Erika Carter has lived in Westport for 6 years. She’s from Mobile, Alabama though, and last month was down home visiting family.
Her mother took her to an estate sale. A picture hanging on a warehouse wall caught her eye. She recognized it instantly: Westport.
For $5, it was hers.
Erika thought its rightful place was the Westport Historical Society. They were happy to accept the gift.
Archives director Sven Selander was particularly pleased. He’d never seen that image of Westport before.
A bit of digging revealed that the scene came from a book with the catchy title of Connecticut Historical Collections, containing a general colleciton of interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, &c. Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Connecticut, with Geographical Descriptions: Illustrated by 190 Engravings.”
The book was published in 1836, in New Haven.
Archives volunteer Sara Krasne says that a page from the book with the scene of Westport was removed. Someone then hand-colored the engraving, and framed it. How it migrated south to Mobile is anyone’s guess.
Now it’s “home” — thanks to an eagle-eyed Southerner-turned-Yankee.
PS: The Historical Society does not have a complete edition of the book from which the engraving was taken. If anyone has a copy to donate, they’re happy to accept it too.
(Hat tip: Fred Cantor)