Photo Challenge #135

One mystery was solved with last week’s photo challenge: The image by Seth Schachter showed Dead Man’s (or is it Deadman’s?) Brook, as it runs through Sconset Square before disappearing underneath the Post Road on its way to Imperial Avenue. (Click here for the photo, plus all the correct — and incorrect — guesses.)

But another mystery remains:  Why the name? No one answered that question. If you’ve got a clue, feel free to comment here.

Vanessa Bradford, Rich Stein, Elaine Marino, Michael Brennecke, Don Chambers, Jill Turner Odice, Edward Bloch, Mary Cookman Schmerker and Seth Braunstein all knew exactly what the photo showed. Fred Cantor, Amy Ancel and John Terpening came close — but had the wrong side of the Post Road.

Here is this week’s challenge. If you know where in Westport it is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

22 responses to “Photo Challenge #135

  1. dog park

  2. This is at the Westport Humaine Society.

  3. Westport Connecticut Humaine Society
    Near Steinway Pianos
    Post Road

  4. Angela Simpson

    That’s at the Humane Society, where I just started volunteering! 🙂

  5. jacquesvoris

    The legend that I have heard is that a returning soldier, distraught by what he had seen and done in the war, killed himself by drowning in the brook.

    • Morley Boyd

      That’s interesting, I’ve heard a story that also involves a soldier; that the brook’s name is a reference to a dead Redcoat that was discovered in it once.

      • does not this brook have its origin up in the old Congregational cemetery
        (in which my parents Jane and Nick lie next to friends Ginny and Wakie), and then wend its way down the bottom of the old Westport Sanitarium property and down into town ?
        that might possibly be the source of that moniker… i think there is an old interview on this blog of the violinist Cathy Betts uncle, in which he speaks of this brook and cleaning up the old cemetery.

        • Buell, you’ve got a great memory. Here’s the interview with Elwood Betts. It mentions Dead Man’s Brook, but just in (humorous) passing. Thanks for reminding me!

        • Morley Boyd

          Buell, I sure miss Elwood Betts. He was a really fine man and was always up for cemetery clean up days. You are correct that the brook passes behind the cemetery on Evergreen Ave (just after joining forces with tiny Darbrook). But it actually starts up around Sturges Highway above Cross Highway and then flows under Cross Highway near Silent Grove through a nice stone culvert of the sort that the town likes destroy – oops, I mean improve.

          • yo, Morley, next time you are up there, please say hello to Jane and Roger,
            my mom and dad, and their next door neighbors, Virginia and Hereward Wake. hope they are not covered in poison ivy, like the last time i was there. that’s when i heard music coming out the house next to the cemetery fence; it was Ric von Schmidt, playing a Leadbelly record !

            • Mary Cookman Schmerker '58

              I love the way this has totally taken off from the Dog Park. Buell, when I am in Westport in late August I’ll pay my respects to your parents when I do the same for my grandmother, mother and brother at Evergreen. I love the mention of the Betts family. Kathy struggled to teach me to play the violin and I remember her playing, I think she was first chair, with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. Great memories of wonderful families.
              And the mystery of Dead Man’s Brook, all solved in one Blog Entry by Dan. Sorry Dog Park you were demoted to second fiddle this week.

            • Morley Boyd

              I will gladly do that, Buell. I need to check in on some others there as well.

  6. Susan Huppi

    I was thinking the dog park

  7. Ellen Greenberg


  8. Dorian Barth

    The Humane Society.

  9. This was taken at … the Humane Society (Post Road, just up the hill from Compo Shopping Center). Winslow Park (dog park) were not bad guesses though!

  10. Julie Macdonald

    CT Humane society on Post Rd

  11. Philip Weiner

    I believe it had something to do with a dead British soldier found in the brook during the Revolutionary War. Dead Man’s Brook runs by my house and I’m always thinking about that.

  12. Joanne Koeller

    Back to Dead Man’s Brook, which runs through Lehn Farm Road (where some members of the Lehn family still live), my uncle, Richard Goldhurst, always said it was a misspelling of a farmer’s last name (Dedham?). The brook ran through his property. Another theory…

  13. Just so everyone knows, the Connecticut Humane Society where this picture was taken is NOT the Town of Westport’s animal shelter. That is a building on Elaine Road, near the state boat launch, off of Compo Road South. The Humane Society is a private shelter that takes in much of donated money as profit. The town shelter, Westport Animal Control, takes it’s donations in through WASA, the Westport Animal Shelter Advocates, and uses them fully for the benefit of the dogs.