Category Archives: Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge #173

What a difference a comma makes.

Vanessa Bradford’s answer to last week’s photo challenge was: “Mansion Clam House dummy.”*

No, she was not referring to me. She was correctly identifying the subject of Peter Barlow’s photo: the jolly fisherman who for decades sat on the back roof of that popular Saugatuck restaurant. (Now it’s Parker Mansion — and the mannequin is gone.)

She was not the only one who quickly remembered the yellow-slicker clad guy. Others were Fred Cantor, Audrey Hertzel, Molly Alger, Michael Mombello, Andrew Colabella, Dan Herman, Jeff Giannone, Shirlee Gordon, Seth Braunstein, Fred Rubin, Elayne Landau, Diane Silfen, Jana Moorman, Michael Calise, Jacques Voris, Susan Feliciano, Bobbie Herman, Jamie Roth, Ken Palumbo and Amelie Babkie. (Click here for the photo.)

This week’s photo challenge might be harder. Then again, “06880” readers have their eyes open all over town. As always, if you know where in Westport you’d see this scene, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

*The most famous example of the importance of commas: “Lets eat Grandma.”

Photo Challenge #172

It’s been a while.

But last week’s photo challenge stumped even long-time experts/frequent winners Michael Calise, Fred Cantor and Jacques Voris.

For years, Barbara Sherburne has owned a watercolor by Mitchell Hager. She brought it with her when she moved from Westport. It made a great challenge.

The illustration showed a home and barn on Long Lots Road, a couple of houses down east of North Avenue. (Click here to see.)

Everyone is right: It looks like it could be on Morningside Drive, Cross Highway or North Avenue. After many hours, Cheryl McKenna came up with the old Adams house on the corner of Long Lots and North Avenue (later owned and, famously, renovated by Martha Stewart).

That was close enough. The watercolor showed the property next door.

The house still stands, on Long Lots. The barn, though, is gone.

This week’s photo challenge shows not a place, but a guy. If he’s familiar, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Peter Barlow)

Photo Challenge #171

Readers had to reflect hard on last week’s photo challenge.


Peter Barlow’s intriguing image showed homes and office near Belden Place, reflected in the glass of the green office building that hulks on Gorham Island, off Parker Harding Plaza.

Fred Cantor, Michael Calise, Stephanie Ehrman and Mary Ann Batsell guessed Belden Place/215 Main Street. But Edward Bloch and Joelle Harris Malec were most precise, noting the reflective building (which replaced a much more bucolic Victorian house, more than 30 years ago). Click here for the great photo, and all guesses.

This week’s photo challenge has a twist. Barbara Sherburne sent me a gorgeous watercolor, by Mitchell Hager. She thinks she knows where it is — but she’s not sure.

If you know, click “Comments” below. Then tell us a bit more about the house!

Photo Challenge #170

Burying Hill Beach may or may not have been a burial ground for the Native Americans who lived here long ago, or the early settlers who displaced them.

It may also be Westport’s least-known beach — or finest gem.

But Burying Hill definitely was the subject of last week’s photo challenge. Larry Untermeyer captured it in all its often overlooked glory. Click here for his compelling photo.

Lawrence Zlatkin, Fred Cantor, Ralph Balducci, Stephanie Ehrman, Michael Calise, Barbara Sherburne, Wendy Cusick, Will Luedke, Jonathan McClure, Linda Amos, Diane Bosch, Jalna Jaeger, Seth Goltzer, Mary Jennings and Mary Ann Batsell all know Burying Hill — and all correctly identified Larry’s image.

And — as she often does — Wendy added important historical context (thanks to

The generations came and went. The first colonial settlers were interred at “Burying Hill” on the Sound until 1725, when a new colonial burying ground was established (and still exists) west of Muddy Brook beside the Country (now Green’s Farms) Road. Little was left of the original cemetery when the Town of Westport took over Burying Hill for a town park and beach in 1893; and no evidence remains today of that spot’s “ancient history.”

For this week’s challenge, please identify the exact spot where Peter Barlow took his photo. Be as specific as possible when you click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Peter Barlow)


Photo Challenge #169

Last week’s photo challenge hit the sweet spot.

There were several good (but wrong) guesses. Some correct ones. And added historical information/background from a very alert “06880” reader.

Molly Alger’s photo showed — as Morley Boyd and Wendy Cusick knew — the stone pillars in front of the glass office building on Post Road West, opposite Marion Road at the Norwalk border. (Heading toward town, it’s on the right.  Click here for the photo, and all the guesses, on-target and off.)

Wendy explains:

That office park was once a house, I believe. It might have been set off the road. Pillars like these were known as decorative survey markers. In this case they possibly marked an entrance or right of way to the property.

The property was probably a lot larger. It was probably divided up and sold as lots in the 1970s. The office park was built in 1978 or ’79. I remember it being a gleaming new glass building.

Here is this week’s challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see it, please click “Comments” below.

O course, back stories are always welcome!

(Photo/Larry Untermeyer)

Photo Challenge #168

In 1906, Westport got a library.

