Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #67

Last week’s photo challenge took us to the highest point in Westport.

And therein lies the story.

Peter Tulupman’s image showed an abandoned building next to the Rolnick Observatory, behind the Westport Weston Health District on Bayberry Lane.

Those buildings were originally part of the Nike missile launch site. The reason they were there — to protect Bridgeport’s electronics manufacturing industry from Russian attacks — was that the launch site (and the missiles themselves, on the North Avenue land that’s now Bedford Middle School) had to be at the highest elevation possible. Bayberry Lane fit the bill.

Edward Bloch, Dan Lasley, John Sexton, Susan Huppi, Sharon Paulsen and John Brawley all knew the photo was taken at the former Nike missile site. To see it, click here.

This week’s photo challenge comes with a back story — but I don’t know it. If you have any idea why the bridge in the background was built — or when, by whom, whatever — please add those details when you comment. Inquiring minds want to know!

Oh My 06880 - April 10, 2016

18 responses to “Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #67

  1. North Avenue, north of Colytown Road, across from “Paul’s” place.

  2. Stacy Prince

    Lyons Plains where it intersects with Coleytown. The new bridge/road is labeled 1929. (On my walking route!)

  3. Stacy Prince

    I believe they moved the road.

  4. Seth Schachter

    Not sure about the bridge in the background. But – Is this the ‘newly’ rebuilt bridge on North Avenue (off of Coleytown)?

  5. Robert Mitchell

    Imperial avenue footbridge

  6. The bridges are on Lyons Plains Road just north of Coleytown Road. I’ve always wondered about the story of the old bridge (ie when it was built) and how it survived the 1955 flood that took out the North Avenue bridge and the “twin bridges” on Weston Road.

    • Carla Sorisi Whitacre

      During the flood, the Aspetuck river jumped its banks and flooded the lower field that my grandparents (Domenico & Virginia Castiglia) then-owned, bypassing the bridges and flowing across Lyons Plains into Tuck Lane.

  7. Christopher Lewis


    It looks like the view to the right (driving north) off the bridge on Lyons Plain Road over the Aspetuck River just north of the Unitarian Church. I believe that the bridge was on an older route. When I had to get some approvals at Town Hall a couple of years ago to build a deck, I noticed (during a wait) that one of the maps (in P&Z, I think) still showed that route.

    Chris Lewis

  8. Lyons Plain Road just north of Coleytown intersection

  9. Stacy, Bill (an actual Coley?!), Christopher and Sally — you are all correct. It’s the bridge(s) on Lyons Plains Road, just north of Coleytown Road. And it makes sense that the smaller, older bridge in the background was part of a road that was rerouted.Thanks for the info!

  10. Barbara Greenspan

    That’s on Lyons Plains Road by Coleytown Road! I drive past it everyday! I don’t know the back story but I hope someone does!!!!

  11. I used to run past it every day. I knew it as soon as I saw it 🙂 Never knew the story but I always figured the “old” bridge was an old route changed when the roads were paved or something. My parents had a photo of Weston Road in the vicinity of Lyon’s and it was dirt!

  12. Jacques Voris

    It is the wee bridge on Lyon’s Plains just after Coleytown splits off

  13. Just a bit of a correction about the Nike missile sites. The missiles would have been launched from the North Ave. site. The Bayberry Lane site had the radar in the towers to spot the incoming bombers and precisely guide the missiles to their targets. The radar needed to be very accurate and stable to guide the missile, so the towers have a massive concrete pier in the center supporting the upper platform — absolutely ideal for the observatory now. There used to be a third open iron work tower on the site that was torn down in the mid 90’s I think. That had an acquisition radar to find the bombers. For many years, it supported the transmitter antenna for the Staples radio station.
    The missiles were put there to protect New York more than Bridgeport. The whole network of 20 sites in this area was called the New York Defense Region.

  14. Noel Castiglia

    I believe the old bridge was built in 1899 and the new bridge in 1937 or 1940 there is a imprinted date in the new bridge. As a child I spent many hours on the old bridge fishing for sun fish, the occasional trout, perch and netting suckers during the Spring run from Dorr Mill pond. Next to the bridge shortly after the Castiglia farm at 50 Lyons Plains Road was built, our Grandfather Domenic took a shot from the back porch at deer near the bridge. A very long shot with his 1890 41caliber Swiss Army rifle, Surprise-Surprise with one shot two deer fell.. a 250 to 300 yard shot with open sites.. pretty lucky shot. Our family always allowed fishermen, hunters and picnickers to be on the property and when I visited the bridge I would often see people from NYC who drove up to picnic on the bridge and park on the old dirt road leading to the bridge.
    Just down the old dirt road which ran over Coleytown road parallel to Lyons Plains road was an old gravel bank. I remember Larry Roberts and I planted a “Time Capsule” when we were in Bedford Elementary. It was a wooden box we lined with old tin from tin cans to preserve the contents. Most of the contents was from the 1930’s and 1940’s. It is about 50 feet from Coleytown
    Road intersection with Lyons Plains Road. There was some tar from the old road there at the time but it was mostly dirt. and the box is less then a foot deep if it is still there.. a metal detector may even find it today.

  15. Jalna Jaeger

    Off Lyons Plains road, no idea why it is there!
    Guy Rabut showed it to me when we were in high school.