Category Archives: Places

Save Cockenoe: Then And Now

Last month, “06880” previewed Walter and Naiad Einsel’s estate sale. I don’t usually promote that stuff — but the longtime local artists’ Victorian farmhouse was filled with thousands of pieces of folk art, antiques, paintings, prints and advertising items. It seemed like a great Westport tale.

Andrew Bentley was one of the many art lovers who was there. He says it was “more like a folk art museum than a house.”

Andrew wandered past mechanical toys, kinetic sculptures and books of illustrations, on into Naiad’s studio. Magic markers, colored pencils and scissors were all in place, as if she had gone downstairs for coffee.

Thumbing through a stack of posters, he spotted a large envelope. Inside was a shimmer of gold and bronze. Removing it, he discovered a beautiful metallic silk-screened “Save Cockenoe Now” poster.

save-cockenoe-now-poster

Bentley knew it was from the late 1960s, when Westporters opposed a plan to build a nuclear power plant on the island just a mile off Compo Beach. (Click here for that full, crazy story.)

But he’d only seen a black-and-white thumbnail-sized image of the poster, in Woody Klein’s book on the history of Westport.

Suddenly, he held an original. After nearly 50 years, he says, “the colors were still electric.”

Andrew turned to the stranger beside him. He explained that the poster represented a perfect confluence of Westport’s artistic heritage, revolutionary spirit and environmental priorities.

Then, in another Westport tradition, he gathered up as many posters as he could find, negotiated a bulk discount, and made a list of friends in town who deserved a gift.

In 1967, Westporters saved Cockenoe.

In 2016, Andrew saved its posters.

Both stories are worth telling.

(PS: Andrew Bentley designed the logo for The Flat — the new Railroad Place spot that mixes design, art and objects with contemporary lighting, accessories and jewelry. Owner Becky Goss has a few framed Save Cockenoe Now posters there, ready for sale.)

 

Morning Mountains

nashs-pond-december-1-2016-tricia-freeman

Click on or hover over to enlarge. (Photo/Tricia Freeman)

No, Westport does not suddenly huddle beneath a towering mountain range.

These are just very cool clouds over Nash’s Pond, on a beautiful, calm-after-the-2-day-storm morning.

Dumping On Winslow Park

No, the headline does not refer to owners who refuse to clean up their pet’s poop at Westport’s wonderful dog park.

It’s a reference to some bizarre sightings recently:

winslow-park-collage

Yes, someone has been hauling furniture to Winslow Park, and dumping it there.

This raises a few questions:

  • Why would someone bring old furniture to a dog run?
  • How did they get it there?
  • When did they do it, without anyone seeing them?
  • What did they expect would happen to it?

If you know the answers, click “Comments” below.

Meanwhile, if you want some old furniture, it seems to be yours for the taking.

(Hat tip: Michelle Lieberson)

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

(Photo/Katherine Bruan)

(Photo/Katherine Bruan)

That’s Assumption Church, of course.

If you’ve got a favorite holiday scene — night or day — send it along: dwoog@optonline.net. We’ll feature Westport’s most beautiful shots, all the way through Christmas.

Sherwood Island: Revisited

Yesterday’s post on Sherwood Island reminded Westporters to think about the gem of a state park that sits squarely in our town.

It spurred alert “06880” readers Jim Goodrich and Luisa Francouer to wander over and visit. (There’s no entry fee this time of year!)

They admired the broad beach, the vistas across the Sherwood Mill Pond and Long Island Sound, and the woods and walking paths.

But they were surprised to see these sights:

sherwood-island-1

sherwood-island-2

I guess no part of Westport is immune from bad parking.

Friday Flashback #16

Yesterday, Saugatuck Congregational Church welcomed hundreds of folks for the annual Westport Community Thanksgiving Feast. Scores of other volunteers made it an especially wonderful day.

Saugatuck Church is an important part of our town. It’s a welcoming gathering place for congregants and non-members alike.

“06880” has chronicled its many outreach programs. Its renovation and renaissance after a devastating Thanksgiving week fire 4 5years ago.

“06880” has been fascinated by the church’s move in 1950, from its longtime site on the Post Road near South Compo Road (approximately where the Sunoco gas station is now), across the street and several hundred yards west to its current majestic location.

We’ve shared photos from the September 11, 1950 Life magazine story about that moving day.

But here’s the first shot we’ve seen of the Saugatuck Church, at its original spot:

saugatuck-congregational-church-original-site

It looks the same as today (sort of). Too bad there is nothing in the photo to show where exactly it stood.

