Tag Archives: Jack Whittle

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:



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:


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.”

UPDATED – New Photos! — Memorial Day: Back In The Day — The Sequel

This morning’s post — with photos from Westport Memorial Day parades past — inspired 2 alert and historically minded “06880” readers to send in their own.

Jack Whittle found this shot on the Gault 150th anniverary website. It shows a 1920s-era parade — minimalist though it was — passing Willowbrook cemetery on North Main Street. Leonard H. Gault drove the fire truck.

Leonard H. Gault driving fire truck in parade by Wilow Brook Cemetery

Ann Sheffer sent along 2 photos. Here are some Girl Scouts circa 1955 (with her mother, Betty Sheffer, as a troop leader):

Memorial Day parade 1955 - Girl Scouts - Ann Sheffer

This one from 1961 shows the parade on the Post Road (the Mobil gas station is now where Finalmente is, across from the old post office):
Memorial Day parade 1961 - Ann Sheffer

Here was the scene in 1966. Fairfield Furniture stores has of course been converted back into its original “National Hall” form.

Memorial Day parade 1966

Mark Potts offers this scene from 1972. Staples band leader Bob Genualdi (tie and jacket) leads his musicians up the Post Road, in front of the bizarrely named S&M Pizza. (Note the group sitting — as kids did back in the day — on top of the adjacent store.)

Memorial Day parade - 1972 - Mark Potts

Remember: the 2016 version steps off at 9 a.m. Monday (May 30). Get your camera ready — don’t forget to charge that cell phone!

An Open Letter, From New P&Z Members

To The Citizens of Westport

As the newly elected members of the Planning and Zoning Board — Chip Stephens,  Cathy Walsh, Jack Whittle and Al Gratrix — we all want to thank you for your support, trust and faith in our campaign promise to you that we will do our very best to PRESERVE WESTPORT for you and generations to come.

We hope to deliver a more transparent and interactive board that will listen to you, the citizens of Westport, and your  concerns and suggestions.  We want your voices to be heard, and we will abide by the plans, rules and Town Plans that have served us so well in maintaining the charm and vision of Westport.

Thank you Save Westport Now for your endorsement.  Thank you Republican Town Committee for your endorsement.  Thank you to all who came out and voted, and thank you to all who are leaving their positions on the P and Z for your service and dedication.

We 4 will do our best to uphold our pledge to Preserve Westport.  We promise to listen and consider all proposals brought to us over the next 4 years, and to judge each application with an open mind and fair hand.

We will do our best to understand the wishes of those that elected us and will welcome any and all suggestions .   Please join us at the meetings live or on cable. Please keep us real and on track with your opinions via email or in person.

We will do our best to make your decision one you will never regret

Thank you from all 4:
Chip Stephens
Cathy Walsh
Jack Whittle
Al Gratrix

Ahead for the new P&Z: many decisions about Westport's future.