Friday Flashback #275

There was no better illustrator of Westport life than Stevan Dohanos.

And there’s no better time to look back at one of his many Saturday Evening Post works — one that showed our town off to a national audience — than today, a week before Christmas.

The piece is “Christmas in Westport.”

Using a mundane scene — postal carriers (“postmen,” we called them then) heading out to deliver cards and packages, in the snow — he showed both the hard work and joy of the holidays.

If the setting looks familiar: It is. From the 1930s through ’90s, the building that is now Design Within Reach served as our real (non-rinky-dink) post office. The loading dock was on the east side, facing Bay Street — where the patio is today south side, facing the building across the Post Road.

Dohanos — a longtime Westporter who designed not only magazine covers but postage stamps, World War II patriotic posters and more — used artistic license to move the Saugatuck Congregational Church across the street.

No problem. Our postmen knew exactly where to find it — and every other customer on their route.

5 responses to “Friday Flashback #275

  1. This would make a wonderful Christmas card!

  2. I was lucky enough to work with Mr. Dohanos’ granddaughter back in the late 80s/early 90s. I fondly recall a time when Mr. Dohanos had gone away and had arranged to have his granddaughter check-in on his house and grounds to make sure all was well. I accompanied her on one of those trips and was treated to an insider’s view of his studio. It was a thrill I’ll never forget.

  3. Did they move the loading dock? When I knew it the loading dock was on the south side, facing Jesup Road, you entered it from Bay Street but it looked directly on the building that used to be the Boyd Building, owned by John Boyd, Esq who practiced out of the top floor.

  4. Arthur C Schoeller

    The steeple in the background looks like the one for Saugatuck Congregational Church. This angle would mean the date for this would be AFTER the church was moved across the Post Road.

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