Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #89

Nearly every town has a car wash.

But only Westport has Westport Wash & Wax.

In addition to great attention to detail (pun intended), these guys truly understand what it means to be part of a community. They support every town organization, fundraiser and what-have-you that asks for help. And they do it both generously and joyfully.

For the purposes of our photo challenge, they’re also one of the few car washes anywhere that provides a handsome bench where customers can wait.

With flowers.

Susan Schmidt, Edward Bloch, Anne Delorier and Virginia Tienken recognized where last week’s photo challenge was. (Right near the exit, by the Post Road.) Click here for that image.

This week’s challenge is different.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

Please don’t say “It’s a plaque honoring Nevada Hitchcock.”

We know that. What we’re looking for is:

  • Where in Westport would you find this?
  • Who was Nevada Hitchcock?
  • Bonus question: What’s up with that first name?

Click “Comments” below to show off your knowledge of Westport history.

20 responses to “Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #89

  1. By the corner of Weston RD and Cross Highway.

  2. corner of cross highway & Weston Road, according to your post in 2014!

  3. At the intersection of Cross Highway and Weston Road. I believe she planted the mass of daffodils hr.

  4. Barbara Sherburne '67

    Nevada Hitchcock Memorial Garden at the intersection of Cross Highway and Weston Road, which you wrote about in 2015.

  5. By my old road, Hitchcock Road, of course. I’ve forgotten the story behind the name, though, but know there was an earlier post about her and her work/writings.

  6. Correct — it’s the Nevada Hitchcock Memorial Garden, at the intersection of Cross Highway and Weston Road. Drivers can get a great look at it now, waiting in line in traffic as they head to the Merritt Parkway, Easton Road or Main Street.

  7. Thanks for featuring this site. I live near it and never knew it was there. I’d love to know more about Nevada.

  8. Ellen Greenberg

    This memorial to Nevada Hitchcock was created by the Westport Garden Club in memory of Nevada who passed away in 1937. Nevada had been one of the founding members of the club. In her memory her contributions to the club and the town, the club planted 137 dogwood trees along Cross Highway. A mass of daffodils was also planted at the intersection with Weston Road. Although most of the dogwoods have died, the Westport Garden Club works to maintain a garden at the intersection complete with daffodils in Nevada’s memory.

  9. Louise Ward Demakis

    Hi Dan,
    Nevada Hitchcock was the co-founder of the Westport Garden Club in 1924. Her memorial is located at the intersection of the Weston Road and Cross Highway. I’ll be at the WHS tomorrow and see if I have anything on her name in our archives. Do you? As I wrote the WGC History, am I still eligible to comment?
    Louise W Demakis

  10. From 2007 Westport Magazine article “40 People Who Made a Difference”

    Nevada Hitchcock (1863-1937)
    New York and Philadelphia-based home economics journalist who moved to Westport in 1920 where she continued to ply her stock-in-trade with “Your Own Garden,” a popular column in the Bridgeport Sunday Post. In 1924, Nevada, along with seven other women and two men, put her theoretical experience into practice by founding the Westport Garden Club. Among their more prominent early public projects were mosquito eradication, the development of landscaped triangles at street intersections, the beautification of Town Hall and the horticultural restoration of town cemeteries. Legacy: Westport Garden Club and local green spaces.


    • An interesting article, Jerry, especially the idea of mosquito eradication! Wonder what her “recipe” required? Send it to Florida!
      Landscaped traffic triangles are a must too, common in Europe… a cheerful welcoming.

  11. The loss of Nevada’s rare, Dutch influenced 18th century house on Cross Highway (not far her memorial park) stands in my mind as one of the more shocking cultural crimes that has occurred here. In some ways it signaled the beginning of the end for what was once a well preserved street. Nevada had a second house, though; 87 Myrtle is, I think, the address. That modest 1920’s structure still stands more or less unmolested. I was once told that Nevada would, at some point in late fall, walk from her “summer house” on Cross Highway to her smaller “winter house” on Myrtle. I don’t know why she walked exactly. But one notices much more at that speed. And the observation – and improvement – of streetscape was, it would seem, a large part of her life. Would that we had a citizen of such caliber today; most of our parks, greenspaces and historic, town-owned cemeteries are in various states of serious decline.

