06880

Friday Flashback #15

A post earlier this week with a dramatic aerial view of the Saugatuck River sparked an only-on-“06880” debate.

Readers battled over whether the current site of the Gault Park development off Imperial Avenue near Baker Avenue — and before that the Gault gravel pit — was originally called “Ball Mountain” or “Bald Mountain.”

Alert, ever-vigilant and history-minded Jack Whittle promptly sent 2 postcards:

Both photos are labeled “Ball Mountain.”

Then there’s the 1857 New England Gazetteer (also courtesy of Jack). It calls the “conical eminence … situated to the S. of the village” by the name Ball Mountain.

Unfortunately, the Gazetteer also calls our “smooth and beautiful seashore” Campo. Go figure.

Jack sent along one more item:

This is from the Gault website. In 1994, they note (above), they stopped their gravel operation on “Bald Mountain.” But the hand-written info on the photo used — from the early 1900s — clearly calls it “Ball” Mountain.

(Note too that the company called their development “Compo Commons.” That’s a name that no one has used, ever.

Hunting through the “06880” archives, I found this:

It was sent to me in 2011 by reader Judy Sterling. The sketch was drawn by Bruno Dolge in the early 1900s.  The view looks east; he stood across the Saugatuck River, probably where Saugatuck Elementary School is now.

Dolge included Brad Baker’s house and workshop (boathouse), on Imperial Avenue. And he (or Judy) called it “Bald Mountain.”

So did Google Maps, long after the topographical feature disappeared from Westport:

Call it what you will. Just don’t forget it.

Which, after all, is the whole point of our “Friday Flashback.”

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