What’s In A (Westport) Name?

It took nearly 200 years for us to break away from Fairfield, Norwalk and Weston, and become our own town. (As well as decide to call ourselves “Westport,” not “Saugatuck” as we had always been known.)

It took 175 years from that founding — on May 28, 1835 — for the Westport Historical Society to produce a 45-minute show, educating 21st-century residents about our 19th-century past.

And it took 6 years from that day — May 28, 2010 — for the WHS to finish editing a film about the re-enactment.

For a town filled with media folks, the production values are a bit sketchy. But it’s an interesting video nonetheless.

And now — on May 28, 2016 — it’s being released to the public. Enjoy!

5 responses to “What’s In A (Westport) Name?

  1. Jo Shields

    Well, I’m sure that IF this wonderfully silly madcap video had been produced in a more timely fashion, say 181 years ago, the production values would have been even MORE sketchy! In watching it, there were so many things that could have been changed, but it was exactly in its homemade exuberance that we get a sense of the regular folk who make up Westport — both then and now. Sure, it could have been slicker, but the attempt was made, and all those who participated had the best of times.

    P.S. Somewhat full disclosure: I’m on the Westport Historical’s Society’s Oral History Committee (Sekritery). AND for all those who would like to do one better, and help keep Westport’s oral history traditions going, you are invited to sit in on a meeting — the next one (before summer’s recess) is this Thursday, June 2nd at WHS, 2p.m., downstairs in the Raymond Room. Come find out what’s new with what’s old!

    • John F. (J-period) Wandres


      Any chance of streaming the meetings live? I’m in Portland, OR but through Dan I’ve kept in touch with Westport. My family and I lived in Weston from 1942 until 1954. Oh, and Dan: I thought that Westport was older than Weston.

      • Weston was incorporated in 1787, Westport in 1835.

      • Jo Shields

        Thanks for your interest, John. I’ll ask Dave Soriano, our OH Chair about live streaming. I’m sure it’s a possibility. Weston Historical, as you may already know, is also an active group that would no doubt be interested in your participation, and Weston reminiscences.

  2. Jacques Voris

    A very good video, and it touches on a couple of things that I think get overlooked when talking about Westport history. The first is that Greens Farms wasn’t part of Westport in 1835, but stayed with Fairfield. Most of what I have read about this is that Fairfield was very reluctant to part with yet another parish, and the attendant tax revenue. The second is that “Greens Farms” used to cover a larger area than what most of us think of today. Basically from the Fairfield town line to Hills Point and Roseville Roads up to Cross Highway. I know this view was still in use somewhat into the 1940’s, as the obituary of Hen Mills calls of “of Greens Farms” and he lived on North Avenue.

    I would be curious to know is any records exist with regards to discussions or debates about the inclusion of Greens Farms. I know of the Taylor note from 1842 asking that Greens Farms be part of Westport, but is there anything else? Any capture of the thoughts of the other large families or land owners in Greens Farms?