Have You Seen The Rotary Club Sign?

For as long as the Red Barn has been on Wilton Road — maybe longer — a sign for the Rotary Club of Westport stood on the side of the road.

Made of handsome cast iron, with a blue background, it noted when and where the club met.

Rick Benson — longtime Rotary member, and the guy you call on whenever something needs doing — had the chains replaced in 1994, and the sign repainted.

The Rotary Club sign. (Photo and artwork/Lynn U. Miller)

The club is ready to put up new signs at 7 prominent gateways to Westport. One will be at the (former) Red Barn site.

Much to their surprise, members discovered recently that the old sign is gone. All that’s left is a vine-encrusted metal post.

Rick canvassed club members. He called a few folks who might have picked it up for themselves. He checked with the Westport Historical Society.

Because he’s that kind of guy, he even had the area scanned with a metal detector.

Nada.

The missing sign, on Wilton Road.

So he’s asking “06880” for help. If you — or anyone you know — has intel on the whereabouts of the Rotary Club’s old sign, email Rick: ben3rb@aol.com.

Or — for complete confidentiality — contact “06880” (dwoog@optonline.net). I’ll get the sign back to Rick, no questions asked.

FUN FACT: The Westport Rotary Club turns 100 on March 7, 2024. That makes it more than a decade older than the Merritt Parkway, whose Exit 41 is near the old (and new) sign.

12 responses to “Have You Seen The Rotary Club Sign?

  1. Matthew Mandell

    I believe the 2 rotaries are working together on putting up new signs. It has not been100 years, but it’s been a while since a new one was put up.

  2. Dan you featured that sign (rather part of it) in your Sunday quiz a couple of years ago and i correctly identified it the very next day i noticed it was gone.

    • This is true. I, too, noticed the sign went missing immediately after the 06880 photo quiz. I think it’s long gone – never to be seen again. A shame. It was a nice vintage sign. Probably the reason why it’s gone!

  3. Joyce Barnhart

    Have any Westport Rotarians been to Sanibel, Florida? The Sanibel (Rotary Club holds an annual arts and crafts fair. They decorate the fence near the admission gate with banners from Rotary Clubs around the country (maybe around the world? – is it an international organization?) Whenever I’ve had to wait in line I’ve looked for a banner from Westport but I’ve never seen one.

  4. Was at the Sanibel Arts and Crafts fair a few weeks ago and looked and looked but did not find a Westport banner, though they had hundreds and hundreds of Rotary banners from all over the country and the world. Can’t believe a well-travelled Westport Rotarian has not visited the Sanibel group!

  5. Jack Harder

    If it wasn’t stolen by some kids I would wonder if maybe the State DOT has it. Since it’s a State road maybe a worker found it and brought it back to the garage.

    • Interestingly, the state has not removed the sign placed by private businesses at the end of the Exit 41 northbound Merritt. It points toward the liquor store on Wilton Road — and says “spirits” — clearly NOT a state sign!

  6. Nancy Wilson

    C’est vrai there is a time to laugh, a time not to laugh and this is not one of them, eh?

  7. Morley Boyd

    What a shame. I really admired that handsome sign and was hoping it was down for repair. On the assumption that it was simply flame cut cold rolled steel with painted graphics, I would encourage Westport Rotary to just replicate it. Not a big deal. I’d suggest contacting Bill Kettle of Kettleworks Steel in Milford to source and cut the steel sign from a template. Also “Signs by Anthony” in Norwalk is an excellent old school sign painter who can then hand paint this to match the feeling of the original. You’ll be back in business in no time – just chain the heck out that thing.