life at the Sanitarium (including outdoor farming scenes) to shots inside the mansion and hospital. Really amazing items.

    The Rulands also owned a cottage at Old Mill and there are lots of Mill Pond and old Clam House pics.

    Everything I have is just an iPhone snap from the old album. I was telling Dan the one I wished I had to show the 06880 was the same house as this post, but with a mounted Army regiment riding past on their way to Bridgeport during WWI.


    • Wendy Crowther

      Thanks, JP – I am fascinated by this photo album and your visit with Ruland’s grandson. I’d like to connect further with you on this.

  8. JP, good for you in tracking down these never before seen images. They are hugely educational. The truth is, there actually aren’t as many publically available historic street scenes of Westport as one would think. Please keep the pics coming! (that is, if it’s alright with Dan)

    Oh, and Nancy if you ever saw a comprehensive before and after of Westport you would immediately get into a tub with a razor blade.