These Questions Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Coronavirus …

… nor are they particularly important.

But — with time on our hands during the pandemic — why not ponder them?

Alert “06880” reader/longtime Westporter/concerned citizen Arlene Yolles took these 2 photos the other day:

So, she wonders: Which is it? South Compo Road, or Compo Road South?

To which I add, what about Morningside Drive (North and South), (North and South) Turkey Hill Road, Maple Avenue (North and South), and probably others as well?

Damned if I know.

But that brings up a related question: Why is one of these streets a “drive,” another a “road,” and a third an “avenue”?

What’s the difference? They all look alike to me.

And don’t get me started on the proper use of Greens Farms and/or Green’s Farms. Even the post office can’t decide:

(Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

What I do know for sure is, this is definitely wrong:

Feel free to weigh in below. If you’re on one of the drives, roads or avenues mentioned, we’re especially interested in where you think you live.

And why.

48 responses to “These Questions Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Coronavirus …

  1. I lived both at 56 North Maple Avenue and 114 South Morningside Drive, at least that’s how the Federal tax forms read.

  2. Sylvan Road North is generally accepted, but for one utility company that insists on North Sylvan Road. Hoping to normalize geographic names is amusing but impossible.

  3. Gerald F. Romano, Jr.

    Dan,
    Great Trivia questions for a Sunday.
    What is the prize for answering all the question correctly?
    Gerald F. Romano, Jr.

  4. Peter Gambaccini

    For Compo, Turkey Hill, and Morningside, all of which have the Post Road as dividing lines between North and South, the directional word was always first in the title; I remember speaking hundreds of times about “South Compo.” But Sylvan Road South, where I had a job, was always referred to that way, not even once as South Sylvan.

  5. Having lived there, I can state unequivocally that it is Maple Avenue South. And Greens Farms DOES NOT have an apostrophe

    • Bobbie Herman is correct: it was always, always Maple Avenue South. Some how it got turned around to SOUTH Maple Avenue. Same for all the others: the direction followed the name with the notable exception, which proves the rule, of Compo which was always South Compo or North Compo. I always suspected that the Postal Service was the name change culprit.
      On the topic of direction: while a lot of us will say North Main Street, (Think the now gone North Main Street Garage) North Main Street nowhere appears on any Westport maps.

  6. The directional always goes last
    Compo Rd North
    Compo Rd South
    Morningside Dr N
    Etc
    In the last 10 or 15 years or so, I started noticing new arrangements of the street names changing with the purchase of newer mailboxes
    I grew up with Greens Farms Rd being spelled this way.

  7. Our adddress is HIGHWAY
    Ugh. Would prefer Ave,rd or st
    Ave would probably fit best

  8. Bob Weingarten

    The controversy of Green’s Farms versus Greens Farms is not new but the correct spelling is Green’s Farms since the area was name for John Green, the largest land owner of the Bankside Farms. If you want to read an article I wrote about this, send me a note at rwmailbox@aol.com.

    On the word Highway, if you look at the assessor’s data base, it is HWY and Parkway is PKWY. North and South are N and S. The word street is ST, etc. Naturally it is up to the owner to decide to use the abbreviated form and the entire word, which looks better.

    • Bob — “Greens Farms” is a charming local colloquialism that was used for many years, until Metro-North repainted the railroad station and added the apostrophe. Then the post office followed. I think it would have been better if they had minded their own business.

  9. Ann Marie Urciuoli Allard

    I say ask the post office And town hall their history and Purpose in changing. It’s a history lesson
    I’ve been going through my Dad’s letters he wrote to his Mom who lived on Compo Road While he was serving In WWII years 1941-1945.
    The house number and address in 1941-1945 was 584 South Compo Road,Saugatuck CT I lived there until early 1960’s and during that time it became 213 South Compo Road Westport CT
    I moved away in 1968 and It is now 213 Compo Road South Westport CT So I dunno????the answer but would enjoy hearing. Was it the population surge here and need for schools to change Kinda like all the phone number changes too. WESTPORT exploded in popularity and people. ???..what’s going to Happen as NY folks flee for the burbs???!

