Friday Flashback #336

A Pic of the Day last week showed the Merritt Parkway Saugatuck River bridge by the Westport Weston Family YMCA. Michael Tomashefsky captured an iconic local scene.

(Photo/Michael Tomashefsky)

It’s also timeless.

Compare the photo above — taken in 2023 — with this one by Peter Barlow, from around 1955:

(Photo/Peter Barlow)

Only Camp Mahackeno — not the entire Y — was at the site then.

There was a lot less traffic on the parkway.

But you can’t see any of that from these photos. It’s hard to believe they were taken nearly 70 years apart.

(Every Friday, “06880” takes you back into Westport’s past. To help ensure “06880”‘s future, please click here with a contribution. Thank you!)

7 responses to “Friday Flashback #336

  1. Beautiful photos. I remember going to that camp..and arts and crafts..and swimming in the river.

  2. Fascinating! I have a book about the Merritt Parkway filled with black & white photographs. When I first saw Michael Tomashevsky’s photo, I thought it was one of the archival photos. Michael’s photo even captures the faint bluish tint of the old B&W Kodak film from the 1950’s.

  3. I was at Camp Mahackeno in 1955, between 2nd & 3rd grades. Lou Dorsey was there, and I had a counselor named Jimmy Blue. Mr. Lockwood drove the bus to the camp-bus 9, -one of his pre-WW2 busses with the school bus insignia blacked out. There were 2 building adjacent to the river with each camp group having a stand up on the hill. There were only boy campers, but teenage girl counselors–I remember one named Stephanie. We had rowboats and canoes and I never understood how one never went over the falls to the south.

    • I remember Bill Lockwood driving bus #1 which I believe was bought in 1939. He always had that wad of chewing tobacco in his mouth and his shirt was always stained. He had zero tolerance for anyone misbehaving on his bus!

  4. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    I think I said this before. In ‘64 I jumped off this bridge on a dare from Jimmy MacDonald. I hit the water so hard that my jeans split and fell off me. I’m curious as to if it’s still possible to do it or if they’ve installed some kind of barrier. There weren’t any back then.

    • No barrier, but it’s not the height that will harm you, it’s the lack of depth in the area beneath the bridge. I canoe up there often and it’s too shallow for jumping (and I’ve jumped off of plenty of sketchy bridges and rocks!)

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

        I remember back in ‘64 when I did the big leap of faith there was a rumor that the DOT had put boulders in the water to deter people from jumping but it was too cold for me to wade in first to verify the rumor so I just said a prayer and jumped. Obviously as the son of a Democrat I trusted that the government would never do anything sneaky like that. And guess what!!! They didn’t!!!

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