Photo Challenge #100

Last week’s photo challenge was hiding in plain sight.

Only Leigh Gage and Linda Amos knew that the wagon wheel photographed by Seth Schachter stood next to the stone steps at Adams Academy. (Click here for the photo, and all the guesses.)

Seth also sent along a fascinating history of one of Westport’s early 1-room schoolhouses:

“The formidable Ebenezer Adams ran his private Academy from 1837-1867 offering a comprehensive classical curriculum. The academy was a highly regarded educational institute and a credit to the Town. Adams had purchased an existing academy from the Greens Farms Congregational Church after graduating from Yale University.

“He attracted hundreds of students from near and far, the majority of whom continued on to Yale, his alma mater. Many of his students, including E. T. Bedford, went on to attain fame and fortune. Bedford founded the Karo Sugar Company and helped contribute the building of the Westport Library, the YMCA and funds for public schools. Another Adams Academy graduate, William Marcey was United States President Franklin Pierce’s Secretary of State.”

Here’s this week’s photo challenge — our 100th!

(Photo/Jo Shields)

(Photo/Jo Shields)

If you know what Jo Shields’ photo shows — and where she took it — click “Comments” below.



18 responses to “Photo Challenge #100

  1. Dan Woog’s tree house?

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Barbara Sherburne '67

    Burying Hill Beach, the sticker checker shack. Wild guess.

  3. This is Westport historical Society or town hall perspective looking towards the West Bank of downtown

  4. A view of downtown from a window in the Italianate Westport Historical Society building.

  5. Just a guess – I think the road in the picture is Bridge Street.

  6. View from the cupola of a house on Riverside Ave?

  7. I agree with Edward Bloch. A view from one of the six windows at the top.

  8. Upper floor of WHS looking toward intersection of Main St and Avery Place

  9. Definitely a perspective from the Westport Historical Society looking down Main Street/Avery Place. My second guess would be Riverside Avenue looking down on the Saugatuck River.

  10. From the Saugatuck Church parking lot (west side,) looking west down at the RICHARDS HOUSE building at 8 Myrtle Ave—Mike Laux’s law office is on the 2nd floor and mine is on the 1st floor.

  11. Oops unless Mike Laux installed an iron picket fence in front of 8 Myrtle last night my guess is wrong

  12. Photo challenge #100 honored Westport’s history. Richard Stein, Edward Bloch, Nancy Hunter, Dan Herman and Michelle Saunders are correct: Jo Shields took this photo from the top floor of the Westport Historical Society, looking west toward downtown and the Saugatuck River. Pretty cool! (I think those are the original windows…)

    • Those are actually antique replacement windows – in a manner of speaking. Wheeler House is really an 18th century saltbox entombed within a 19th century Italianate remodel. There was a time when no self respecting modern person would be caught dead in some hay seed colonial era pile. Thus the (then) fashionable extreme makeover. If you poke around a bit in the attic you’ll find evidence of the saltbox’s framing together with the later modifications to same.

      • Quite the transformation. Why mess with nature, especially that of a saltbox?
        Glad to know that some of the original framing has “survived”.

      • Now I’m thinking the Queen should consider downsizing on the eve of renovation.

  13. wasn’t that house once the home of the doyenne of Westport in the 40s and 50s, Mary Baldwin ?

  14. OT – I read in Wikipedia that in addition to Adams, ET Bedford also went to Maple Grove Academy in Westport. Any idea where that was? – Chris Woods

  15. I realize I am a day late and dollar short about Adam’s Academy, but here goes…
    First, to Chris Woods, I think we talked about this before, and Mary Gai seemed to think it on on Ferry Lane East.

    Now, to the Academy…
    The building that housed Adam’s Academy was still used as a school after the Academy closed. My grandfather went to school there as a young man. There is a section in George Penfield Jennings’ book about Greens Farms:
    “The West Long Lots School was a small affair and was long known as the “hut,” and was situated at the intersection of Church Street and Morningside Drive, now the home site of Horatio P. Mills. After the closing of the Greens Farms Academy and the merging of the East and West Long Lots Schools the combined school was held in the academy building. This was made possible by Robert Martin who bought and donated the property to the district.”

    Furthermore, Adam’s Academy was more what at the time would have been called a “Grammar School”. Not the primary, early education but the later preparing for college education.

    Lastly, while it is often assumed that schooling is a new thing, nothing could be further from the truth. Connecticut enacted its first education law in 1650. It required that any settlement or parish of more than 50 families engage the services of a school master to teach the children to read. Our Puritan forefathers believed that being able to read the scripture was the best defense against the devil. Settlements of more than 100 families were to also provide a grammar school. The student’s families were expected to pay a tuition, but if they could not afford to do so the costs were to be defrayed by the settlement.

    Of course many children didn’t go to school, because they couldn’t afford it or had “more important” labors at home.