  10. Judith Marks-White

    Aside from Drive, Road and Avenue, I live on Evergreen Parkway. aptly named for a bucolic spot with a strip of grass, sometimes planted with trees, flowers or shrubs between the curb. Also known as a median.
    For me, it’s my idyllic spot that is situated between Gorham Avenue and Evergreen Avenue. and includes the nicest neighbors ever.

  11. To Wendy C. The direction does not always go last. Occasionally somebody always changes the rules.” West Branch Road “. It Happens!! Stay Healthy everyone.!

    • Peter Gambaccini

      That’s not the same situation. West Branch is a branch off of Weston Road , and there is no East Branch Road.

      • Correct. They’re no East Branch
        West Branch Rd with a sign that says at the intersection Westport side and Weston Side.
        And added twist West Branch Rd West which is on the Westport side

      • Hello Peter, I believe the West Branch Rd was named because it runs alongside the West Branch River which is part of the Saugatuck river system.

        • Peter Gambaccini

          I did not know that. Thanks. But that would actually be another reason why it’s called West Branch Road and not Branch West Road.

    • I knew someone that lived on West Branch Rd Weston side.
      Residents in town would call it with directional first.
      Out of towners (Norwalk Weston) would use both interchangeable “we need South Compo to make this connection to Green’s Farms” or ‘Where’s Geiger’s Morningside Dr which side North”
      I used to go to the Flower Farm.
      As Dad was driving up along US RT 1, he would say “it’s Turkey Hill we’re looking for… Mom would say we need south, Turkey Hill South”.
      For those of you who don’t know The Flower Farm was a lovely plant nursery with a gorgeous greenhouse with mature trees inside and delicate plants with a pick your own area in what is now a dense residential neighborhood. The owners were very nice and it was treat to check out the greenhouse. I was able to go their from the very early ’70s to the mid ’90’s when it was sold now it’s these huge houses with no character. There’s a section of the old Flower Farm that has never been developed, either the family still owns part of it or nothing can be built on it because of what’s underground and it’s unstable.
      Miss that place….

  12. Bob Weingarten

    Ann Marie, I do historical research of homes in Westport and have found that in 1960, the street number of most houses were changed. For instance, in the 1950 Westport Street Directory, all Compo Rd North and South were called together Compo Rd and consisted of 616 house number addresses.
    Yours was 584 Compo Rd with the name of Ureuioli, C Mrs. While in the 1961 Westport Street Directory, there were 160 houses numbered for Compo Rd North and 342 houses numbered for Compo Rd South. House number 213 Compo Rd South was for Urciuoli, Carmella Mrs..

    I never looked into the reason that most street numbers were changed in 1960 but believe it was for either the fire department or post office, but not sure. i do know they were changed. So researching a house, using the directory, is done with position and neighbor names in directories rather the house numbers, especially finding a house before and after 1960.

    Addresses were changed for most of the houses in Westport around 1960. For a complete set of street directories, one needs to go to either the WHS or library, when they are open.

  13. Cathy Barnett

    I have often wondered why Hillspoint Rd doesn’t have a north/south designation: South being GF intersection to Sound View Drive at the stop sign, North to PRE. It might help to clarify. Also North Ave also runs north/south at Cross Hwy intersection. It might sound strange North North Ave, South North Ave!

    • Peter Gambaccini

      Cathy, it seems to apply mostly to roads that are on both sides of the Post Road … what you say about Hillspoint could be said about other places like Bayberry Lane, which is both south and north of Easton Road.

      • Also, if you use Greens Farms Road as the dividing line, what happens to Compo Road South (aka South Compo Road), which is bisected by that street?

