A couple of days ago, I posted a photo of the end of a well-known house.
Toni Cunningham’s Soundview Drive home — familiar to every Compo Beach goer, and the longtime unofficial headquarters of the Compo Beach Improvement Association — fell to the wrecking ball this week.
It was a poignant shot (click here to see).
But there’s much more to the house than my brief summary.
Alert “06880” resident Tom Leyden — a longtime beach neighborhood resident — quickly sent along this photo. It’s from 1920 — and it shows the Cunningham house standing almost alone on the road.
In the distance is the vast pavilion — with a 2nd floor. It was the site of big dances and other gatherings, until a hurricane roared through
But wait! There’s more!
Tom also sent this photo:
I have a record of 90% of the beach property owners, going back to the original ownership by the Bradleys in 1909.
They mapped their property into lots, mostly 50 x 100. Sam Roodner (of Roodner Court fame in Norwalk) bought up many of the lots, and sold them off during the early 1920s
The Cunningham property was an exception, as Irving Bradley sold to Lockwood in 1911. I’m guessing the house was built around 1915.
According to property records, the Cunningham family bought the house in 1945.
Tom and his family live on lots 88/90.
Paul Lane — longtime Staples High School football coach, who grew up on Soundview, and lives next door to the now-former Cunningham house — has a framed copy of the plot map above.
It hangs on the wall of his home, just a few feet from what is now — once again — an empty lot.