Category Archives: Photo Challenge

Photo Challenge #121

Some of our photo challenges are easy. Some are hard.

But I don’t think I’ve ever posted one where a number of people get the right answer — but even more guess the same wrong answer.

Last week’s photo showed a picnic bench near some water. It could very well have been taken from the top of Burying Hill, looking out at Long Island Sound below.

Seven people thought it was.

But Seth Schachter actually shot the image at ground level. The bench was at Sherwood Mill Pond Preserve — the former site of Allen’s Clam House, now a wonderful, peaceful spot with tons of native grasses and plants. (Click here for the photo, and all the other wrong guesses.)

Chris Swan was the first person to answer (and he nailed it). Good thing, too — he’s been a member of the Sherwood Mill Pond Advisory Committee since its inception in 2005. (Plus, he grew up — and still lives — nearby.)

Kudos too to Matt Murray (another neighbor), Joyce Barnhart, Golda Villa, Kimberly Englander Leonard and Rebecca Wolin. I’m sure they all enjoy the preserve’s quiet beauty.

Now you can too. But ssshhh — don’t tell anyone!

This week’s photo challenge also includes a bit of water. Click “Comments” below if you know where it is.

Photo Challenge #120

And I thought no one from Westport ever goes to Sherwood Island!

It took Brandon Malin just 3 minutes — and 8 other alert “06880” readers not much longer — to identify last week’s photo challenge as the model airplane field at Connecticut’s 1st state park. (Click here for the image.)

Seems the 232-acre facility — including the “runway” — is not as unknown as I thought.

At least not to Brandon, Matt Murray, Linda Amos, Seth Schachter, Seth Braunstein, Jonathan Maddock, Golda Villa, Rick Benson and Don Jacobs.

Seth Schachter’s a 2-fer. He nailed last week’s photo challenge — and is the photographer of this one:

(Photo/Seth Schachter)

If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

Photo Challenge #119

Last week’s photo challenge was posted the day after April Fool’s.

It was a bit of a joke — a postcard image labeled “View along Main Street, Saugatuck.” (Click here to see.)

Of course, there’s no Main Street in our Saugatuck. But there is in Saugatuck, Michigan.

Fred Cantor, Bobbie Herman, Peter Hirst, Rod Hurtuk and Mary Palmieri Gai all knew that there’s more than one Saugatuck in the world.

But wait! Elaine Marino — who seems to be Westport (Connecticut)’s foremost expert on Saugatuck, Michigan — commented that the postcard was mislabeled. She said it was actually the corner of Butler and Mason Streets. She added a few more factoids, including that the Michigan town’s founder was originally from Hartford. Yes, the Connecticut one.

Then Morley Boyd pointed out that there actually was a Main Street in our Saugatuck. It’s the same one that’s downtown today. The address was once Main Street, Saugatuck, because Westport was not named (and incorporated) until 1835.

However, we still do not have a Butler or Mason Street.

On now to this week’s photo challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this strange sign, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Ed Simek)

Photo Challenge #118

Westporters love Compo Beach.

We love its boardwalk, marina, playground, pavilion, seawall and its outdoor showers.

When “06880” readers saw Lynn U. Miller’s photo challenge last week — a smiley face drawn in concrete (click here to see)– they were pretty sure it was taken at the beach.

But they guessed every place above. And every guess was wrong.

Finally — 9 hours — Nancy Hunter nailed it, on her final try:

The cannons.

The face can be seen at the base of the cannons, facing the water. Lynn says it’s been there a while.

But it took almost an entire day for Westporters to get the correct answer.

And the one who got it lives a continent away, in British Columbia.

This week’s challenge seems obvious. The postcard says it right there: Main Street, Saugatuck.

(Postcard courtesy of Seth Schachter)

Wait! There’s no “Main Street” in Saugatuck!

But the postcard is correct. If you can identify the scene above, click “Comments” below.

Photo Challenge #117

Last week’s photo challenge was different. It was a portrait of an old guy, hanging in a private home.

Some people thought it was unfair. They guessed every famous Westporter — except Morris Ketchum. (The photo — circa 1850s, which you can see by clicking here — comes from Bob Ketchum. He’s Morris’ great-great-grandson, living far from Connecticut. Bob sent it to me, saying, “very little family lore was passed down” before his father — also named Morris — died.)

Finally, Pam Romano zeroed in on him.

So who was Morris Ketchum?

Bob’s great-great-grandfather helped bring the railroad to Westport. According to Woody Klein’s book he lived a couple of miles away, on a 500-acre estate called Hockanum. Consisting of parks, farmlands, wheat fields, vineyards, forests and gardens, it was considered one of the nation’s most beautiful estates. It was designed by Ketchum’s friend, Frederick Law Olmsted (who also designed Central Park).

Born in 1796 in New York state, he came to Westport as a youth. Married to a member of the Burr family, Ketchum made his money in the cotton trade. He founded one of the first cotton commission houses in the country, in New York City. That led to his interest in the newly developing transportation network of railroads (with another wealthy Westporter, Horace Staples). That led to his role as a titan on Wall Street.

Hockanum — known now most as the place Abraham Lincoln allegedly slept at while here to raise money for the Civil War — still stands, on Cross Highway. Ketchum’s land — from Roseville Road all the way north to the Merritt Parkway and Lyons Plains — has been largely developed.

Morris Ketchum Jesup — who provided funds for the Westport Public Library building on the Post Road in 1908, shortly before his death — was Morris Ketchum’s godson. Morris Ketchum had been a close friend of Jesup’s father, who died when Jesup was young.

