Friday Flashback #256

Many Westporters are familiar with the iconic “Save Cockenoe Now” poster:











Created by Walter and Naiad Einsel, it helped spur citizens — who then pressured town officials — to purchase the island from United Illuminating.

In a move that sounds unfathomable today, the utility wanted to build a nuclear power plant right there, a mile off Compo Beach.

There was plenty of opposition. But UI had a good deal of support, too.

The Einsels were not the only ones rallying Westporters with artwork. Almost 54 years ago to the day, this was the scene:

(Courtesy of Marian Sawyer)

The campaign worked.

The town paid approximately $200,000 for Cockenoe Island — UI’s purchase price. State and federal funds covered 75% of the cost. Westport now owns Cockenoe — in perpetuity.

Want to know more? Click here, for full details.



7 responses to “Friday Flashback #256

  1. UI never knew what hit them.


    The Best Move Ever!!! Now we need to save Barons South in perpetuity . It’s time for the P&Z and/or the RTM to put a legally binding Deed Restriction on Barons South to the benefit of all Westport Citizens.

  3. We moved to Westport in 1968 and when I heard about this campaign and saw the results I couldn’t believe it. I was so incredibly impressed with the people of the Town of Westport and continue to be very grateful for their remarkable efforts!

  4. maryschmerker

    Michael said it first here but it was my exact thought as I read this post.
    Westport, you can do it! Let’s get on it! Save Baron’s South. You will be glad you did and your children and grandchildren will thank you and be proud!

  5. Wendy Crowther

    I agree with Michael’s and Mary’s comments above. If you missed my 06880 comment a few day’s ago about Baron’s South, here is part of it again:

    . . . It [Baron’s South] doesn’t need re-zoning, games and sports to revitalize it. It needs us to care – to care about its interesting history, its uniqueness, and its rare, oasis-like presence amidst the traffic, intensifying development and the loss of habitat that surround it. Passive use is the perfect use for Baron’s South. Let’s make it this generation’s “save,” like Longshore and Cockenoe Island were 60 and 50 years ago. We’ve never regretted those decisions for a nano-second.

  6. Lisa Podurgiel

    Beautifully said, Wendy. I don’t think a more perfect framing of the decision before us has been written, and I could not agree more.

  7. Sam Febbraio

    Remembering Jo Fox who helped lead the charge on that save.