(Hat tip: Seth Schachter)

Oh My 06880 — Photo Challenge #99

Westport is a waterfront community. But usually we think of Compo Beach, the Saugatuck River, maybe Sherwood Mill Pond.

Last week’s photo challenge was a gorgeous shot of one of Westport’s most underappreciated gems: Nash’s Pond. Taken from Blind Brook Road by Peter Tulupman, it showed trees reflecting a fall scene. But any time of year, Nash’s is lovely and lively.

Dorothy Giannone, Barbara Sherburne, Dan Herman, Joyce Barnhart, Kathryn Sirico, Bruce J. Kent, Sharon Paulsen, Dorothy Fincher, Jeff Giannone and Katherine Golomb — most of whom live on or near the pond — knew instantly where Peter found his photo. Click here to see it, and read all the guesses.

Seth Schachter sends along this week’s challenge. Once again, it’s a fall beauty.

oh-my-06880-november-20-2016

If you think you’ve spotted this somewhere in Westport, click “Comments” below.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like … October

But it’s November 19. Thanksgiving is 5 days away.

hales-road-2-november-19-2016-fred-cantor

Enjoy the lingering leaves while you can. Rain moves in tonight. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy, with a high of only 43.

Hales Road photos by Fred Cantor. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

Hales Road photos by Fred Cantor. Click on or hover over to enlarge.

Friday Flashback #15

A post earlier this week with a dramatic aerial view of the Saugatuck River sparked an only-on-“06880” debate.

Readers battled over whether the current site of the Gault Park development off Imperial Avenue near Baker Avenue — and before that the Gault gravel pit — was originally called “Ball Mountain” or “Bald Mountain.”

Alert, ever-vigilant and history-minded Jack Whittle promptly sent 2 postcards:

ball-mountain-2

ball-mountain-1

Both photos are labeled “Ball Mountain.”

Then there’s the 1857 New England Gazetteer (also courtesy of Jack). It calls the “conical eminence … situated to the S. of the village” by the name Ball Mountain.

Unfortunately, the Gazetteer also calls our “smooth and beautiful seashore” Campo. Go figure.

Jack sent along one more item:

ball-mountain-gault-timeline

This is from the Gault website. In 1994, they note (above), they stopped their gravel operation on “Bald Mountain.” But the hand-written info on the photo used — from the early 1900s — clearly calls it “Ball” Mountain.

(Note too that the company called their development “Compo Commons.” That’s a name that no one has used, ever.

Hunting through the “06880” archives, I found this:

Bald Mountain.

It was sent to me in 2011 by reader Judy Sterling. The sketch was drawn by Bruno Dolge in the early 1900s.  The view looks east; he stood across the Saugatuck River, probably where Saugatuck Elementary School is now.

Dolge included Brad Baker’s house and workshop (boathouse), on Imperial Avenue. And he (or Judy) called it “Bald Mountain.”

So did Google Maps, long after the topographical feature disappeared from Westport:

blog - Bald Mountain

Call it what you will. Just don’t forget it.

Which, after all, is the whole point of our “Friday Flashback.”

Westports Of The World, Unite!

The “06880” tagline is “Where Westport meets the world.”

The theme of this story is “Where the Westports of the world meet.”

Every few year from 1985 to 2010, an organization called Westports of the World sponsored gatherings of representatives from towns called Westport. There are at least 25 spread around the planet, as close as Massachusetts and as far as New Zealand.

Now, the Westport in County Mayo, Ireland is reviving the idea.

Westport, Ireland's version of the William Cribari/Bridge Street Bridge.

Westport, Ireland’s version of the William Cribari/Bridge Street Bridge.

The timing is perfect. Next September, the Irish Westport celebrates its 250th birthday.

(By comparison, 250 years ago our Westport was not even a concept. Saugatuck was part of Norwalk. Greens Farms was part of Fairfield. Of course, we were still a decade away from forming our own country.)

County Mayo has planned 4 days of Westports of the World fun. There’s a tour of the town followed by “a cuppa in one of the many cafes,” formal meetings, banquets, a traditional Irish music show, live theater, tours of the area, religious services — and of course a pub crawl.

All Westporters — in the 25-plus Westports, all over the world — are invited.

(“Westports of the World” will be held September 14-17, 2017. For more information, email dlangan@mayococo.ie. To learn more about Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, click here.) 

A scene from Westport, County Cork. In Westport, Connecticut this would be a Teardown of the Day.

A scene from Westport, County Mayo. In Westport, Connecticut this would be a Teardown of the Day.