Baron’s South: A New View

Many Westporters enjoyed yesterday’s spectacular weather the usual autumn way: Apple-picking. Leaf-peeping. Your kid’s sports-game-watching.

A few folks spent the day working. A small work crew assembled at Baron’s South, for a 3rd clean-up of that town-owned, heavily forested downtown property.

Organized by Wendy Crowther and Morley Boyd, they made a big dent removing invasive trees, overgrown underbrush and climbing vines. They also cleared a main pathway that descends from Golden Shadows — “the baron’s” old house — into the deeper woods.

Slowly, they opened up the viewsheds from the mansion. There’s much more to do, but already it’s become easier to imagine how magnificent the hills and dales of the wooded landscape once were.

Crowther says the clean-up work reveals a view of Golden Shadows not seen since the town purchased the property in 1999.

Golden Shadows - Wendy Crowther

The ultimate fate of Golden Shadows — and what to do with the entire 22-acre property — has not yet been decided.

But whatever happens, a small group of Friends is ensuring the place looks great.


11 responses to “Baron’s South: A New View

  1. Hire some goats, they LOVE invasive plants!

  2. A labor of love, for sure – they are to be commended. Knowing how much upkeep we have in our little yard in town, I am sure they worked very hard! If this is “town owned” I am wondering why the town isn’t doing this? Or are they? Somebody?

  3. Matthew Mandell

    Wendy and Morley, you are good folks. Thanks for all you do to help preserve the history of our town.

  4. Alberta Cifolelli

    Just to re-enforce the idea: affordable senior housing!

    Alberta Cifolelli 8 Plover Lane Westport, CT 06880 203 226-1614

    • Surely you are not suggesting building affordable senior housing on Baron’s South. That sounds like The Night of the Living Dead. Putting senior housing on Baron’s South was a bad idea and it is still a bad idea no matter how it is dressed up. The plans, such as they were, represented a plundering of the public purse, and no assurances that one current senior citizen residing in Westport would benefit.

      I am a senior citizen, and I resented the pandering and false promises that surrounded The BS Committee representations of their objectives. At the core, the plan was to give away valuable public assets to a private profit making entity. That entity and its friends would benefit, but there was absolutely no guarantee that seniors now living in Westport would benefit.

      If you would like to refresh your memory on the debate, I would follow the link.

      Now, there are those who would resurrect the “plan”. They bleat incessantly about the long, 7 years, of effort that preceded the formulation of a “plan”. The reality is, The BS Committee could have saved 6 years 364 days 23 hours, and 55 minutes of that seven years, if just one member of The Committee had the wit to recognize that giving away valuable public assets to a private profit making entity is bad public policy.

      We need an administration in Town Hall, and a P&Z that is willing to make senior citizen housing a reality in a manner that benefits the broader community and not just a small private interest.

      While I applaud the efforts Ms. Crowther and Mr. Boyd, I hope they are not improving a public asset that will be given away to some special interest with a “worthy” cause.

      BTW Dan, the fate has been decided. There was a vote, and then there was another vote. How many votes before the message is heard.

    • Ship sailed with a good intention that could never produce a good result!

  5. Thanks for the nice story, Dan. One of the principle objectives of Friends of Barons South is to re-establish the walking trails so that the public in general and visitors to the Senior Center in particular may enjoy the spectacular scenery that we are so fortunate to have. Although I’ll admit to being a little bit sore this morning, working in Westport’s town forest alongside other volunteers feels like a great privilege.

  6. Julie Fatherley

    Thank you, Dan for bringing this to the attention of the public.

    More volunteers will be needed to make this the most respected and gorgeous place it was in our history.

    My husband and others have tried to make a difference…I hope others will feel like minded in the future…Julie Fatherley >

  7. It’s mind-bogling to me that multi-million dollar properties (this and Winslow) get bare minimum maintenance. Volunteers are great though.

  8. Dan, Thanks for what should be a simple tale. Some residents, including me at one clear up day, are trying to make a difference. Morley and Wendy are our leaders and we appreciate their commitment and hard work. Don Bergmann