It was a gift from Morris Jesup. A successful businessman, whose money came from selling railroad supplies, he endowed the building on on the Post Road (then called State Street), near Main Street.

The cornerstone was laid in 1906. Michael Calise, Daine Silfen, Matt Murray. Michael Brennecke, Stephanie Ehrman, Rosalie Kaye, Lawrence Zlatin, Janice Strizever, Robert Mitchell, Bobbie Herman, Eva Lopez Reyman, Jonathan McClure, Seth Goltzer and Dede Fitch all recognized Lynn U. Miller’s image. To see last week’s photo challenge, click here.

The library grew, expanded west, then took over the 2nd floor. In 1986 it had outgrown its original home, and moved across the street, past Jesup Road and up the hill, to landfill that had once been the town dump.

The old library is home now to (among others) HSBC Bank, Starbucks and Freshii.

Today, the library is in the midst of another transformation. But none of it would have been possible without Jesup’s philanthropy.

The Westport Library was not Jesup’s only gift. He was a major benefactor of the American Museum of Natural History. He also commissioned a 5-year anthropological expedition to Alaska and Siberia. The northernmost piece of land in the world, at the tip of Greenland, is named Cape Morris Jesup.

In 1908 — just before he died — he donated his old home as a parsonage for the Saugatuck Congregational Church.

This week’s photo challenge comes from Molly Alger. If you know where in Westport you’d find this Stonehenge-like formation, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

Photo Challenge #167

The “new” Levitt Pavilion is less than 4 years old. But it’s an integral part of Westport.

It’s still 3 months before the new season begins. Still, Michael Calise, Andrew Colabella, Fred Cantor, Ben Berkley, Janice Strizever, Martin Gitlin, Lynn Wilson, Ellen Wentworth, Cindy Zuckerbrod, Shirlee Gordon, Seth Goltzer, Morley Boyd, Stephanie Ehrman, Lois Himes, Linda Amos, Mark Demmerle, Erik Ostbye and Myra Skluth all knew that last week’s photo challenge showed a bit of the riverside entertainment complex. (Click here for Larry Untermeyer’s photo.)

Here’s this week’s challenge. If you know where it is — and have more details than “something erected in 1906” — click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Photo Challenge #166

I guess everyone knew who William “Doc” Skerlick was but me.

Betsy P. Kahn’s photo challenge last week showed a sign honoring the guy. I’d never heard of him — or seen the sign.

But tons of alert “06880” readers knew it hangs at the Saugatuck Trout Management Area on Ford Road. And most of those readers knew who Doc was too.

Michael Calise, David Sampson, Fred Cantor, Jill Turner Odice, Jonathan McClure, Peter Hirst, Mark Saboslai, Bill Blaufuss and Jeff Lea nailed it. Many added interesting details. (Click here for the photo and all responses.)

The best background info came from Peter Hirst (who got it from Dick Alley’s blog). Here is everything you need to know about Doc:

Doc fished both fresh and salt water, kept a daily journal on each and every trip and kept and froze many of his fish. He would fish trout from the beginning of every season until Memorial Day and then switch to another species. He had a goal of a designated number of snapper blues every late summer and early fall, and would end up cooking them for one or more of the many organizations he belonged to. Doc belonged to the Westport Striped Bass Club, Westport Fish & Game, Newtown Fish & Game, Trout Unlimited and many more and seldom missed a meeting. He would drive up to Hartford on any conservation issue.

Doc loved Country music and played a mean harmonica. He traveled to many music festivals and was popular among other attendee’s.

Doc was most of all a teacher. He loved teaching kids how to fish, especially those who ventured into the fly-fishing area which eventually bore his name. He tied flies and made lures and had displays of many of his creations which he was happy to show and talk about wherever anyone made a request.

For even more on Doc, click here.

This week’s challenge has nothing to do with fly fishing. But if you know where in Westport you’d see it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Larry Untermeyer)



Photo Challenge #165

Last week’s high-tech photo challenge image could be found at a fairly low-tech spot.

Gene Borio’s shot showed a sleek, silver apparatus at the Westport train station.

The best description came from Lee Emery: “Random charging station on the train platform. Just appeared one day.”

John D. McCarthy, Lawrence J. Zlatkin and Jonathan McClure also recognized the device, and knew why it was there.  Also nailing the site: Earl Carlyss.

Apparently, most commuters do what they’ve always done: Just look past their surroundings, and wait for the train. (Click here to see what it looks like.)

This week’s photo challenge is a 2-fer:

(Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

  1. Where in Westport would you see this? And
  2. Who the heck was Doc Skerlick?

If you know, click “Comments” below.

Photo Challenge #164

I’m not a playground person.

But Anne Bernier and Peter Boyd are. Which is why they were the only “06880” reader to correctly identify last week’s photo challenge. It was a closeup of part of the playground at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. (Click here for Thomas Quealy’s shot.)

Located right downtown — directly across from Aux Delices — it looks very inviting. Little kids romp there during the day.

But no one knows whether it’s open to the public, or limited only to the pre-school.

Maybe that’s why no one — besides Anne and Peter — knew the photo challenge answer.

Here’s this week’s image. If you think you know where — or what — it is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Gene Borio)