This is the second in “06880”‘s series highlighting Westport’s roads.
John W. and Katherine Keene were longtime Westporters. In 1953 he bought a tract of land off North Morningside Drive, just south of Long Lots Road.
A house on the property had been built in the 1920s. It faced Morningside.
Keene built 9 more homes. He kept one for himself, and sold the rest.
The first house he built — typical of the new development, called Keene’s Estates — had 7 rooms and 2 bathrooms, plus a 1-car attached garage. It sold for $20,000.
Keene was active in the VFW. After retiring, he joined the Westport Fire Department. Katherine died in 1968, He died the following year.
Dale Lamberty bought the Keenes’ house. She worked with her friend Martha Stewart in the fledgling “Market Basket” business selling baked goods. She also baked with Sarah Gross, and founded Great Cakes.
Lamberty died 4 years ago. Her house now has only its 3rd owner in 6 decades.
That’s typical of Keene Road (the name was changed from Keene Estates). It’s a quiet, friendly, private and tight-knit community.
Five of the original homes remain. Four replaced teardown. Residents include a mix of old-timers, and families with young kids. Everyone knows their neighbors, a homeowner says.
A stream runs underneath the road, near Morningside. Children gather there to catch frogs. Deer and foxes are frequent visitors.
Yet Keene Road is prized for its proximity to plenty: Staples High School, Bedford Middle School, the Burr Farms athletic fields, and the Post Road.
It’s a true blend of old Westport and new. John Keene would be pleased that his “estates” have stood the test of time.
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