Friday Flashback #266

From time to time, our Friday Flashback visits Fountain Square. That’s the Post Road/Main Street intersection. Early in the 20th century — dominated by a large fountain (aka horse trough) — it’s where townspeople gathered to conduct business, socialize, and water their horses.

It was also known as “Hotel Square.” Prior to construction of the YMCA in 1923, the Westport Hotel stood on the corner.

Last weekend, Gitta Selva went to a flea market in New Milford. She bought a plate that depicts Hotel Square. The seller found it while cleaning out her mother’s house in Westport.

The inscription says it was reproduced from an original mural by Westport artist Robert Lambdin (1886-1981). It shows a street scene from 1875-1880, including the Westport Hotel.

There was plenty of action: well-dressed people bustling around a horse-drawn trolley, a horse drinking at the trough, others nearby at the hotel.

Lambdin’s mural hung in the Westport Bank & Trust building. Today it’s Patagonia — a few yards away from the scene shown on the plate.

The hotel is at the current site of Anthropologie. The trough is on Main Street. The white house behind it is where Patagonia is now. It looks quite a bit like the house that was converted a few years ago into the Spotted Horse restaurant.

If so, was that house moved later to its present site? Did Lambdin take artistic liberty with what he drew?

Click “Comments” below if you know. And if you are 100 years old and remember “Fountain Square,” we’d love to hear more!

5 responses to “Friday Flashback #266

  1. Mary Palmieri Gai

    Yes. It was moved. I researched this years ago…I’m not with my computer now but i am certain it was moved and that was the house. it was a fine house. It also had a public watering spot the people used to wash their horses and clean carriages until it became a public hazard and people complained a lot. But yes. It was moved and it is now the spotted horse.

  2. Was it The Sherwood House?

  3. Jack (Eagle eye) Backiel

    Mary, Dan published a picture not long ago with horses drinking out of the watering trough and the men in the picture had face masks on. Yours truly was the one who spotted the masks in the picture and pointed it out!

  4. Dorrie Barlow Thomas

    Didn’t Patagonia leave the original Westport Bank & Trust murals in tact? I seem to remember seeing them one time when I was in town and went in there just to see the old space. (and the credit for saving them really goes to several post-WB&T banks before Patagonia stepped in)

  5. I wonder who kept the trough filled with water and where did they get the water. And I think one would have to be quite a bit more than 100 to remember Fountain Square. But I remember the murals in the bank.

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