Friday Flashback #124

Saugatuck Shores has been in the news recently.

A new bridge turned out nicely. New guardrails nearby did not.

For months, a boat has been beached just off Harbor Road.

And whenever there’s an astronomical high tide or just a bigger-than-usual weather event, the area floods.

Saugatuck Shores is one of Westport’s most coveted neighborhoods — with real estate prices to match.

That status has come recently. For decades it was a just funky, quirky beachside community.

And — as this 1963 aerial photo shows — there was plenty of room to build.

22 responses to “Friday Flashback #124

  1. Holy cow! That’s the year my family moved to Westport. That is an amazing photo. Since we lived in the Coleytown area, I don’t remember really knowing anyone from Saugatuck Shores til years later, but it always seemed to have a different vibe to it.

  2. Well…I don’t know about funky beach community…I do know that for a long time it was the swamp the poor Italians went to live because they couldn’t afford better.

    • Eleanor Sasso

      Yes, true, my Italian relatives lived there then and enhanced the community with their hard work and strong desire to be good Americans. They learned the language of their new country and refused to speak their native tongue to their children as they wanted it to be easier for them to assimilate.
      Good people, strong and independent, refusing any handouts. Bygone generation.

  3. Adrian J Little

    and now:

  4. Claudia Bradley

    For as far back as I can remember, Saugatuck Shores has always been the area for the “haves”. Growing up on Franklin Street, I always said I was “from the wrong side of the tracks.” LOL

  5. Chip Stephens

    I laugh to myself often while sitting on P and Z when a Saugatuck Shores application comes up and Various state or other environmental “experts “ say not to alter the long standing “natural “ shoreline. The bulk of the SS area is but fill from the construction of I95 in the 50s that filled the swamplands that were the long standing natural environment. And so it goes

    • So the P&Z has contempt for expertise gained in the last 55 years?

      Do they also laugh at asbestos and DDT in those meetings? How about mold in schools? – Chris Woods

  6. Peter J Hannan

    Hind site always provokes some laughs! Austin Sholes shared a story with me that he had the opportunity to buy most of if not the entre island for 18 thousand dollars. He thought at the time that his investment may wash away and declined the offer

  7. The pic shows the Covelee community on the left, the corner of Covelee and Menard Drive at the left edge: our house is just out of view on that corner lot. Across the street on the water side, with the Lyman Islander at the dock, were the Girls. The house on the NW corner was the Hermans, (Chris, Staples 68) next to them Donnelys, (Lucia, mother and daughter). The Cape Cod with the two Dormers to the NE of Donnely were the Riches, (Bobby) and to the east of them, a couple of wonderful ladies we knew only as Else and Carol, who retrieved all our mail by canoe during Hurricane Carol. Out the shot to the left were Masters, Havilands and Pryors (Barbara, Staples 68). Saugatuck Shores was also built from fill from this harbor in the lower half of the pic: this was all salt march when I lived there in the early/mid 50’s. Notice that the pic shows two distinct residential architectural styles: small ranches / Cape Cods(Herman, Donnely , Girls) and Early McMansion, representing pre- and post-dredging of the harbor and I-95 construction. I have a few shots of kids in that neighborhood from about 1955, if you would like them.

  8. Peter Saverine

    Thanks much!

  9. To me this will always be known as Leonards Lagoon.. It’s where we learned to water ski in the mid 60s..

  10. Clark Thiemann

    My dad told me when he was moving to Westport in the mid-60s they were selling empty building lots on Saugatuck Shores for ~$20k. He thought it was outrageous that you would spend that amount of money for land that didn’t even have a house on it!

  11. Michael Calise

    Saugatuck Shores is a great place and a great community. One of Westport’s hidden gems!

  12. Dan Lasley (Laz)

    You have to have a unique outlook on life to voluntarily live somewhere that was subject to salt-water floods 3-4 times a year, sometime several feet deep. Great memories.

  13. Awesome pic. If someone has more, please do share!

  14. I lived on Leonard’s cove…38 Bermuda Rd. when I was a Staples student…when I attended my 50th reunion in 2016 my husband and I drove down Bermuda Rd. and could not find the house I lived in…it had been replaced by a mcmansion that took up the entire lot…Today you can no longer water ski in the lagoon…there loss

  15. Sandra Grunewald Jones

    the comment above was made by Sandy (Sandra Grunewald “64) Jones, wife of Jeffrey.

  16. source of picture?

  17. Tara (Barlow) Carlson

    My family lived on Harbor Rd from the early 1950s-1966. I would’ve been Staples ’69 but we moved to Ridgefield, CT. On the right side of this photo and across from the marina are three houses on Harbor Rd. The Cummings family (kids: Pam, Glenn, Craig and Muriel) lived in the house on the corner of Harbor and Bermuda Rd. My family first lived in the middle house, 22 Harbor Rd. We rented it from the Rowlands, an elderly couple who lived next door in 24 Harbor Rd – in the picture it’s mostly hidden by trees. When the Rowlands decided to sell both properties my parents bought the smaller but charming #24 for 19k. The marshland behind the three houses was inhabited by field mice and fiddler crabs. At certain times of year the marsh would be muddy and spongy with a distinct, pungent low-tide smell.
    Two of the three houses pictured on Bermuda Rd belonged to Leonard families. Tina Leonard was my best friend back then. Her family had a trampoline, a catamaran, TVs in several rooms and a large telescope for watching the activity on the lagoon or looking at the night sky but what I really envied was that they had Charles Chips delivered to their house!
    Two branches of our family lived “over the bridge”. My aunt, uncle and cousins [Karen (married into the Uccellini family, owners of Allen’s Clam House), George, Richard and Dan Miller] were on Ostend Drive, which has been renamed Island Way. My uncle built their house himself and years later became the building inspector of New Canaan. Lillian and Stephen Karl were my mother’s aunt and uncle. In the 1930’s they had one of the few privately owned cottages on Sherwood Island. When the state purchased that property the Karls bought beachfront property on Cockenoe Drive and built a new summer home soon after – today it’s #12 Cockenoe.

    Thank you, Dan, for posting this photo, it brought back many happy memories of my old neighborhood. It was a great place to be a kid!