Remarkable Westport Weather

As Westporters worry about friends and relatives in Florida — and we all have them — let’s take a minute to recall that day when a thunderstorm here made national news.

No one alive remembers. It happened in June of 1837.

But it was reported in papers all across America.

For example, a story from Indiana’s Covington Western Constellation — headlined “Remarkable Effects of Lightning” — said:

During a thunderstorm at Westport, Conn. the chimney and one side of the house of Mr. Edwin Wheleer [sic] were literally [sic] torn to atoms — mirrors, chairs, piano, &c. scattered to the four winds of heaven, but out of ten persons in the room, even a young lady escaped, while the stove at which she was sitting was thrown down. A child had just been taken from a cradle which was torn to splinters. About 150 panes of glass were broken.

The paper misspelled Edwin Wheeler’s name.

But — according to alert “06880” reader and amateur local historian Mary Palmieri Gai, who found the article — the rest of his building survived.

How do we know?

Today’s it’s called Wheeler House — the handsome home of the Westport Historical Society.

Who knew there was so much history right in Historical Society headquarters?

Wheeler House — the Westport Historical Society’s Avery Place home — in a painting by famed local artist Stevan Dohanos.

3 responses to “Remarkable Westport Weather

  1. i think Mary Baldwin lived in this house in the 40s.

  2. The name “Wheeler” is being kept alive by the Westport Historical Society’s very popular folk series led by Suzanne Sheridan – it’s called “Coffeehouse at the Wheeler’s” and everyone is invited.

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