  14. Jack ( knows his streets) Backiel

    Grammar dictates that the adjective comes before the noun. It’s South Maple Avenue and South Morningside Drive and North Maple Avenue! Unless you’re speaking Spanish, you don’t say “the car blue.” You say “the blue car.”

  15. are there any. in Westport that are just “Street”?

  16. Here’s something interesting. In Columbia, Maryland, 30 miles north of DC, there are no street names that have the same name of any of the surrounding towns. In other words, any street name in Columbia can’t be found in an adjoining or surrounding town!

  17. This sort of thing is not unique to Westport or to Connecticut. When my parents moved to the Chicago area, they lived on a street called Kimberly Road or Kimberley Road, depending on which sign you believed. Several miles from where they lived was a bridge over the Fox River. The road that approached the bridge from the west was called Rawson Bridge Road. The road that approached the bridge from the south and that intersected Rawson Bridge Road just west of the river was called Rowson Bridge Road. The road to the east of the bridge, if you believed the sign at the intersection with State Highway 175, was Rowsen Road.

  18. Since we’re on the topic streets and history, Bayberry Lane where the Newman Poses Preserve is located (and a small bridge that’s in serious need of a new deck it’s one lane of traffic) was called Bayberry Lane Extension. It was a new street developed and it was a dead end. White Birch Rd from Weston didn’t connect. White Birch also had a Westport side and a Weston side.
    This was long before the Newman Preserve and Tall Pines Taylor Woods Preserve was a reality.
    Then some time in the ’90s Bayberry and White Birch were connected.
    They built quite a bit of housing in this area on both sides of the border

  19. I live on Mansfield Place, which is just off Compo South or South Compo! I use whichever name feels right in the moment but I prefer Compo South because it’s less commonplace!

  20. I asked Dan this very important question a while ago: why do we pronounce Westport as “Wessport” but we pronounce Weston with a hard T? Is there a back story?

    • Good question. In the 70 years that I have lived in or near “Wessport” I never thought of that. Actually I lived (literally) right on the Weston (not Wesson LOL) side of the border.

  21. Sylvan Road, where I grew up, was never called North until much later. We also didn’t have street numbers. But the part of the road south of the Post Road was called South Sylvan a lot earlier.
    I think putting the direction after the name is a slight affectation.

  22. Don’t forget Lyons/Lyon’s/Lyon Plains!

  23. I have a similar situation twenty miles to the east in Orange. There is a road that is less than half a mile long and the street sign at one end says “Valleybrook Road” and the street sign at the other end says “Valley Brook Road”. I asked at the town hall and just got blank looks and shrugs. According to the map submitted by the developer, it’s one word and the USPS agrees, but who knows.

  24. Before I moved to Westport in 1983, I lived in a very confusing location. It had a White Plains mailing address, but it wasn’t in White Plains. It was in an area called “Unincorporated Greenburgh,” and was about five miles west of White Plains.

    To make it even more confusing, the street I lived on was Rockinchair Road. “Rockinchair” did not have a G in it. None of the street signs had a G. But the telephone company insisted in putting the G in the address in the phone books. I haven’t been back there in years, but I wonder if the street signs still don’t have the G, or did someone, in their infinite wisdom, change them.

    Sort of like Greens Farms, I think.

  25. Daryl Styner-Presley

    I was always told, that I live on Morningside Drive North vs. Morningside Drive South.

  26. Before it was the Cribari Bridge, it was the Bridge Street Bridge, carrying Bridge Street over the Saugatuck River. Without a bridge, it would make no sense to name the street Bridge Street. But unless Bridge Street was named, why would the bridge be named the Bridge Street Bridge? How did this happen?

  27. Elizabeth Thibault

    From a data administration standpoint, adding the direction at the end actually makes it easier to keep the files for the roads near each other in the system, because if you sort by road name, they’ll be sorted together.
    Who knows when things started being flipped to the end? Maybe it coincided with the adoption of new fangled systems?

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