    • Please forgive the late posting: Re. Mrs.Hitchcock’s house having been torn down. I hope you are not referring to her (sort of pale pink plaster?) house on that corner. (Though shrouded by trees it was on a hill so fairly visible…). Please let it have been another house. (A THIRD house… hahaha).

      I knew the boy who lived in that house when we were children (late 1960s): but not very well as he went to a different school due to a school district division at Cross Highway. (Even though we lived in the same Hockanum House / Park neighbourhood). I almost killed myself sledding down the steep hill that was at the edge of their back garden. (The typical diving off the sled just before hitting the tree & hence missing it by centimeters type incident… very Edith Wharton ‘Ethan Frome’ but without the dismal romantic plot).

      That was one of my favourite houses so I am going to *pretend* you are referring to an entirely different house! As I no longer live in the neighbourhood or town & no longer drive down Cross Highway or Weston Road that is precisely what I am going to do. This is basically my solution — as Jill has said — I just remember Westport architecture & streetscapes & woods & fields as they were/it was. Why break one’s own heart. I’m a bit sad for people forced to witness the daily carnage though… the callous slaughter of Westport history & landscape… Because some of these buildings that have been there for ages are so integral to the landscape it feels as though people are tearing down mountains or removing rivers…

      • Zoe, the house you are describing from your childhood was not Nevada’s. So at least that memory appears to remain untrammeled.

        • Thank Heaven! Fingers crossed x the house I referred to lasts into next week then… now that I have flown too close to the sun by calling attention to it…

  12. Louise Ward Demakis

    Ellen Greenberg and Jerry MacDaid have given us the depth of Nevada Hitchcock’s contribution to Westport and Morley Boyd told us about her homes, but I wasn’t able to find a reference to how she came to be named “Nevada” in the Westport Garden Club archives. Rereading her obituary, however, her career was truly amazing for a woman of her time.
    Born in Mineral City, Ohio, a town founded by her father Alfred Davis, on November 21, 1863, in the middle of the Civil War, she began contributing to the Cleveland Tribune while a student at Oberlin College and after graduation taught French and German at Oberlin Preparatory School. A year later, she went west to teach high school and wrote for the Salt Lake City Tribune. Somewhere in between then and 1893 when she became a staff reporter, she married and raised two children,
    Not content to stay in Salt Lake (possibly because of a divorce, as a Mr. Hitchcock is not mentioned in the obituary), she came to New York to be a reporter (newspaper not identified) where she worked until 1921 and retired to Westport. Still a writer, she Joined The Sunday Post (Connecticut Post) as garden editor in 1935. In between, she helped to co-found the Westport Garden Club in 1924 and organized the League of Women Voters, later to become its President.
    The Bridgeport Post obituary ended: “Mrs.Hitchcock lived to be one of the oldest newspaper women in the East.” But, alas, we still don’t know how she was named “Nevada.”

  13. Any connection to the Alice Davis Hitchcock book award (architecture) and Henry-Russell Hitchcock?

  14. Wendy Crowther

    Some quick research on Nevada shows her listed in the 1880 Federal Census as Nevada V. Davis, age 17, daughter of Alfred and Deborah Davis. Therefore, she’d had the name “Nevada” since she was young. In 1880, the family was living in Mineral Point, Tuscarawas, Ohio. Her father was a farmer and her mother was in an asylum.

    By 1910, Nevada had married Ralph Hitchcock (son of Horace and Mary Hitchcock of Cleveland) and they were living in Vermillion, Ohio. Nevada and Ralph had three children: Horace D., Deborah V. and Alfred D. Nevada’s husband, Ralph, died in 1913 in Ohio – he was only about 53 years old.

    Per the 1920 US Census, Nevada was living with two of her children in NYC. Nevada appeared in the Westport Directories (published address books) by 1921 – her son, Horace, and her daughter Deborah were living with her. She was listed as a journalist at that time. Horace went on to marry Elinor Tilden and became a prominent NYC lawyer. I didn’t look into the fate of the other two children.

    In an interesting coincidence, Elinor Tilden (who Nevada’s son married) was the daughter of a Yale Engineering and Mechanics Professor named Charles S. Tilden. Charles Tilden, was associated with another well-known Westporter, William Eno, who was known as the “Father of Traffic Safety.” Eno has been credited with inventing the stop sign, traffic circles, pedestrian crosswalks, and one way streets.