Got all that?!

Now you can smile at this week’s photo challenge. And stop complaining: It’s as Westport as Westport gets.

Click “Comments” below if you think you know where this is:

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Photo Challenge #116

Two weeks ago, only 2 readers knew that the pay phone in our photo challenge was located in the Sherwood Diner parking lot.

But it took Art Schoeller only 4 minutes to post that last week’s Lynn U. Miller image — showing a collage of scenes from Staples Players’ shows — can also be found at the diner. This one is just inside the front steps, in the waiting area, foyer or whatever you call it.

Madison Malin, Bill Holden, Phil Hurd, Drew Angus, Mark Lassoff, Jeanine Esposito, Rebecca Wolin and Andrew Colabella all followed quickly. (It was Andrew’s 2nd straight Sherwood/photo challenge win.) Click here for the image, and all the guesses.

I guarantee the rest of you will never again not notice that Players photo at the diner. Or the pay phone.

This week’s photo challenge is a bit different.


It’s easy to tell what this is: a portrait of some guy.

He hangs in a private home. But who is he?

If you think you know, click “Comments” below.

Photo Challenge #115

I knew last week’s photo of a pay phone would be hard.

I didn’t know it would be that tough!

No, it was not the phone at the Merritt Parkway Exit 42 commuter parking lot. It wasn’t at Jr.’s Hot Dog Stand, or the train station. Nor was it at the library, CVS, Longshore or Compo. It wasn’t on Main Street opposite the old Westport Pizzeria, or the walk-in clinic near the Sherwood Diner.

But that last guess was closest.

It was the phone in the diner parking lot, nearest where Bertucci’s once was and Radio Shack is (at least for a few more days). We all see it — but it never registers.

Only 2 readers guessed correctly: Chip Stephens and Andrew Colabella. If I ever see you at the diner, the coffee’s on me.

This week’s photo challenge comes — like the pay phone — from the camera of Lynn U. Miller. If you know where in Westport you’d find it, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Photo Challenge #114

Last week’s challenge was perfect.

It was timely (it looked like an Oscar trophy). It was tough, with several wrong guesses.

But it was not impossible. Elaine Marino was the first — and only — “06880” reader to know that Lynn U. Miller’s image showed one of 2 trophies — there’s a similar one next to it — in the hallway on the lower level of Town Hall, a few feet from the Town Clerk’s office.

They were presented to “Citizens of Westport” by the East Haddam Civic Association, for Best Voter Turnout in the state in the 2000 election (87.54 percent), and the non-presidential year of 2006 (72.7%). Many of us have walked past them often — but never really “seen” them. Click here to see this pretty-cool-to-win trophy again.

This week’s photo challenge again comes from Lynn U. Miller:

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

Again, it’s something many of us see often. But where do we see it? Click “Comments” below.

NOTE TO YOUNGER READERSThe photo shows something called a “pay phone.” Back in the previous century, you would put a dime (later a quarter) in the slot on the upper right. Then you would pick up the “handset” and “call” your parents to come pick you up. Or your friend to say you’d be late.

In fact, you could do anything with it you can do with a smartphone today. Except text, get driving directions, play games, download movies, deposit checks, find someone to hook up with…



Photo Challenge #113

Some photo challenges can be figured out by current Westporters, and those who lived here many years ago. The anchor by Ned Dimes Marina — installed in 1958 — was a great example, 3 weeks ago.

But you need to live here now — or have visited in the past 2 summers — to know last week’s image. John Videler’s shot showed the tile ramp at the “new” Levitt Pavilion, leading down to the lawn. If you’ve never seen it, be sure to stop by next summer — it’s a beauty! (Click here for the photo.)

Congratulations to Eileen Lavigne Flug, Marc Hartog, Cheryl McKenna, Nancy Wilson, Seth Braunstein, Fred Rubin and Seth Goltzer. If there was a prize, you’d get a season’s pass to the Levitt. Oh, wait — it’s free for everyone!

Today’s photo challenge was inspired by tonight’s Academy Awards. Here’s a hint:  It has nothing to do with the Oscars.

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

(Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

If you think you know where in Westport you’d find this beauty, click “Comments” below. Winners won’t get a prize that looks anything like this.

They’ll get something better: Their name on “06880,” next Sunday.

Photo Challenge #112

“06880” readers really know their onions.

Well, their coal, anyway.

Last week’s photo challenge showed an old coal bin, on a couple of yards of rail track.

It’s right on the Saugatuck River, behind Saugatuck Sweets. Gault Energy put it there when Saugatuck Center was being redeveloped (in part by their company) several years ago. It pays homage to the long-ago days when boats brought coal up the river to Gault’s headquarters. The coal made part of its journey by rail, before being delivered to Westport customers. Click here for the photo.

Seth Schachter answered correctly, within 4 minutes of the posting. He was followed quickly by William Adler, Daniel Cummings, Virginia Tienken, Robert Mitchell, Peter Flatow, Jamie Roth, Linda Amos, Seth Goltzer, Josh Moritz and Brandon Malin. Congratulations to all (and thanks to Saugatuck Sweets, whose treats are the reason so many folks are down by the river in the first place).

This week’s photo challenge comes courtesy of John Videler. Coincidentally, he grew up right across the river from where the Gault coal bin now sits.

But his image shows a different place entirely. If you know where it is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/John Videler)

(Photo/John Videler)